To do the entire trail you have to obtain a permit from EBMUD. Their office is by San Pablo reservoir and the permit is inexpensive and it's good for a couple of years. I've done this hike a few times and I've only seen a few people, all women, on the backside of the trail away from Bear Creek Rd. I rated it difficult only because of length. Not many people are prepared to do a hike this long. I've never had anyone else go along with me. There is all kinds of wildlife especially waterfowl and birds and the usual deer, coyotes, foxes and I've had a bobcat jump off a side hill about 20' in front of me as well. It would be best to take a friend along because of it remoteness and I've seen signs of mountain lions also. Take plenty of water, a permit and enjoy the hike. For safety there is a sign in board in the lower end of the lake when you go EBMUD property. This is a great fall through spring hike.
A pleasant paved and easy 2.7 miles trail. Most people can walk around this loop in about an hour. The path offers lovely scenery of the surrounding hills covered with virgin oak woods and an abundance of wildlife. A feast for the senses and the soul.
We hiked the upper rim of the Lafayette Reservoir. This track is longer than the Lafayette Reservoir Nature Trail (5 vs. 2.8 miles) and it has some very steep inclines, this is definitely not a beginner’s hike. The trail is a loop and has nice views of the Mt. Diablo and the surrounding areas. Hiking poles are highly recommended for the steep descent on some of the hills. Parking lot at the Lafayette Reservoir has daily entrance fee of $7.00.
We took the Rim Trail from the east side of the parking area to the Campolindo trail, descending down to the Lafayette Nature Trail. Campolindo Trail was very steep! The Nature Trail very busy! Aside from the good little workout, this trail offers grand views of Mt. Diablo to the east, surrounding residential neighborhoods, and the reservoir itself. I'm looking forward to completing the entire Rim Trail.
Lafayette Reservoir RIM trail:
This is definitely the more challenging and time consuming of the two walks/hikes here. I would get an early start if a warm day due to exposure. Very hilly, gravelly....Great work out. Keeps dogs on leash!
Wouldn't advise in wet or damp weather.
If I have done this once, I have done this 1000 times. This is in my own back yard, Lafayette. This is very east, a quick "just shy" 3 miles around. We actually start this endeavor in town, walk down Mt. Diablo Blvd and up into the Reservoir staging area, and then go around. I would go early to avoid the walking traffic, but a very pleasant, chatty crowd. Lots of seniors, children, power walkers and dogs. Great way to kick start a morning!
Great trail for all levels. Paved area leads you out of the parking lot (pay to park $3.00/2 hrs) and to multiple trail heads. Take the trail on the left at the 0.25 mile mark, for a more challenging hike with inclines, or stay on the paved 2.75 mile loop. The paved road has a few areas where you can turn off and take some detours with steep inclines. Great views from the top! It was fairly crowded on a Saturday, and difficult to find parking, but once you're on the trails, it's worth it.
I really love this trail, amazing place to run or hike! If you prefer to challenge yourself, definitely do the 4.69 upper Rim trail which is all dirt and up and down hills, it is softer on your feet if you are a runner. The lakeside trail is paved and much easier to run or walk on. Both trails have phenomenal views and nature sounds! Overall a great place to hike or run.
Loved this hike. Have a few spare hours? Easy morning hike! The paved way is definitely easier around the reservoir than the trail up into the hills but both are beautiful in it's own way! Challenge yourself and go clockwise up. I find it more challenging. Or go counter clockwise for an easier climb.