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Murietta Falls Trail

HARD 18 reviews

Murietta Falls Trail is a 12.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Livermore, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

12.3 miles 4359 feet Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

The Ohlone Wilderness Trail, is only open to hikers and horses with a permit. This scenic hike explores sections of the Del Valle Regional park and the Ohlone Regional Wilderness. The waterfall is worth the effort! Start at Lichen Bark and take the Sailor Camp Trail. This turns into the Ohlone Trail. Remember to sign in! Head towards Stewart's Camp A tough-but-rewarding hike to the San Francisco Bay Area's highest waterfall. It takes strong legs and an even stronger sense of humor to take on the trek to Murietta Falls. If you can laugh off the prospect of hiking six miles one way with over 4,000 feet of ascent for a waterfall without any actual water in it, you have a strong chance of enjoying this hike. Murietta Falls is a remote, rocky slit in the backcountry between Fremont and Livermore on the eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. At an elevation of just under 3,000 feet, it's the highest waterfall in the region. The East Bay hills are bone dry three-fourths of the year, except in the winter, when Pacific storms turn many dry creeks into wet gushers. One of those creeks pours over Murietta Falls. Even at maximum flow, the waterfall is so-so. The hike, however, is excellent. Two beastly climbs top out on ridges overlooking some of the wildest country in this part of California. In late winter and early spring, the hills turn a shimmering green dotted with an impressive array of wildflowers. Add in the ego boost from conquering one of the Bay Area's toughest hikes and you'll soon forget you came to see a waterfall.

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
3 months ago

The Big Burn does have some really nice views along the way. Was very surprised to find water (Johnny's Pond) along the way, but the falls were bone dry at this time of year.

walking
6 months ago

It's was a cool hike...took eagles trail nice n easy...down side is hella cow shit but that didn't bother us, plus side I have a dog and everyone up there were really pet friendly. Bring water and bug spray.

6 months ago

What. A. Workout. This trail is definitely not an easy one. Most of the trail to the falls, which is ohlone wilderness trail, was incline. The entire thing was basically a roller coaster. The difficulty caught me and my dog off guard. Carry lots of water!!! As for the falls, I have seen better but it was still well worth the hike :)

9 months ago

Want to make one thing clear the actual Murrieta Falls trail is short and somewhat easy. I would not classify it as easy because you need to descend down a canyon with sharp slippery rocks and coming up is a workout. The oh Ohlone Wilderness Trail is the trail that gets you to this trail. And for sure it's difficult.

9 months ago

This for sure is not an easy hike. I have it at a 14 mile round trip distance. Two killer ridge line climbs make it not easy. However with that said I absolutely loved it. I was lucky to see it at high water capacity. The waterfall was drop dead gorgeous and well worth the effort. I will go back to my new favorite Bay Area hike for sure.

hiking
9 months ago

Great views, fantastic exploration, very easy walking. Trail is flat and wide (which I am not a fan of, but not letting it take away from the experience). If you start from the parking lot, the first 1-2 miles is a great workout of an uphill climb. Do yourselves a favor, and every once in a while look back, and hike off the trail for a bit. Great flowers and rock finds in this area.

10 months ago

I love it!! It was hard but I'd do it again. This is the best time to go. The waterfall was beautiful!!

camping
10 months ago

1 year ago

I want to know who rated this as Easy. This is arguably the hardest part of the Olone trail. And I've seen it rated as the hardest trail in the bay area.

hiking
1 year ago

Great hike - no water at the moment - history is interesting - found and old car on the side of the trail rusted away - must have been a road at one point. Be careful on rock edge when wet -

fly fishing
2 years ago

pzes

hiking
2 years ago

Started 11am today. Even with the recent rain, the falls were not flowing. Still, a great work out, nothing is flat.
I pushed on to Rose peak, which was a mistake as I didn't get back to my car until 6:15, luckily the gates hadn't closed yet.

hiking
3 years ago

A lot of work, but you grab some nice views. There is a nice place to sit at the top of the waterfall if you go off trail. A little chilly, but working up the trail warms you up in the winter.

hiking
4 years ago

The previous review, by Karen, was very accurate! I think it's good to mention, the falls are completely dry this time of year. If you want to see water flowing and avoid the blazing summer heat, it's best to hike this in the winter or early spring. This is quite a workout, old knees will take a beating with the steep descent back. Plenty of water or a good filter is recommended.

4 years ago

This is for sure one of the hardest trails in the bay area; harder than the 12 mile single track hike on the north side of Mt. Diablo. Super steep, super hot and super relentless. Going back down was pretty painful because it was so steep. I also ran out of water which was a first. Great hike though but not on my list of hikes to do again. Thanks for you detailed guide as it was really helpful.

hiking
4 years ago

Difficult,steep rise at first and then evens out to the ridge and then falls down only to rise up to the falls. Surprise ups and downs, but yet completely worth it. Give ya the sense of accomplishment when your legs start crying for help :). Worth repeating for health and nice view reasons.

hiking
6 years ago

I've done the Sunol-Ohlone trail numerous times. This trip is fire road for the first 2 miles (unless you park in the "overflow" parking for the campgrounds... then you can take a single track the first mile- Vellacitos Trail, before you get to the sign-in panel. All up hill without a break for an elevation gain of about 1200. Then you are at Rocky Ridge, with great views. Then down 500' to Williams Gulch.... now single track through the "Big Burn"...which is all uphill on switchbacks for an elevation gain of 1800 feet to Schliepers Rock. It is also loaded with poison oak and some really overgrown areas. Now you are back on fireroad again. Most of the uphill is done at this point. Then past Johnny's pond, right to Murietta Falls.

I do this hike to Schliepers Rock 4-5 times a year. Schliepers is about 10 miles round trip, Murietty falls about 14.