Hike Date: December 10, 2011
Distance: ~ 6 miles
Trail(s): Redwood Trail, Coyote Peak Trail, South Fork Trail, Spring Trail, Ritchey Canyon Trail
Where’s it at? Off Hwy 29 in the North Bay in Saint Helena
I remember seeing Bothe Napa Valley State Park on the list of state park closures a year or so ago, and hadn’t previously heard of it. Now that I live up in the North Bay I figured I’d better go pay it a visit before it closes. Looks like it may not close after all as the County is paying for it now, or thereabouts.
I really enjoyed this hike. The trails are (mostly) single track and there was hardly anyone else in the park on the Saturday that I visited. The hike I took was a loop that started with a hike to the top of Coyote Peak (only 1170 feet elevation). I was surprised how little of a panoramic view you could find anywhere along these trails. You could tell it was scenic but there were so many trees all over that you really couldn’t get any good view other than the nice view into the canyon in which you’re hiking.
There were some really nice redwoods in the park which is always great. It was also probably extra scenic because I got a lot of the fall colors that were still lingering into early December. I also really liked the stream (Ritchey Creek) that ran through the park and which a portion of the trails I took straddled.
There is another section of this park I have to visit still which is a much shorter historic site called Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park. I’m unclear on the separation between the two parks or whether there is a separate charge for the two or you could visit both in one day on one day use pass. The park also offers camping and horseback riding as well as a couple day use areas for picnicing. A Native American plant garden also awaits near the entrance.
The trailhead is a little bit down the road if you go left right after the ranger kiosk. If there is no ranger there it is self-registration with fees of $8, so bring change! This was a really nice scenic and easy trail and I’d recommend visiting in late Fall or early Winter like I did.
Photos from Bothe Napa Valley State Park (click to enlarge)
Useful Links about Bothe Napa Valley SP
- Parks.ca.gov on Bothe Napa Valley SP
- Yelp Reviews of Bothe Napa Valley
- Wikipedia on Bothe Napa Valley SP
- Weekend Sherpa on Coyote Peak
Directions to Bothe Napa Valley State Park
View Hiking Coyote Peak and Ritchey Canyon in Bothe Napa Valley State Park in a larger map