The best hiking is had in Bothe-Napa Valley and Robert Louis Stevenson State Parks, with plenty of tall woods to explore. Hardcore mountain bikers (and hikers) tackle Oat Hill Mine Trail. Find biking information and rentals at Calistoga Bike Shop.


Calistoga is famous for hot-spring spas and mud-bath emporiums, where you're buried in hot mud and emerge feeling supple, detoxified and enlivened. (The mud is made with volcanic ash and peat; the higher the ash content, the better the bath.)

Packages take 60 to 90 minutes and cost $90 to $100. You start semisubmerged in hot mud, then soak in hot mineral water – a steam bath and blanket-wrap follow. A massage increases the cost to $130 or more.

Baths can be taken solo or, at some spas, as couples. Variations include thin, painted-on clay-mud wraps (called ‘fango’ baths, good for those uncomfortable sitting in mud), herbal wraps, seaweed baths and various massage treatments. Discount coupons are sometimes available from the visitors center. Book ahead, especially on summer weekends. Reservations are essential everywhere.

Most spas offer multitreatment packages. Some offer discounted spa-lodging packages.