Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in East Bay Municipal Utility District Lands (EBMUD) with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
muddy
over grown
6 days ago

We hike this trail in reverse and out and back so would rate it double hard. Total distance was 22.7 miles with almost 6,000’ elevation gain.

We started Las Trampas Staging Area at the Bollinger Canyon Road (37.81605, -122.04979) near Danville. Hiked up on the fire road to the Rocky Ridge Loop Trail (EBMUD). We then took the Ramage Peak Trail to the Riley Ridge Road, and the Ramage Trail all the way to the Chabot Staging Area at the Redwood Road and Miller Road in Castro Valley.

We took a short break at Chabot and traversed back to Las Trampas.

Some parts of the trail were muddy and been overgrown. This hike was hard but rewarding. It is hard not only because the elevation or the distance but the steep climb at the very end of the hike.

Make sure you have at least three litters of water and electrolytes. We were fast paced, average 20 minutes per mile, and it still took us more then 8 hours to complete.

hiking
bugs
muddy
8 days ago

hiking
bugs
10 days ago

hiking
muddy
11 days ago

Immediate surroundings were nice but the sound of traffic and powerlines in some areas detracted from the experience. Also Oursan trail near the spillway was not clearly marked.

hiking
muddy
16 days ago

hiking
muddy
23 days ago

Lots of steep hills, really beautiful. Also very muddy after all the rain, my waterproof hiking boots saved me a couple of times. Not many places to sit down and rest, so I did all without sitting and I am definitely feeling sore. Very few people until noon.

hiking
muddy
private property
29 days ago

I don’t know who created this trail route but there are a few things to be aware of. There are sections on the east side of the Lafayette Resevoir that are closed off to the public (yes I hopped some fences). The second is that large sections of the east side are grazing areas for cows so there is cow poop galore. When it rains like it has been lately, it’s a complete shit show for ~10 miles. Took me a little over 6 hours but never again for me. This trail should be removed from Alltrails due to many sections being off limit to the public.

Couple of steep spots and the view of the lake near the back is beautiful. If you add the little fire roaf loop up at the top I was at about 7.4miles. I will definitely be back.

The route was a bit muddy due to the winter rains. Overall very nice hike.

Did first 5 miles on a mild rainy day. Lovely up-and-down ramble through live oak cover. Didn’t see any other hikers on the trail. Need EBMUD permit.

Nice loop trail with rolling ups and downs. Went after a rainy week. There were really muddy parts of the trail that added to the difficulty. Really nice views and changing landscapes through the walk.

There is more shade on the east side of the loop vs the west side, so plan accordingly for which way to do the loop (go clockwise for less shade at the start and more at the end or counterclockwise for more shade at the start and less at the end).

bird watching
5 months ago

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.

walking
5 months ago

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
5 months 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.

bird watching
6 months ago

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.

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

Definitely a hike to go on if you want some sunshine, some shade, a nice trail with mild inclines and water (reservoir) to see along the way. Not sure why this was rated as “hard”. We’d give it a moderate. You can hike as far as you want, and then go back the same way, tailoring the hike to the length of time you desire. We didn’t do the full hike around the reservoir due to time constraints. Bring water and WATCH OUT for poison oak along the sides of trail.

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
8 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 shooting range has closed

I've been wanting to do this one for a while as it connects two parks that I've extensively hiked and I wanted to see what lies in the open space between them. Rampage Peak Trail was recently (as of summer 2018) added to the All Trails map layer. I had hiked a little bit of it on the Las Trampas Side, but it wasn't clear at the time where it went if I continued south. The trail was rated as easy, but the remoteness and elevation gain would rate it as a hard trail in my opinion.

I did the hike solo on July 4th. I wouldn't recommend doing this as I didn't see any other hikers for almost 10 miles from when I left the Chabot Staging Area until I got to Rocky Ridge in Las Trampas. And I went for long stretches without cell service, which would have put me in a precarious position if something went wrong. I didn't do the point to point as I'm a glutton for punishment and didn't feel like dealing with the logistics. So it was round tripper for me. I also didn't see anyone on my return trip from Rocky Ridge to the Chabot Staging Area. You're really off the beaten path on this one. This is basically the most remote hike you can do in the east bay hills. So if you're not comfortable hiking for hours without any signs of human life, then this isn't the hike for you.

You'll need a permit for this one to pass through the EBMUD lands. There's a sign-in at the Chabot Staging Area. Funny thing, I don't think I've ever seen a sign in on the Las Trampas side. Also, no dogs or bikes are allowed. This is strictly for hikers. I wouldn't recommend taking a dog anyway as I was walking through a lot of foxtail. It was all over my pants and socks. I had to keep stopping and picking things out. The trail is overgrown at parts because it isn't well traveled. That's why I didn't rate it very high.

But if you want to really challenge yourself, then this is the trail for you. I was even thinking of tacking on an up & down on the Las Trampas ridge before turning around to try to crack the 8000 ft elevation mark that has eluded me, but I was feeling a little out of shape that day having not done any long hikes for a couple months.

I saw some wildlife along the way. There were the usual suspects - deer, wild turkeys - but I also came across a wild pig and it's piglet, a fox, and a snake. And there were a lot of birds of prey around Rampage Peak.

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

hiking
10 months ago

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

Easy flat 5 hrs long loop around the Briones reservoir. Few nice lookouts from El Sobrante ridge. Be aware of lots of ticks on this trail hiding on tall grasses. Best for early morning before sun heats up the area

hiking
Sunday, April 22, 2018

Spring hiking

Nice long hike - 5.5 hours. I hiked in the rain today to test out my gear for an upcoming trek. Canopies, views, meadows and a little water fall. Truly amazing. I agree with others that this is a moderate hike vs hard. Highly recommended.

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