Awesome hike first part is somewhat hot but you get random bits of shade throughout. Best view is a little after the fourth mile! Breathtaking views there. But from mile 4.5-6.2 not much going on honestly if you're not up for the whole thing hike to mile 4.5, soak it all in.. Then go back. Also good hike for dogs but right after mile 4 it gets rocky for a bit.. But me and my pooch made it! Fantastic hike!
I did Ritchey Canyon to Spring Trail to South Fork to Coyote Peak, which looped back to the Redwoods Trail. This was 5.35 miles and 1,924 feet of climbing (according to Runkeeper).
I came across several deer on Ritchey Trail and a rattle snake up on the rocks of Coyote Peak Trail, so keep an eye out.
Don't bother with the last ascent up to Coyote Peak. It's gnarly and you really cannot see anything because of the trees! The best view is at the trail marker on the exposed rocks below the final ascent. I did not go up to the Homestead site.
I had no trouble following the trail markers to create my own loop.
At age 73, having done the Yosemite Creek Trail from Tioga Road into Yosemite Valley last week and Crater Mountain in Mono Craters a month ago, this was not particularly difficult today, more like good excercise for a good night's sleep. This is definitely more physically challenging than Mount St. Helena and the complete Oat Hill Mine Road, but only because of the uneven nature of the trail and the steepness in some places. The temperature was in the eighties, which was a definite factor. Two liters of water were more than adequate after pre-hike hydration. There are spectacular views, particularly at Table Rock, which make this hike more than worthwhile. Would highly recommend this to anyone, but would caution someone who is older to wear good hiking shoes, bring plenty of water...over hydrate, bring some energy source, and be sure you are prepared for very uneven footing and large elevation change.
Art C. on Oat Hill Mine Trail