Explore the most popular birding trails in Shell Ridge Open Space with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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.

This is the first hiking at Walnut Creek. It was better than I expected. Above all yellow grass was swaying. But there was little shade for me to take a rest for a while.

I liked the trail, but the heat was very tiring. There is practically no shade - keep that in mind.

This was so dry and hot Sept 1. Barely one good view.

Perfect for an end of the day walk that’s not too difficult. Look out for rattlesnakes and pollen in April and May

This is a great trail. We started at Indian Valley Elementary which I would recommend in the summer months because the climb to the Ridge Top offers little shade but once you get there it is full of great views and cooling breezes. The trail is "closed" and mile 3.1 on this map so technically you should take the Ridge Top Bypass at mile 3. We hopped the barrier because we did not want to backtrack and found the descent at mile 3.2 pretty challenging. The Twin Ponds section (5.2 and beyond) is beautiful and shaded. Lots of raptors and other birds and reptiles -- we were even treated to a California King snake!

love running here. beautiful place!

backpacking
8 months ago

Backpacking Day 1 of 3 Mt. Diablo Range. Walnut Creek (John Muir Hospital Trailhead) to Live Oak Campground (Mt. Diablo).

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful! It was a little confusing finding the start of the trail (we didn't know where to park), but it was a great 7 miles. Only one major uphill climb.

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing hike - especially in the morning before it gets busy. Can very different in the winter vs summer.
Lots of options on trails Trail in good condition and plenty of parking

If you want to feel that you are in the middle of the Swiss Alps without getting an air ticket, do this hike. It's one of my favorite hikes around. I would say its a Moderate+ but rewarding none the less.

It was beautiful! I went in the morning and loved it. The trail is really muddy, so make sure to bring extra shoes for when you finish.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Nice and close to town.

hiking
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Great trail for October ...

trail running
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Best for Trail Running! This trail is all dirt with minimal rocky patches. Rolling hills was able to sprint the downhills with no fear of rolling an ankle or hitting a hard rock. The ground felt cushioned beneath my feet. Scenery is rolling hills with chaparral oak trees scattered throughout. No shade so wear sunblock. Pretty fun trail. Came out to 4.97 miles on my Nike+ GPS tracker.

hiking
Sunday, May 21, 2017

Shell Ridge is close to home for me, so I've been here a lot, ever since I was a kid with my mom. I usually park at Indian Valley school and go from there. Lots of alternative routes you can take in here from fire trails to single-tracks.

hiking
Sunday, May 21, 2017

Nice hike, moderate, lots of wide fire trails or you can take off on a single-track. Lots of alternate routes you can take here.

The trail was closed at Borges Ranch and I had to turn back the way I came..

Also there isn't a lot of shade cover so I recommend sunscreen.

Lastly, There is an Elementary School at the trail head so traffic is crazy at 2:30 on a weekday. Plan accordingly.

mountain biking
Sunday, April 09, 2017

Still very muddy. Some nice views up on the ridge. Most of the trails on this track are single track and mountain bikes are not permitted, so I suggested an edit to remove that activity. The trails are very overgrown after the rainy season. I would wear long pants.

hiking
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Great hike in the winter - very green. Need long pants, at least on this trail and in the winter - cant believe how high the grass has grown. In the Summer very dry and dusty but in March - green & great. Keeping it from a 5 - on parts of the hike you can hear the highways in the distance - not bad - but noticeable. Also a little crowded for me - not Mission Peak crowded but few more people than I like.

walking
Saturday, March 18, 2017

Great place to walk. Watch out for rattlesnakes though! Also be sure to bring lots of water! This is a pretty big loop and lots of hills

trail running
Monday, March 13, 2017

Great trail and so green now, trail is even grown over but it makes for reduced impact when running. Don't expect to speed through it because there's a good amount of climbing, it's a good mix of climbing/downhill/flat and running on the top of the ridge was awesome.

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. Little muddy in the shaded spots.

I really enjoyed this hike. A good easy-moderate hike. A bit of a workout but not too hard. And you pass through Borgess Ranch where you can see and pet animals! Kind of muddy in places after all the rain but very green!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Beautiful views and first time around was easy to hike and to navigate and did I mention the views? The sky's are big and wide from the top of the hill. Can't wait to try this trail in the spring.

hiking
Monday, December 26, 2016

Great easy/moderate hike. Went about 45 min in and the same back out. Not very many people. Beautiful rolling hills, oaks, and rocky edges.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Avoid in rainy days.

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