Nestled between the rich vineyards of southern Napa and Sonoma Counties, at the far southernmost end of the Mayacmas Mountains, tiny Arrowhead Mountain is unknown to the millions tourists and even to most locals who pass by on Highway 12 without noticing the green hill to the north. Privately owned it is protected from development, a small untouched island in the middle of the wine country,

Thanks to Jeff Bundschu of Gundlach Bundschu Winery I was able to visit the peak and wander among the old oaks, mossy stone walls, and brushy trails. We are used to public parks and freedom to hike on well-marked trails, but there’s something much more serene about land that no-one visits. Deer, bobcats and mountain lions follow the wildlife corridor undisturbed. Only the occasional visitor disturbs their peace. 

Sitting on the summit I was struck by how silent the vineyards seemed splayed out below, their busyness muted by distance.