Wine O'Clock

Hike Rector Reservoir near Yountville in Napa Valley

Wine may be Napa’s most famous liquid, but there’s a way you can just stick with water and still enjoy yourself (really!). Do a 3-mile out-and-back hike at Rector Reservoir Wildlife Area northeast of Yountville. The views are beautiful the entire way.

Start on the trailhead across from Paraduxx Winery on Silverado Trail. (There’s not much of a parking lot, just a few spots off the side of the road.) The trail is a moderately challenging up-and-down journey across grassy, oak-dotted land, with the valley outstretched below.

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Vineyards roll right up to the Mayacamas Mountains that separate Napa and Sonoma valleys. After the final uphill, take the left fork for views of Rector Reservoir. It’s the type of scenery that has a calming affect amid the holiday hustle.Soak it in and head back downhill when you’re ready. It feels slightly steeper on the downhill so take it slow, especially after rain.

BONUS WINE: You didn’t think we’d leave you hanging, right? Pair your holiday hike with some cheers along Silverado Trail. Paraduxx is right across the way, and other notable wineries in the area include Stag’s Leap, Clos Du Val, and for some bubbles—Mumm Napa.

From Hwy 29 N, take Yountville Cross Road to Silverado Trail and turn left. The trailhead will be on the right side of the road in just under a mile. The grasses are tall and prickly in places, so wear long pants. No dogs.

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