There are a lot of interesting sights in the Napa Valley beyond the grapevines and fine restaurants. Although those are a few of my favorite Napa sights. If you find yourself in Napa Valley with younger family members or looking for interesting natural sights, I suggest driving a few minutes to Calistoga. There you will find the Old Faithful Geyser of California, as well as a petrified forest.
Old Faithful of California is not as dramatic as the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone, but it is faithful none the less. This is a downscaled version of Yellowstone’s, but it is still fun to watch. The geyser erupts every 15 to 30 minutes, blowing off its steam for a great nature show for all generations.
In earlier days, Old Faithful Geyser of California was noted as one of three “faithful” geysers, hence the name. This geyser had become one of the most visited places in the West, and is still a favorite photographed location in the state of California.
The park also has a terrific petting zoo that is home to horned sheep, mountain goats, and llamas. There were a few species that I had never seen before and my daughter enjoyed petting the baby animals. There is also picnic grounds and a Geology Museum that is free with admission.
For location, hours and admission fees, please visit – Old Faithful Geyser of California
The Petrified Forest
Ten minutes away from Old Faithful, is the Petrified Forrest of Calistoga, California. This is another fun spot that you can do in addition to the geyser. This petrified forest is one of the best preserved examples of petrified trees in the world. The location is excellent as there are lovely woodsy trails to walk on and plenty of shade.
The Calistoga Petrified Forrest dates back 3.4 million years when a neighboring extinct volcano, St. Helena, erupted. The volcanic blast was very powerful. and knocked down ancient redwood trees. To make a long explanation short, these redwoods were covered with ash for centuries and eventually were turned into stone. After natural reactions of being buried underneath ash with no oxygen, these trees became petrified.
Depending on how much time you take on the trails, allow yourself no more than an hour. There are two half mile trails, The Main Trail and The Meadow Trail. Both are worth checking out, and there is a view of St. Helena from The Meadow Trail.
Examples of other petrified wood from other world locations.
Hope you have an enjoyable visit at both the Petrified Forrest and Old Faithful of California!
For hours, location and admission, please visit – The Petrified Forrest of Calistoga
Time is precious, waste it wisely…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre