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

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.

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!

6 months ago

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

Great hike, keep an eye on the map, because it's easy to switch on a another trail without noticing it! But really nice one, super green right now! Warm and sunny!

8 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.

8 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

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.

The very last part of the Ridge Top Trail part of this loop was fenced off, so had to double back and take the bypass trail. Apart from that great hike and phenomenal 360 views from the ridge top.

Good trail, strenuous at times. Excellent views to go with a nice workout.

trail running
Saturday, June 03, 2017

This was a phenomenal trail! Breathtaking (both from the steepness and view) when you step onto the top of the ridge and have 360 degree views. The only part I didn't like was the paved road that brings you off the ridge if taking the loop in a counter clockwise direction. I will definitely be taking this trail again.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Great rewards! I started this trail at a Howe Homestead park. Right from the start you have a nice up to get your heart racing. Once you get past the houses and to the top of the first ridge you can stay on top of the ridge to the left, or continue down The trail, which I did. Eventually, staying to the left I took the Shell Ridge Trail. The beautiful views all around me was well worth the non stop ups! I stopped and turned around after I got to the top of the third ridge. I was on a time limit that day and wasn't sure I had enough time to finish the loop. I will hike this trail again, maybe from a different starting point. I was told by a local that a few of the ladies in the Howe Park were responsible for the open space. Also, these connecting trails will take you from city land to county land to state land if you have the time to walk it! Enjoy!

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.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Great hike to do with the doggie. Easy to find!

trail running
Sunday, October 02, 2016

Kovar trail is mostly uphill and then you drop down into Indian Valley and head back uphill to Ridge Trail. It's a great hike/run if you're training hills but not much shade so plan for that. All the uphill is worth it because running on top the hill on Ridge trail is really cool.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Evening hike on the peaceful trails of Indian Valley and Shell Ridge, enjoyed the sunset on the way back to the trailhead and saw some deers along the way.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Nice paved road, great view, dog friendly, what else can I ask for?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Beautiful nice long trail but not moderate

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Excellent hike - great workout!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lots of cows so be careful if you have a dog. Very pretty the pond was nice and cool.

Its easy and beautiful!

Saturday, June 06, 2015


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