On a Wednesday afternoon last July, I had just gotten home from work when I noticed the sky to the west was filled with smoke. It didn’t take long to figure out that this was a wildfire somewhere near Lake Berryessa. The Wragg Fire would go on to burn more than 8000 acres in Napa and Solano Counties, including most of the Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve. We’ve been hiking the trails in and around this area for several years, so we’ve become quite familiar with Cold Canyon. Today we had the opportunity to go behind the gates and see some of the fire damage.
Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve will remain closed until Spring 2016. Winter rains will likely do more damage to the bare slopes above the trail. Significant trail restoration will be necessary in the coming months. There are also plans to make improvements to the parking areas along the highway. Anyone who has tried to park at the trailhead on a busy Saturday will know that such improvements are overdue.
Please respect the closure and do not visit this site without prior approval. For additional information or to sign up for a guided hike, visit the UC Davis NRS website for Stebbins Cold Canyon.
The following photos were all taken on the trail between the main entrance and the old homestead site.