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Calistoga, California

15.1mi Run on the Shoulders of Giants

Originally added by BayTrailrunners

Distance: 15.1 miles. Total elevation gain: 2805 ft. Single track, fire road, hills.

This is one of the most epic trail runs in the Bay Area. Long, technical, athletic, and beautiful beyond comparison. Unless you are truly masochistic, let this route be an end-of-the-season goal or final marathon preparedness test. This route is a point-to-point starting at the top of CA 29 at Robert Lewis Stevenson Park so prepare to come with two cars and ferry to the top (or run the 9 miles and 2000 vertical feet from the parking to the trailhead for the true animals). Also make sure you bring plenty of water and calories, as there is no bail-out on this route.

Start the run by heading up 1 mile of gentle climb along the Table Rock Trail, heading East. The rapidly narrowing trail descends down a rough, rocky slope then twists 1.5 miles along the ridge ducking into narrow defiles and climbing abruptly up steep open stone to reach Table Rock. From the Rock stay on the singletrack continuing East along the ridge. Step up the tempo and cruise along the open ridge singletrack for 2 more miles. Tough out a mile of stone steps and ups-and-downs until the trail drops past Holmes Place onto the Oat Hill Mine trail, a broad rocky fire road. Turn right on Oat Hill Mine and stay light on your feet as you fly down 1800 vertical feet and 5.5 miles of wide, fast, technical slickrock and loose stones to end at parking lot at the foot of the mountain. Source

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Overall rating: 

Seriously tough

This is one that needs preparation. Begin at the Oat Hill Mine Trailhead, take the 4 miles to the Palisades Trailhead, and begin the 6 mile journey towards Table Rock. As you close in on Table Rock, it will become obvious as the ground becomes really rough and technical. Table Rock is still roughly 2 miles from the highway 29 trailhead, so once you break through it will feel incredible to finally accomplish the hike. This is where, hopefully, you will have a car waiting. If not, there are really only 2 options.... back track through that savage, relentless trail, which is certainly not often traveled and hardly maintained, or follow the shoulder of highway 29 and hope that the drivers are paying enough attention! This is not the toughest trail I have seen thus far, but given how isolated you will quickly become as well as the lack of water throughout, this is a tougher than normal day trip

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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Nearby Adventures

Hike Mount Saint Helena

10 Miles Round Trip - 2100 ft gain

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3.2 Miles Round Trip - 1200 ft gain

Hike the Oat Hill Mine Trail

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