Looking for your Napa  ancestors? Just like prowling through historic graveyards? Stop at the Calistoga Pioneer Cemetery (look for the white picket fence and arched gate on Foothill Blvd. south of Petrified Forest Rd., Calistoga). Here you’ll find the graves of many of Napa’s earliest settlers and some of the more prominent early families.
The cemetery seems to undergo regular maintenance since paths between plots are kept clear and walkable. But many of the graves are overgrown with vines—some even have full-sized oak trees growing through them.
The whole area is covered by a dense canopy of forest foliage, making it a pleasantly cool place to visit on hot summer days. You can explore up the hillside, where the paths get more overgrown and some of the tombstones are still old wooden planks, their lettering worn away.
If you’re interested in genealogy, start at the front entrance of the cemetery, where a map and alphabetical survey of the cemetery are posted.
One warning about visiting this cemetery: No, not ghosts—lack of parking. There’s enough room at the front for one small car. Otherwise, you’ll need to park elsewhere and walk carefully along and across Highway 29 to the gate.