Hike 3: Earth Day & Thomas Riley Wilderness

Hike 3/52

Thomas F Riley Wilderness Park

2.2 Mile Loop
Parking: $3

Saturday was Earth Day.  A day we’re suppose to remember our connection with the earth, how small we really are in this universe and get outside for some beautiful nature.  My girlfriend and I decided to head out to Coto de Caza way and check out the Thomas Riley Wilderness Park.

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The park opens at 7am and has a relatively simple trail system that is perfect for beginners or family hikes.  The hills were still green, but you could see how to browning of summer was already on it’s way, before long the hills and flowers will be gone and the beautiful shades of brown will be setting in.

The original path tells you to take Wagon Wheel Canyon Trail to Phesant Run Trail, but as we were picking a path a nice gentleman in the parking lot had informed us that that way was only out and back now, the loop around section being closed for the moment.  I’m planning to come back later in the spring to see if it’s open then.

There are a few elevation climbs through out the hike but nothing someone in some decent shape can’t handle.  The trail also has sections of wood land and open fields, making it an interesting time the whole way through.  I’d still suggest getting there early so it’s not to hot when you’re in the grass fields.

My girlfriend loves to bring her hoop on our hikes.  She has a lot of fun with it and folks seem to really love seeing her have extra fun on our walks.

Definitely though keep an eye out for snakes along the trail.  While out I almost stepped on a juvenile rattle snake that was crossing the trail.  I’d been distracted by birds flying off, hoping to see a hawk like we saw at the beginning of the trail, and didn’t see the decent size snake going across the dirt road.  So stay on trail and stay conscious of your surroundings.

Trail erosion on the Oak Canyon Trail. Coming down the ridge after a 315ft climb.
Heading down Oak Canyon Trail.


The trail over all ended up being 2.2 miles long and nothing difficult at all really.  Make sure to take proper gear though.  Always be prepared.  I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new fun trail.

Check out this hike and my others through my AllTrails Profile.

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