Ritchey Canyon Trail and Coyote Peak

MODERATE 43 reviews

Ritchey Canyon Trail and Coyote Peak is a 5.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Calistoga, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1171 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

no dogs

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park stands as a reminder of the natural flora and fauna of the area before the vineyards arose. A visit to Bothe-Napa Valley State Park allows hikers to make a trip back in time. The park is a still-forested hill nestled among several of the famous valley's wineries. It stands as a reminder of the natural flora and fauna of the area before much of it was cleared to create vineyards. Though the trees and other plants have been largely removed from the land used as vineyards, the soils and microclimates that have drawn grape growers for over 100 years remain. The park is also teeming with plants used by Native Americans in the region, who were likely the first people to use the Valley's bounties to make intoxicating concoctions. Most of the park is rugged, with elevations ranging from 300 to 2,000 feet. You will notice a pattern in the vegetation: the forests are on the north-facing slopes and in canyons, while south-facing slopes tend to be brushy; redwoods grow only near creeks or springs. Plant life hides much of the park's geology, which is principally volcanic, but you can see a reminder of the area's violent geologic past in the volcanic ash cliffs of upper Ritchey Canyon. The park is home to raccoons, gray squirrels, deer, foxes, bobcats, and coyotes to name a few, but they are sometimes difficult to spot because of their nocturnal habits and the heavy forest cover. Several species of birds can be easily detected though, including the six kinds of woodpecker that inhabit the park. The spectacular crow-sized pileated woodpecker is one of them. On a more rare occasion a spotted owl can be found, perched high in a redwood tree. Located by the entrance to the park is the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center and entrance station are open intermittently when staffing is available. Brochures (hiking maps) are also available by mail. Next to the park's visitor center is the Native American Garden which displays some of the plants important to the first people of this area. Today, many of the same plants are used by the Wappo people.

13 days ago

15 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Lovely, easy hiking. You start on the Redwood Trail before coming to the point where Ritchey Canyon Trail branches off. Take the branch, because Redwood soon becomes narrow in places, with poison oak reaching for you left and right. Ritchey, however, stays wide and clear for a much greater distance before it, too, gets choked by a variety of plants, including poison oak. Really, they have to cut back the poison oak or they'll lose a lovely hiking experience. By the way, you can give the summit of Coyote Peak a miss, because the trees block any view there might once have been.

1 month ago

Nice and cool hike in mid-May that follows a pretty stream. Trail is within Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, so if you are driving in and want to park at the trailhead it's $8/car. Ritchey Canyon Trail starts off as Redwood Trail and you have quite a few options for making the hike longer or shorter. Great for trail running or biking.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

A gorgeous valley hike following the creek (seasonal). This hike scales well to different adventurer levels. I suggest making it up to Coyote Peak for a lunch stop. Has a nice vista from there. Lots of Redwoods, Valley Oaks, wild flowers, Douglas firs, and mature Manzanita. Would be a pleasant hike on a hot day.

hiking
1 month ago

walking
1 month ago

trail running
1 month ago

2 months ago

2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

hiking
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9 months ago

Beautiful trail, definitely worth the time. Not a lot of high elevation views. Trail is between easy and moderate.

10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

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.