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Definitely higher end of moderate with the first 2 miles being uphill and even the downgrades are steep (and skinny in some places). My lower half is feeling it today! The mud wasn’t too bad and the cows were very cute and calm. A tree is down in the middle of Virgil but a clear path is there. Amazing views and the weather was perfect!

7:10 at the Trailhead. OMG Cold! This was our fastest time on this loop. 2:45 min. We did not pass a single person on the trail. The parking lot was empty. I guess the poor air quality from the fires is keeping everyone away. Seen a Peregren Falcon, Redtail hawk, and Wood Ducks in the creek. Also walking thru a ravine at about the 2.2 mile marker, had coyotes, several of them howling to each other on each side of the ravine. Super intense. Love this hike.

It’s a nice trail. Must be very hard to do it in summer as it gets very hot! Bring plenty of water and sunscreen.

trail running
1 month ago

This is a regular run for me. I usually start from the far end at Rancho Laguna Park and run counter clockwise to hit the big hill first. If time permits I might add on the Rimer Creek trail or continue on to Redwood Park. Great run most of the year, but can get muddy in winter and early spring. I’ve run it in all twelve months.

We hike every weekend and this is our favorite hikes. It's a good hike, your tired when your done. Most of all there are very few people. I think because you need a permit it may keep some away. We hike in a clockwise direction so we are in the shade for the back half of the hike. The first half is exposed, and you get the climb out of the way early. It also seems like the hikers on this trail are experienced hikers looking for solitude, not the Lafayette Reservoir loud mouths.

Right now in October there is a ton of wildlife. I seen two large Coyotes and many bird species, too many to count. Wood Ducks are kind of rare and they are always there. Always the white Pelicans, Cormorants, many waterfowl species, Red-tail Hawks, Canadian Geese and Song birds.

Easily one of the best three hour hikes in the East Bay. You can bring your dog. Start early to avoid the heat.

It is hard to find so don’t give up! Park on the street and make ur way to the trail GPS spot. You will see the post and know ur in the right spot. Enter to the left of a corner driveway.

The trail is pretty open. I missed a turn or two and took a longer path back to the start. It was good thou. Those trails are more covered and were more fun than an open path. All in all....pretty good.

Yellow jackets!!!
Rattlesnakes!!!
Ticks!!!

Nice wide trail.

Holy tamoly. This hike is how my husband and I discovered the difference between “easy” and “moderate” trails.
The first half of this loop (leaving from the small parking lot heading straight up the hill) was nice. But all of the sudden once we crossed the bridge at the golf course ALL shade went away and it was COMPLETELY UPHILL. 22 degrees!!!! To be fair, my husband and I are not avid hikers, but we are also not out of shape. We were dying the 45 minutes it took to walk straight up.
SO my suggestion is to 1) walk the opposite way that we did (from the parking lot, walk TOWARDS/thru the golf course) and 2) pack a lunch so you can rest and make a nice trip out of it.
There is a comment somewhere on this thread that it is a “nice 1.5 hour hike” so we only had water with us...It took us 2.5 hours.
Anyways. We’re proud that we finished (not that we had the option of turning around), but won’t be doing this again any time soon!

hiking
3 months ago

Did this hike again about 2 weeks back.. good trail about 5 Miles round trip. Going up went through the left side from the trail head to the Bollinger Creek Trail a paved trail to the top of the peak.. Took about 1 hr 30mins going up. Great views of Moraga, Orinda, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, and Mount Diablo. On the way back coming down took the Chamise trail a true narrow trail over the ridge. Took about 1 hr 30 mins to get down..nice lil hike

hiking
3 months ago

it’s a nice trail. I don’t think it’s moderate, it’s closer to “hard” in my opinion. about 60% shade, but otherwise no shade at all. hiked during noon-3pm and 87F, doable but was hoping for more shade

Beautiful vistas!

steep start but levels out, beautiful views amd changes between in the sun and under tree cover

Here's another vote for going clockwise and knocking the hardest hill out early in the hike. You need a permit which you can purchase online from EBMUD for $3. Beautiful views of the hills with lots of birds and lizards. I didn't see anyone else on the trail, although I did go mid-day on a hot Thursday. Big chunks of the trail don't have much shade so bring sunscreen, and plenty of water, especially if you go in the summer.

hiking
3 months ago

Really good moderate level hike.. as recommended start ur hike from the left side and then hike towards the lake so that u get the steep part early in the hike.nice views of the reservoir.. Part shade.. Start early so that it is not very hot. Nice clean wide trail. Use Alltrails to map urself on trail. Not many people on this trail.. It says u need EBMUD permit to hike here. Good31/2 hr hike.

Awesome trail!

The views were nice and nice spots to stop for a snack.

Parking: There are about 40 car parking spots. And when that fills up, there is plenty of parking on the side of the road.

When you start your hike at Nimitz way, you start off on paved road. This goes on for a while and I didnt really like this part. Walking on paved road doesnt feel like hiking. At one point you well see a trail on the left with a board which says "Rotary club ". Take that route. We missed this and ended up going somewhere else. Added 2 extra miles to our hike. Then you continue on Wildcat Peak Trail. Its winding and narrow and downhill. Make sure you wear pants and full sleeved clothing. Next comes the Jewel Lake. We came across a deer there! Next we ended up in Tilden Nature Area and we went to the visitor center. Here is where we deviated from the trail mentioned in AllTrails (And trust me it was worth it!). They told us to take the Wildcat Gorge Trail (instead of Meadow Canyon Trail). The Gorge trail was so beautiful as it runs parallel to the creek! A decent amount of people hike this trail. And there are a lot of dogs. This connects to the Curran Trail and we head back to inspiration point. The Curran Trail is a bit steep. I'd say this last part was moderate to hard.

It was a nice hike. Except when we missed the left and kept going on the wrong path. The paved roads at the beginning are a buzzkill but trust me it gets much better!

6 months ago

Nice trail with great view of San Francisco city and Salesforce tower :-)

Lots of cow paddies but now cows. Definitely go clockwise. Some bugs due to proximity to the water.

Gorgeous. Amazing views, moderate effort with the hills, varied scenery—tree shaded area, rolling hills, etc.

mountain biking
6 months ago

Hard if you are not in shape but the trail is in very good shape. Enjoyed the views!!

hiking
6 months ago

Challenging, great with dogs, bring lots of water, not much shade

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike, especially during spring time. Lots of wildflowers along the path.

Spring hiking

hiking
8 months ago

First mile (and last mile) really muddy - but loved the hike - great workout for the first 2+ miles and amazing views. Needed to cross 3 very small streams so shoes got a little wet

Perfect 1.5 hour hike with varied terrain and beautiful views.

Wonderful trail. Took my friends that were not in shape... a little hard for them. (They are not hikers). Wear proper shoes. Beautiful trail full of redwoods.

hiking
9 months ago

I’d recommend clockwise first to knock out the big hill early. You’ll be able to take advantage of the shade alongside the lake on your way back. Quiet and far fewer people than Redwood.

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