Mount St. Helena and R.L. Stevenson State Park
A History and Guide

Ken Stanton

This entertaining and comprehensive guide takes an enlightening look at the highest, least known peak in the San Francisco Bay Area. It covers everything about the mountain, from its explosive geologic origins to its rich history, both natural and human. Includes updated, in depth info about today's popular hiking, biking and climbing destinations. Also includes the story of famed Scotsman Robert Louis Stevenson's idyllic honeymoon stay on the mountain. Now with updates to 2010.

256 pages, 6" x 9", new full-color cover, black & white photographs, pull-out map, bibliography, index. Published by Bonnie View Books.
ISBN 978-0-9676116-9-3. trade paper



Kana’mota — Human Mountain

All who know the Napa/Sonoma wine country are eventually drawn to the commanding presence of the great land mass known as Mt. St. Helena. Robert Louis Stevenson declared it the “Mount Blanc of one section of the California Coast Range.” No wonder. It is visible from all over the Bay Area, and from its 4,343 foot summit, views of the Pacific Ocean, downtown San Francisco, the Sierra Nevada and Mt. Shasta are all in view, the latter an incredible 192 miles north.

Mount St. Helena and Robert Louis Stevenson State Park is a complete biography of this extraordinary and much loved mountain. Through extensive research and on-the-ground field work, author Ken Stanton has come to know the mountain intimately and brings to light its story with clear prose, historical and contemporary photographs, and anecdotes from the old timers who lived its history. In this one of a kind book you will learn:

  • Why the mountain is volcanic but not a volcano
  • How the Native Wappo revered this mountain as the center of their world
  • Its key role in the economic development of Napa County through mining
  • Who Buck English was and his daring raids on the Wells Fargo stagecoaches
  • Other colorful characters like Mollie Patten and Bill Spiers who loved the mountain
  • The famous like Richard Henry Dana and Leland Stanford
  • And the infamous like the White Cap Murder gang who served time in San Quentin

There is so much more - chapters on fauna and flora, an updated history of the State Park, a hiking guide to the summit, plus appendices and a pull out map. This is a book to return to again and again.

About the Author

Ken Stanton’s interest in the outdoors began with his first camping trip to Sequoia National Park at six months of age. For forly years he has climbed and explored mountains in California, the western U.S., Canada, and Europe. He is actively involved in the family’s grape growing business in Napa Valley.

Books and Maps on Related Topics:

Great Day Hikes in and around Napa Valley, Third Edition by Ken Stanton

Napa Valley Picnic—A California Wine Country Travel Companion by Jack Burton and Ken Stanton

The Hiker's hip pocket Guide to Sonoma County, 3rd edition by Bob Lorentzen

Monterey Bay Map by Bluewater Maps

Notebooks From the Emerald Triangle by A Novel by Bill Bradd

The Hiker’s hip pocket Guide to the Humboldt/Del Norte Coast, 3rd Ed. by Bob Lorentzen

Field Guide to Manzanitas: California, North America, and Mexico by Michael Kauffmann, Tom Parker and Michael Vasey; Photographs by Jeff Bisbee

The Hiker's hip pocket Guide to the Mendocino Coast—4th Edition by Bob Lorentzen

San Francisco: Intellect and Passion by Ken Auster

The Wild Mushroom Cookbook; Recipes from Mendocino For Cooks Everywhere by Alison Gardner and Merry Winslow

Sierra Nevada Topographic Map by Imus Geographics

Mendocino Coast Map, Coastal California Series by Bluewater Maps

Wildflowers of the San Francisco Bay Area by Text & Photos by Steven Hartman

Trails of Mt. Tamalpais, Muir Woods and Marin Headlands by Ben Pease

Bay Area Trail Map: Carquinez Strait and Berkeley Hills by Redwood Hikes Press

Sonoma-Marin Coast Map, Coastal California Series by Bluewater Maps

The Essential Geography of the United States of America by Imus Geographics

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