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.
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.
Beautiful trail, definitely worth the time. Not a lot of high elevation views. Trail is between easy and moderate.
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.
Quiet setting for a mild hike.
Good trail with some small creek crossings, redwood trees, slight elevation change, some nice open paths, brushy areas, areas with poisen oak, wear good shoes as there are a few areas where you may slip if you dont have good traction.
Nice scenery, creek was up. Lots of Redwoods. Under the canopy the whole time, no views.
Great flora and feel.