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greenBlue Riley Park Loop

  3.0 ( 3 ) Favorite

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3.4 mile 5.4 kilometer loop


Ascent: 485' 148 m
Descent: -490' -149 m
High: 796' 243 m
Low: 508' 155 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by John McKinney

A loop that uses almost all of the trails in the park.

John McKinney

Features Birding · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Easy trails, wildlife and a nature center.

Trails may be closed for three days after rain.


This is a great family friendly 3.4-mile loop hike that utilizes almost all of the trails in Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park.

Need to Know

The park is open from 7 am to sunset.
Parking fees are $3 per car, daily.


From the parking area, head north on Wagon Wheel Trail which parallels Oso Parkway. At the junction with Pheasant Run Trail, take a left to head back south; this trail is popular among joggers. Join Mule Deer Trail by turning right to head northwest; this trail passes oaks and cactus patches, utilizes boardwalks and climbs into coastal sage environments.

At 1.2 miles, take a right to continue ascending up to Skink Vista Point via Vista Ridge Trail. At the point, you can see the crest of the Santa Ana Mountains. Backtrack to the junction and take a right onto Oak Canyon Trail to head south. Sometimes you'll see wildlife at an old cattle pond on the east side of the trail.

Turn right onto Horned Toad Trail and follow it out the the Horned Toad Vista Point overlooking Orange County. Continue on the trail, turning right to continue following Oak Canyon Trail. At the next junction, take a right onto Sycamore Loop Trail through an old sycamore grove. Right again onto Oak Canyon Trail as it turns north and leads back to the trailhead.

Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store.

Flora & Fauna

Great sycamore groves, oak trees and coastal scrub environments are encountered on this hike. A butterfly garden near the park office is a great place to visit in the spring and summer months.

History & Background

The park, originally called Wagon Wheel Park, was acquired in 1983 by Orange County. In 1994, it was renamed in honor of a former Orange County supervisor for his conservation efforts.


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Jun 6, 2018
Michael Cumberland
Don’t like the view of houses 3.5mi
May 13, 2018
Jeff Creer
Super hiking trail that is family friendly!
Apr 21, 2018
Bryan Pavalko
Beautiful day 3.1mi — 1h 20m
Sep 22, 2017
Christopher Campbell
No dogs

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  3.0 from 3 votes


  3.0 from 3 votes
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