By horse and trap the Stevensons rode down valley to St. Helena to taste wine. They stopped here but had little to say about it – perhaps because the lovely Rhine House was not built yet. Be sure to see this beautiful 1884 Victorian.
Visit Beringer Vineyards
Bale Grist Mill
Built in 1846, this water powered grist mill was once the center of social activity as Napa Valley settlers gathered to have their corn and wheat ground into meal or flour.
On weekends, be sure to attend their live demonstrations and take some fresh flour home for baking!
Be sure to check their website to see if they are operating when you plan to visit.
Visit the Bale Grist Mill
The original 1862 founders, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Schram, delighted the Stevensons when they visited – with RLS being taken into the caves to taste “every variety and shade of Schramsberger…”
You must schedule a tour with the winery to visit, but it is absolutely wonderful.
Visit Schramsberg Vineyards
Calistoga Railroad Depot
The Stevensons disembarked here in 1880. Today, the depot is one of California’s oldest existing railroad depots and now holds a variety of small shops including a wine store and café.
Alongside the depot are six restored Pullman railroad cards which have also been converted into shops.
Location: 1458 Lincoln Ave. Calistoga
Highlighting the history of the Upper Valley, this museum is a real treat and even has a small section on Robert Louis Stevenson.
Particularly wonderful is the adjoining cottage which is one of only two that have survived since Samuel Brannan opened his Hot Springs Hotel in 1862.
Visit the Sharpsteen Museum
Up in the hills to the west of Calistoga, be sure to walk the trails at the Petrified Forest. True, RLS found Petrified Charlie (the founder) more interesting than the geological specimens on view, but the guided meadow walks on the weekends are a real treat.
Great for kids, families, and those with a passion for geological history, trees, and nature.
Visit the Petrified Forest
Old Faithful Geyser
One of only three geysers to perform regularly in the world, part of its beauty rests in it being at the foot of Mount St. Helena.
Every 30 minutes you can see the water burst forth from the ground – and if it’s time to wet your whistle, just east is the famed Chateau Montelena (home of the Chardonnay that won the Taste of Paris in 1976).
Visit the Old Faithful Geyser
Old Lawley Toll Road
Less of a stop and more of scenic ride up Mount St. Helena, this was the beginning of the Toll Road (as RLS notes ‘ the grade’) towards Lake County.
It’s a great road to hike or bike down too – if you’re so inclined – as it gets far less traffic than Hwy 29. Or stop by one of the wineries along the road.
RLS Monument and Cabin Site at RLS State Park
After you reach Hwy 29 you will soon enter RLS State Park, which is unstaffed so simply pull into the parking lot on the right side of the road. Follow the signs to the RLS Monument (0.8 miles) where the bunkhouse used to be. This monument, erected in 1911, stands where the cabin stood. Be sure to keep following the path to find the mouth to the Silverado Mine (on your left).
Please Note: The hike to the cabin site is accessible to most able-bodied hikers. Good walking shoes and water are encouraged. Beyond the cabin you can gain access to the path to the summit of Mount St. Helena. This is largely a fire road and caution should be taken. The route is 10 miles round trip.
Visit RLS Park