Briones Crest Trail and Valley Loop Trail

MODERATE 56 reviews
#6 of 34 trails in

Briones Crest Trail and Valley Loop Trail is a 6.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Martinez, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

6.8 miles
1,184 feet

dog friendly

kid friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running




wild flowers


Trail loop from the Bear Creek entrance up to Briones Crest Trail and back. Staged out of the Bear Creek Entrance on Bear Creek Rd., approx 6 miles from Orinda. Large parking and picnic areas, great gravel lot for horse trailers, All the trails in this guide are fire roads with great footing and lots of room for all. Dogs are allowed in the park but must be under control at all times. Also note that this is a grazing park and you will encounter cattle at certain times of the year. Do not bother them and you will be fine. Start by heading east out on Old Briones Rd. trail, this was the original road for the ranchers back in the day. Trail follows Bear Creek for a way, easy riding/walking. Ride/hike out to the cattle pens where Old Briones Rd intersects with Valley trail. Take a right through the gate onto Valley trail. Valley trails winds through the valley, past the cattle pond, and through ground squirrel heaven (if on horseback, do not recommend trotting or faster due to squirrel holes!) before a short ascent to the Briones Crest trail. This part of the trail can be very muddy and slippery when it's been raining as it's in the shade and next to the creek. At the intersection take a left onto Briones Crest Trail and begin a gradual ascent to the ridge top. The trail winds through the trees with several blind corners. Watch for bicyclists, they are usually very courteous but better safe than sorry. Once you reach the top continue on around to the left on Briones Crest trail. Enjoy the fantastic views of Concord, Walnut Creek area and Suisun Bay to the east. You can even see Mt.Diablo and the Mothball Fleet! To the west enjoy views of the park and EBMUD watershed. Continue on the Briones Crest trail and enjoy the rolling hills typical for this area. You will pass several lagoons that have been fenced in to protect the natural habitat. When you reach the intersection with Abrigo Valley trail, take a left and head down to the valley below. One short section of this descent is very steep and can be slippery in wet condition. Once in the valley meander through the valley floor. You will pass a couple youth camps, if not occupied you can stop and take a break. You will end up back at the parking/picnic area. Hope you enjoyed your trip!

4 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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

9 months ago

Beautiful hike! A good way to start the new year!

Monday, August 07, 2017

Phew, that's a long one. Bring water.

Friday, July 14, 2017

An enjoyable 8+ mile loop with easy to moderate hills. The valley section is partly wooded, partly open range with lots of cows about. Atop the crest, the views of Martinez, Benicia and the Suisun Bay are beautiful. The trails consist of fire roads and heavily used tracks, mostly in good condition but with one or two washed out areas.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Great long hike. Not much shade. Lots of beautiful wildflowers. Lots of cows grazing at the beginning. Good views.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

nice hiking for all ages wanting to break into the hiking craze.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The trails were wide and well marked. There are plenty of the fabulous views of the open spaces, Mt. Diablo and the watershed. No much shade on the trails but thanks for the cool winds from the Bay making it a pleasant hike.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Very nice foothill hike best done in spring but very good in fall or winter. I've done every inch of Briones multiple times and if you pay attention there is a couple of good single tracks that aren't on any maps... Great place to get the dogs out for a run... Pretty good views up top.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Lot of sun, for a long hike, but decent

Monday, May 23, 2016

beautiful views of CoCo County. Easy, bring water

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fun easy hike with dec views of the bay.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Great views, wide open space, nice wild flowers. Start early in the summer as it gets Hot and there is not much shade. We will go back in the fall and winter.

28 days ago

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7 months ago

trail running
7 months ago

11 months ago

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