To the backbone of Newell

American Canyon
A great view of the City of American Canyon and the Napa River marshes from the Prairie Ridge Trail.
User: Austin Explorer - 3/28/2021

Location: Newell Open Space Preserve

Rating: 4stars
Difficulty: 3stars  Solitude: 4stars
Miles Hiked: 6.63 Miles  Elapsed Time: 3 hours, 48 minutes


Coppertone and I returned for our second visit to Newell.  On our first hike here we did the Loop Trail around the majority of the park.  This time around we had an eye on the ridge that serves as the boundary between Newell and Lynch Canyon Open Space Park.

Our path diverged from our previous route at the junction of the Loop Trail with what the Newell map calls "South E".  From that point it was a consistent steep climb to the top of the ridge.  The crest of the ridge roughly equates to the boundary between Lynch and Newell.  So hiking along the Prairie Ridge Trail means you're hiking Lynch and other times in Newell.  It's enough of a toss up that I'd put the trail technically in both parks.

Both parks would definately want to claim it as their own.  The views from Prairie Ridge are spectacular.  To the west a clear shot into Napa Valley with American Canyon and the Napa marshes in view.  To the east a clear shot into the Sacramento Valley with Cordelia and Fairfield in view.  I would not be surprised of glimpses of the Sierra are possible with clearer conditions.  From some spots along the trail one can easily pick out Mount Diablo in Easy Bay and Mount Tam in Marin County.

Like much of Newell, there is little tree cover along the ridge.  Trees have a tough time here.  Those that have managed to survive have done so with visible signs of their struggle.  They are stretched and contorted by frequent and stong winds out of the east.  One can see a similar pattern in some trees on the Pacific Coast.

We only ended up doing about half of the Prairie Ridge Trail before descending back down to the Loop Trail and doubled our way back to the trailhead.  Our positive opinion of the park during our first visit was only strengthened during the second.  We need to make a return visit for more mapping in the near future.

Log Photos
Heading up
Looking back
Looking NE
American Canyon
Loop Trail
Prairie Ridge Trail
Tree cover
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