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California State Parks

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USA Parks
San Francisco Bay Area Region
Las Posadas State Forest
Las Posadas State Forest © Gary OToole
Valley Quail ©
Valley Quail
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Las Posadas is great for bikers and skiers and is located 3 miles S.E. of Calistoga in Angwin. This trail system has everything a mountain biker could want. Shady single track through manzanita tunnels, smooth fast descents down the back side fire roads, lazy table tops, rock drops and beautiful views from Inspiration Point. Moderate climbs around the park offer more technical terrain, rock drops, log sections, whoop de doos and other obstacles as well. Lots of cool shade to keep it fun. Come explore this hidden jewel among the vineyards of the Napa Valley with us.
History of the Area
Las Posadas State Forest, also known as Las Posadas Demonstration State Forest, is located in the Mayacamas Mountains of Napa County, California. It has a rich history that dates back several centuries.

The forest's name "Las Posadas" can be traced back to the Mexican period in California's history. The term "Las Posadas" signifies the tradition of reenacting Joseph and Mary's search for a place to stay in Bethlehem, which is an important part of Mexican Christmas celebrations. The forest land was named after this tradition due to its remote and serene beauty, reminiscent of the biblical story.

In the early 19th century, during the Mexican era of California, Las Posadas State Forest was part of a land grant known as Rancho Las Posadas. The rancho was granted to Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Snook, a retired British naval officer, in 1843. Snook established a homestead on the land, primarily using it for agricultural purposes.

In the late 19th century, the land changed hands and Swiss immigrant Henry Hauschild purchased a significant portion of the area. Hauschild recognized the potential of the land for timber production and established a sawmill and logging operations in the forest. Over the years, logging activities increased in the area, leading to the clearing of substantial portions of the forest.

Concerns about deforestation and the need for sustainable forest management practices led to the establishment of the Las Posadas Demonstration State Forest in 1945. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) acquired the property and transformed it into a model forest for demonstrating responsible forest management techniques. It was the first forest in California designated as a "Demonstration Forest."

Since its establishment, Las Posadas State Forest has been focused on research, demonstration, and education. The forest serves as a living laboratory where scientists, landowners, students, and the general public can observe and learn about sustainable timber harvesting, forest ecology, fire management, and watershed protection. CAL FIRE has utilized various techniques like selective logging, reforestation, and prescribed burns to restore and maintain the forest's health and diversity.

Las Posadas State Forest covers around 3,340 acres and continues to provide valuable insights into the management of California's forests. It offers recreational opportunities such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding, while also serving as an educational resource for sustainable forestry practices.
Nearby Accommodations
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Aurora Park Cottages - Calistoga, CA
BBs / Inns
More than a BB - Aurora Park Cottages is your private vacation retreat at the top of Napa Valley. Located in a country setting in beautiful Calistoga - the spa capital of California. FREE CHAMPAGNE AND CHOCOLATES Please tell us you found us on and we'll have some chilled champagne and chocolates awaiting your arrival at Aurora Park Cottages.
9.6 miles from park*
Nearby Vacation Rentals
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1. Las Posadas Loop Trail: This is a moderate, 3-mile loop trail that offers beautiful views of the forest and surrounding area. The path winds through dense forests with towering redwoods and pines.

2. Angwin Fire Road: A relatively easy hike spanning about 4 miles round trip, this fire road provides stunning panoramic vistas over Napa Valley vineyards below.

3. Moore Creek Trail: At approximately six miles long, it's one of the more challenging trails in Las Posadas State Forest due to its length but rewards hikers with breathtaking views across Lake Hennessy from certain vantage points along the route.

4. Ritchey Canyon Redwood Hike: An enchanting walk among old-growth redwoods on an undulating terrain for around five miles total distance; expect some steep sections which add to its difficulty level yet offer rewarding scenic beauty throughout your journey.

5. South Fork Devil's Canyon Scenic Trails: These are two separate paths (South & North) each measuring roughly four-miles-long offering diverse landscapes including meadows filled with wildflowers during springtime as well as shaded areas under thick canopies where you might spot local wildlife like deer or squirrels scurrying by.

6. Bill Williams Mountain Men Memorial Grove Pathway: Named after legendary mountain man Bill Williams who was known for his wilderness survival skills, this pathway stretches just over three kilometers providing ample opportunities to appreciate native flora such as Douglas firs , ponderosa pines amongst others.

7. Echo Ridge Route: It's a strenuous uphill climb stretching nearly seven kilometres leading up towards Echo Ridge summit presenting sweeping panoramas overlooking nearby valleys once at top ; be prepared though because there're several switchbacks making ascent quite demanding physically.

8. Bear Gulch Reservoir Circuit: Approximately eight:kilometre circuitous track encircling serene reservoir surrounded by lush greenery perfect place if seeking tranquillity amidst nature's bounty.

9. Skyline Trail: This is a challenging 10:mile trail that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The path takes you through dense forests, open meadows, and rocky outcrops.

10. Pine Flat Road: A long but relatively easy hike at about 12 miles round trip; this road winds its way up to an elevation providing panoramic vistas over Napa Valley below.

11. Las Posadas Multi:Use Trails: These trails are designed for hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders alike with varying degrees of difficulty spread across approximately eight kilometers in total length offering something suitable for everyone regardless their skill level or preferred outdoor activity type.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
March 8 It is definitely open to the public by Las Posadas Hiker
park review stars; one to five I go hiking there regularly. No restrictions to entry - I see families walking, people running & mountain biking.
August 23 Los Posadas is open to the public. by TevisRider
park review stars; one to five While living in Angwin I often ride my horse or run on the fire roads and trails located in Los Posadas State Forest. Park at the trail head at the sharp right turn.
November 30 Not a State Park! Closed to the public. by Gerri Finn
park review stars; one to five This is not accurate. Do not bother going to Las Posadas, it is not a state park. It is managed by the state but the deed restriction does not allow public access.
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Area Campgrounds
Napa County Fairgrounds/Calistoga
1435 North Oak Street
Calistoga, CA
Area Accommodations (over 20 miles away)
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Backyard Garden Oasis BB - Middletown, CA
BBs / Inns
Close to Calistoga, Napa Valley and Lake County Vineyards, and Harbin Hot Springs in the Mayacama Mountains, and 2 hrs away from San Francisco or Sacramento. Backyard Garden Oasis is an exquisite respite for those wanting a nature-filled retreat surrounded by some of Californias most beautiful country.
20 miles from park*

1. Start by heading towards Napa Valley on Highway 29.
2. Continue driving north until you reach St Helena.
3. In St Helena, turn left onto Deer Park Road and continue for approximately 6 miles.
4. Look out for signs directing you to Las Posadas State Forest and make a right turn when indicated.
5. Follow the road as it winds through beautiful vineyards and scenic landscapes.

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California State Parks