The Calistoga RV Park is situated at the northern end of the Napa Valley, right in the city of Calistoga, and beside the Calistoga Fair Grounds and Mount St Helena Golf Course. We are posting this review so you can decide for yourself whether the pros outweigh the cons. We are publishing similar reviews for all the parks we visit. We also invite readers to submit their own reviews. Share your knowledge, and help us to create a large collection of in-depth reviews to help others in the RV life! Please contact Maggie for more details.
To start with, here is our video review, which shows what the RV park looks like, and highlights the wonderful local attractions – especially the wine!
Sites at the Calistoga RV Park
There are 70 sites, all with 30 or 50 amp service. All sites have full hook-ups and there is a grassy area, unserviced, for tents as well. The sites are level, and mostly gravel. There were no fire rings or picnic tables.
The park is sparsely treed and the sites are quite tight, with little privacy between the sites. The water pressure is adequate. The Park is well organized, with an office staffed from 10 – 4 daily. The staff are friendly, but not intrusive in any way.
Location and Local Attractions at the Calistoga RV Park
The park is small and is located in a pleasant residential district. It was quiet when we were there in the off-season (December), but there is a fairground right next door, and a speedway, so it must be very noisy at times.
The Calistoga RV Park is within walking distance of the main shopping area of Calistoga (less than a mile). There is also an on-demand shuttle service for $1.00 each way, which operates daily until 11 p.m. You can phone for the shuttle, or download an app. There is a grassy area next to the office, and the adjoining fair grounds provide a good off-leash area for dog walks. There is a food store, hardware store, and a drug store in Calistoga. There are also numerous small specialty stores selling things such as clothing.
Calistoga is situated at the northern end of the Napa Valley and is surrounded by many wineries. There are lots of opportunities to enjoy wine tastings and tours near the city, and many wine tasting rooms in the city itself. As we were there in winter, we able to purchase the the Winter in the Wineries passport, which gave us access to 17 wine tastings for just $65. You can purchase these in the Visitor’s Center, and also at most of the participating wineries. They are excellent value for money, as the tasting fees at the various wineries were often as high as $50. Just for one!
There are also a number of good restaurants at many different price points. We tried the Calistoga Inn (excellent upscale cuisine and service) and the Pacifico Restaurante Mexicano (great upscale Mexican food). If you choose to go the Calistoga Inn, be sure to book – it is very popular.
The Petrified Forest Park and Old Faithful Geyser are other local attractions, along with Safari West, a private wildlife preserve.
A bigger city, Santa Rosa, is 32 miles north. There you can find shopping malls and big box stores such as Walmart, Safeway, and Home Depot. The road from the park to Santa Rosa is a challenging one, however. One day when I did that trip, there was a detour, and the road I had to take was positively terrifying. Luckily, I was not towing our RV.
Pet Policy at Calistoga RV Park
The park allows any type of pets, with the usual leash rules. There is no dog off-leash area, but we were able to let our dogs off-leash in the adjoining fairgrounds.
Bike Trails and Hiking at the Calistoga RV Park
There are no cycling trails, but there are many “share the road” signs. The area is relatively flat so you can easily cycle to the city, or to some of the nearby wineries, if you don’t mind sometimes cycling on the shoulder of US29 or US128.
Public Transport near the Calistoga RV Park
There is an on-demand shuttle service, but the city is small enough to walk from the park to the shopping area. The waits for the shuttle can be very long, especially on weekend nights.
Accessibility and Availability
The drive south on US 101 was for the most part multi-laned and fairly straight. However, the last 24 miles from Geyserville to Calistoga along California 128 was winding, up and down over hills, and in some places very narrow. The road is used by truckers, commuters, and cyclists. It is not safe to go as fast as the speed limit while towing an RV. This obviously annoys the drivers stuck behind you, and there are very few places where it is safe to pull over and let others pass. I definitely would not travel that road in the dark. Our Fifth Wheel is 30 feet long, and I sometimes found myself holding my breath as we narrowly missed trees on the curves. I would not like to attempt that drive with a longer trailer.
Once we finished that part of the drive, we entered Calistoga via Lincoln Ave. This runs right through the middle of the small city, and it was also narrow and challenging – and made worse by road works.
When you get near the park, which is in a residential area less than a mile from Lincoln Avenue, drive slowly. We managed to drive right past the entrance, and had to back up. Not our favorite thing when we are towing! Once we were finally inside the Park, we found the roads to be wide with no speed bumps (blessedly).
When we left the park, we were headed south along the California 29, which was a much better route. Our advice would be to access this park from the south on California 29, if at all possible. Otherwise, be prepared for a very slow and careful 24 miles on the 128 into the city of Calistoga, with possibly some annoyed pickup drivers behind you, and few places to pull over and let them by.
Also, watch the road closely. There was a point where the road veered sharply to the right, but our GPS gave us no warning. So we went straight ahead, and ended up on a farm road. Because we were towing we could not do a U-turn, and had to do a slow extra four miles around farms. The scenery was beautiful, but we were in no mood to enjoy it!
General Atmosphere at the Calistoga RV Park
We stayed at this park during December, so it was cold at night, but we had sunny days with temperatures around 60 degrees in the day time (15 degrees Celsius). There were very few people staying during the week, with more arriving on the weekend.
Noise Level at the Calistoga RV Park
The park was very quiet the week we were there. We did not notice any traffic noise.
Staff at the Calistoga RV Park
The office is open daily from 10 – 4 and the staff are friendly and helpful. They have brochures of the local attractions. The woman in the office even went through one of the brochures with Joe and put check marks next to the best restaurants, after he told her we wanted a good restaurant for my birthday dinner.
Value for Money at Calistoga RV Park
The price is reasonable for sites with full hookup, and we got a Passport America discount which made it substantially cheaper.
Wi-Fi at the Calistoga RV Park
The Wi-Fi is very good (and free) at this park but it is sometimes difficult to hold the connection. We found that the signal would drop frequently for no discernible reason. However, it was good enough to stream videos.
Cable TV at the Calistoga RV Park
There was no cable TV.
Cellular Reception at the Calistoga RV Park
Cellular coverage was good for both Joe’s AT&T and my Verizon service.
Washrooms at the Calistoga RV Park
The washrooms were always clean, and the free showers had a plentiful supply of hot water with good pressure. The women’s showers were heated with an on-demand heat lamp. The stalls had doors, plus a shower to divide the stalls (so you can keep your clothes dry).
The men’s showers were dark and did not have an on-demand heat lamp. It was difficult to use them at night, as the only light came from the area where the toilets were. Also, there were no doors on the stalls in the men’s washrooms, just curtains. There was no separating curtain between the dressing and showering areas, so it was hard for Joe to keep his clothes and shoes dry.
Facilities at the Calistoga RV Park
There is an office containing maps and brochures about the local area. There are no laundry facilities on site, or in Calistoga, so you have to travel to Santa Rosa for that. There are no recreational facilities on site.
Guest Parking at the Calistoga RV Park
We did not notice any guest parking area.
Bottom Line on the Calistoga RV Park
The park was quiet, with adequate sites. The only negatives were the lack of privacy between the sites. However, for us, this was more than offset by the proximity to Calistoga, and the amenities in the city and surrounding area. We would certainly return to this park for another week or two of fun, wine-tasting events.
Weigh up these pros and cons, and decide if this is the RV Park for you!
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