Explore Winter Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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I did this trail but started at alpine lake took the trail counter clockwise, the trail up winds in and out of large beautiful trees and many creek crossings, and waterfalls. nice wooden bridges to keep you from getting wet even during rainy seasons. Once you get to the top, the trail loses its beauty and other hikers disappears going down.
There is a creek crossing just past the lake that you might run into trouble during rains there is no bridge.

Out visiting from Colorado and we were jonsin for a hike. Born and raised in the Walnut Creek area but never visited Briones before. Took a family visit to go here. Enough history...great hike. Secluded even though you are minutes from town and very easy up and town trail that meanders through the woods. Highly recommended.

One of the best hikes I’ve done in Mt Tam. You will go though many different types of forest and nature. The lake is really beautiful about halfway through.

We took a couple of detours and made it closer to a 12 mike hike in about 4 hours.

Highly recommend.

Hiked this trail today with my pup (Sep 15). Great weather and had large sections of the trail where I couldn't see or hear anyone. It felt very secluded and had great views throughout, which I loved. Solid workout (~3hrs/1000 cals) and it had inclines/declines throughout. Plenty of lizards and cows. Bikers and horses on trail. Plenty of parking and $3 park entrance fee. Out in the open for majority of trail. Wear trail shoes or hiking boots.

hiking
2 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

Did counterclockwise. Highlight is the alpine lake. Pristine and not even a single soul nearby as I hiked this in the evening. I had a constant fear of mountain lion as there is a sign which said "avoid hiking alone". Nevertheless, found lot of people near cataract falls. Moderate hike.

Great trail, long but not too hard for us, we went anti-clockwise.There is not too much water at the fall but the lake is nice to have a meal break. There are several restrooms at picnic area along on the trail. We started at 9 am and completed at 1:30 pm. Dog, Cat, Crocodile friendly, not so much bugs or mosquitoes. Go early and park your car under big tree. I am kidding about the crocodile anyway.

Pretty chill hike, pack water if it’s summer bc it can get hella hot

Using this exact route we chose to go East first.

Starting at 9am on a Saturday, we saw only about 12 people in total until about the 6 mile mark.

The trail is beautiful but not in a scenic vista way. You will constantly have shade and a limited view of the path before and behind you as it is well grown bushes and trees as well as numerous turns.

We didn't see much wildlife but the manzanitas are amazing as well as the redwoods here and there.

The lake is a nice serene spot to have a small break. No bugs or mosquitoes.

The path is well marked but bring your map on the app as it did help. Also, it is well maintained but there is a lot of erosion which means you will need to concentrate on your steps for most of the entire hike...so a lot of engagement with the path.

If you do this exact hike, if you are just in average shape, it will be hard. If less than average shape, it will be strenuous. If in good shape it will be a good long exhausting hike.

This was a pretty okay trail. A little rocky in certain places but some nice views. It as about 10 degrees warmer there than the weather app said so dress in layers! Good thing is not a ton of traffic but the trails could have been marked better.

hiking
4 months ago

A decent hike with a variety of terrain and amazing panoramic views. The first 3 miles were relatively easy, and mostly shaded. The last two miles were a lot of elevation gain. The ground was often rocky and uneven for large areas of the path.

Great trail on the mountain I lived in the shadow of for 25 yrs. Several others that are better but still memorable. Best done in the spring ...

4 months ago

Depending on which way you go, this hike was hard. We got lost so we ended up doing about a six mile hike that was suppose to be four miles. Be sure to remember your route or use the all trails tracker. Overall, it was a great experience.

I lived in the bay area for over 10 years growing up, with Mt Diablo always looming over me, reminding me how small I truly am in this world. After moving away, i had to go back to conquer this beast, and she was well worth the trip! Stunning views, changing climates, the day I chose was misting for a good half of the hike, and the rest was up in the clouds above the rest of the earth. Unfortunately, there was a rather large parking lot greeting me at the top, but nothing could shake the accomplished feeling of defeating Mt Diablo. Onto the next challenge!

The trail hiking wasn’t too hard mission peak felt harder. What was harder was figuring out what was the trail in certain areas. Without AllTrails I would have been lost so many times!

Fair to moderately complex hike with beautiful views. It earns the moderate complexity from loose gravel, large rocks, and some steep grades. However these are all intermittent and are easily traversed. I recommend a pair of trekking poles to navigate these areas more easily. Some of the views along this trail are absolutely stunning, and the change in scenery and microclimates as you hike are really fascinating. The fog adds an extra layer of beauty if you go before noon.

If you’re trying to access the trailhead from the Mount Tamalpais parking lot, you will need to walk down the road a little bit to find it. It is clearly marked with a trail marker. Note that you will need exact change ($8 cash, USD—foreign currency not excepted) to park in the parking lot. I tracked my hike with an app and it measured just over 5 miles. Not sure if it was me wandering around too much or if the measurement is off.

5 months ago

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

Lovely trail challenging enough to feel like a good work out. If you go counterclockwise the majority of the elevation gain is done in the shade. Nice views of Mt Diablo and the East Bay.

Beautiful hike, waterfalls, lush ferns to manzanita, views of the lake. Mostly shaded all the time.

The trail wound sharply at spots with varied amounts of shade - some spots were very shady, and some spots were in the full sun on this clear, sunny, hot summer day. The foliage was a mix of medium-size and large trees with some brush and bushes mixed in. Encountered some redwood groves too. The view from the mid-peak is stunningly beautiful, as is the view from the nearby fire tower (not part of the trail). Make sure to buy a more detailed map at the visitor's center near the parking lot or use an app like Gaia. The free map from the visitor's center is not detailed enough and may lead you in the wrong direction. Overall we had a wonderful day!

Did this hike Thursday. We started from the Fairfax trail head worked our way up the falls around to the Kent trail. Took our time and explored each waterfall. Ended up being 12.2 miles only because we kept exploring. Great hike!

hiking
5 months ago

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

great hike today, still some water flow in the falls, my Fitbit said 10.5 miles. went clockwise parking at Rock Spring. trailhead starting with the Cataract trail, lunch break at Alpine Lake which was a nice unexpected surprise to see on this hike. Nice and cool in the trees even though we worked up a sweat on the Kent trail!

Took this hike yesterday and although we hoped for warm, it was quite foggy and cool. Don’t be scared off by the Rock Springs parking lot - we thought the trail would be packed. True the downward hike was busy but once we turned off at alpine lake and came back up - and I do mean up- the Kent trail we ran into only a few folks.
The wildflowers, especially iris, were out in full force, Got to see a little newt and a frog!
Great variety of flora and geology - a most highly recommended hike!
From a 57 year old and 23 year old daughter!

Did the Seabord to Crest loop and it was spectacular. Small creek, so many beautiful wild flowers phenomenal views. Great workout. Lots of steep up and downs. Nice trail. I would suggest staying in the trail. We took my dogs and went off trail for picnic and came out covered in nettles and ticks so that was a bit of a nuisance to have to pick off, but if you stick on the trail should be fine.

Park easy to find - heads up gates dont open until 8AM however parked down the street at Bear Creek staging area. Trail in good condition however you need long pants the first 1 mile - fairly overgrown. Steep on the font end but levels out. Very nice views - very little coverage Didnt see anyone until mile 6 however was on trail at 630

Had a blast on the trail. It wasnt too hard and the trail is well marked and the people on the trail were friendly. Just be advised when you reach the summit you will be greeted by a parking lot full of non-hikers and tourists. Overall a good hike.

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