Vista Point (dayhike)

Trip Date: 12/31/2013

Location: Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park

Permit/Pass: $3 daily, machine accepts $1 Bills and Quarters or Visa/Master Card. Annual Parking Passes are available.

Trails: OC Parks Map

Directions: From Interstate 5 in Mission Viejo take the Oso Parkway exit east 5.7 miles to just before S. Bend Rd., where you'll see the dirt entrance road to Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park. Follow the road a couple hundred yards to a right turn into a large parking area. The Oak Canyon trailhead is at the southern end of the lot.

Trail sequence: Oak Canyon trail / Vista Ridge trail / Oak Canyon

Type: Out and back

Distance: 2.3 miles

Elevation: Min. - 488', Max. - 806'


Rating: Easy (factors: heat, some short, steep sections)

Synopsis: An easy, gradual (except for a couple of brief, steep areas) ascent to an overlook with views to the south and southeast. It's rare in this park to hike without exposure to houses and road noises, but these are pretty trails and nice views nonetheless. Also, because of the fairly flat trails, the interpretive signs, and other features, this is a good park for young kids.


Vista Point - Thomas F. Riley WP

Turn by Turn:

  -- As you pick up the trail at the south end of the dirt parking area, you head south on Oak Canyon trail. After passing the gate, and only a few hundred feet further, you meet Vista Ridge trail on the right. Turn right (west) on Vista Ridge.

  -- For just short of a mile you stay on this trail as it heads north, passing Oak Canyon trail at a point just short of a climb to the overlook.

  -- After enjoying the views from Vista Point, retrace your steps to the parking area.