Looking for a great trail in Shell Ridge Open Space, California? AllTrails has 13 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 10 moderate trails in Shell Ridge Open Space ranging from 2.7 to 11.3 miles and from 141 to 908 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

trail running

walking

views

nature trips

dog friendly

bird watching

wild flowers

mountain biking

wildlife

kid friendly

Shell Ridge is the City of Walnut Creek's largest open space unit, with trails for biking, hiking and riding through oak woodlands and grassland savannah on the lower flanks of Mount Diablo. Shell Ridge gets its name from the marine fossils left behind when the ocean waters that once covered the area receded. Hours: 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset

Solid trail very wide open. Pretty dry this time of year without much shade.

hiking
28 days ago

Favorite park in the area as there are enough trails to change it up every visit; similar to Briones, but hills aren't as steep.

easy and breezy

Nice pleasant trail - more easy than moderate. Through fields (you might see cows though we didn’t) with rolling hills, wildflowers and some vista views. Dog (off leash) friendly! It is mostly in the open with limited shade so it can get hot and the trail itself dry and cracked.

hiking
no shade
over grown
2 months ago

Definitely a more moderate to difficult trail. Luckily I hiked on a day where it was about 73 out because there isn’t a ton of shade and there is a decent amount of hills. There are a ton of amazing beautiful wildflowers. But be very careful of all of the creatures on the overgrown trails. I saw snakes, lizards, huge beetles, flicked ticks off me, even startled a turkey vulture. I couldn’t believe all the people with dogs because there were so many foxtails out there, my socks were full within 10 minutes so I can’t imagine a dog’s fate. The views up on the ridge were just amazing, can’t beat them. I didn’t take the vertical part of the trail up the ridge but the bypass I felt was safer since I was alone, either way you end up there and it’s gorgeous. I will try it again, hopefully I won’t have to look at my map as much next time lol

mountain biking
muddy
washed out
2 months ago

Great hike. Nice views from the ridge line trail. Saw a big rattlesnake at the widest part of the my diablo section. Beginning part is overgrown

Easy 5 mile hike. Some tree cover which was nice on a hot sunny day like today. Not too much elevation change, it is gradual and manageable. Some parts of the trail are over grown.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
over grown
2 months ago

Excited to hike this dog friendly trail but the foxtails were four feet high and covering most of the trail. We also saw a couple ticks. Maybe a better hike later in summer when weeds aren’t full attack mode.

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

Great option on a weekend or after work and is only a few minutes from downtown Walnut Creek. I took the Twin Ponds Loop which is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near WC and is rated as moderate. Elevations - You will hike approx 1,200 feet up on this trail. The first couple miles are flat but the next 3 miles up hill. See a Suggestion- It's easy to get lost back here. Check All Trails for a map of Shell Ridge Terrain- The terrain on the first leg of the trip is on a fire road that is muddy in the spring. Once you start climbing up the trail you'll hit a tight trail with a few steep drop-offs and eventually end up back on another fire trail. Parking-We parked on the street at the Indian Valley Elementary School and did not have any issues. Restrooms and water - Nope! Bring suntan lotion and water! This is an open space and you'll def get toasty on a sunny day. Dogs are allowed and running around everywhere!

hiking
3 months ago

Nice day hike trail. Sits in the foothills of mount Diablo so it provides some great views of the mountain. Either side of the ridge are relatively steep but turns into easy rollers once on top. Also a great hike for your dog since they can explore off leash. Would recommend to someone who has already hiked the more popular trails in the area and needs a new, shorter hike.

The trail was great. The weather was awesome, deer was out. Dogs were off leash. Wasn’t too packed. We hiked approximately 5 miles.

Nice trail!

Went out with my partner and our pups. This is a hidden gem,m. The ground was a little soft with the rain from a couple days ago. I highly recommend counter clockwise, as the hills going up that way are more spread out and kinder. We spotted deer, tadpoles, cows, goats and lots of birds. Everything was so lush and beautiful. This is also a shared trail with bicyclists. The foot and bike traffic even on a Saturday was so minimal which made for a lovely quite hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing

Gorgeous little hike on a beautiful evening ended with the full moon display. The trails were not too muddy considering the earlier rain showers we had in the day. This time of the year is so beautiful and green at Shell Ridge!

hiking
muddy
rocky
5 months ago

gorgeous trail, a little muddy with the recent rain, but nothing to get hung up on.

Well marked, lightly trafficked trail. Part of the Walnut Creek Shell Ridge Recreation Area Open Space. Can be muddy in rainy season. Lots of connecting trails.

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

Great hike! Can keep it easy and stay on the main trail or make it hard and climb up to the top of the ridge. Lots of different trails. Kind of muddy in places after all the rain but very green!

I was curious to see the smoky air from a higher vantage point . went hiking with a mask on because of the smoke from all the CA fires. the air quality was very unhealthy. It looks like an alien landscape from the drought. The ground is cracked up like a giants puzzle. everything is dried out, looking like The aftermath of an apocalypse. Needless to say I was the only one hiking out there today.

Easy trail to hike. A perfect next door get away 10 min from home. Walked at leisurely pace and completed under 3.5 hours. The dogs loved every minute of it!

I love this trail which is quite shaded if you take the left side of the loop starting at Twin Ponds.

Great hike with varied terrain, areas of bright sun as well as shaded stretches. It’s a rolling hills ascent, so I never felt like I was just climbing without an end in sight. My dog loved it, jumped in the mud pond and the cattle water, and overall got very happily dirty. Definitely will do again. For us, it was 6.1 miles in about 2.5 hours.

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