Briones Reservoir Loop Trail

HARD 26 reviews
#7 of 30 trails in

Briones Reservoir Loop Trail is a 13.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Lafayette, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
13.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2135 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

washed out

no dogs

This loop, combining the Oursan and Bear Creek trails, is one of the longest in the region around Briones Reservoir. The route passes through a variety of terrain, from dense oak and bay forest near the reservoir's shore to open grassland high atop Sobrante Ridge. NOTE: Trail use permit required. Bicycles and dogs not allowed.

hiking
3 days ago

First long trail in a while. Finished the 13.5 mile trek in 5.5 hours without much difficulty. This is a lengthy trail but I wouldn't consider this hard, as the roads and trails were well maintained.
Some portions of route do not allow dogs, even on a leash, and we did come across a police officer who asked for our EBMUD permit.

hiking
4 days ago

excellent trail... challenging enough to make us work some but not so difficult as to be not enjoy overall distance and Beauty. phenomenal views worth the effort.
it is a long Hike and even being fit as well as an avid walker, took us 5.5 hours..... between the views, our own chatting and with others, pictures, snacks and stretching, be. prepared to give the time.
Inclines are there, as are snakes and the trail police so be wary. Don't go without Permit, which I bought and downloaded as we drove to trailhead from Berkeley.
dogs are allowed on parts of these trails but not all, so don't be fooled. lots of horse poop on trial so step carefully and we even finally saw an actual horse.

hiking
25 days ago

The terrain on this hike is actually moderate, but I’m guessing it was labeled as hard because of how long the loop is. It was nice to look out over the reservoir and I enjoyed the rolling hills, but I did get bored after a while especially while passing the quarry with a bunch of heavy machinery or whatever is going on there. It is currently January and some sections of the Oursan trail are quite muddy right now. Overall, s good work out but not the best of what the bay area has to offer.

2 months ago

You cannot follow this trail as described. At Hampton trail the loop dead ends. I jumped a fence and continued on the path for another mile but came across a second fence with a serious no trespassing sign. Had to turn back.

hiking
2 months ago

Great workout!! a small part of the loop is a private property. Bear Creek trail requires a permit. make sure you’ve acquired one before you go. This was a birthday hike for me today, November 23rd!!

10 months ago

Tricky to tell but pretty tough hike. Saw some common but fun wildlife including a couple small snakes and cute mole. Wouldn't necessarily do again even though near to my house, there are other more exciting hikes nearby

hiking
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

To do the entire trail you have to obtain a permit from EBMUD. Their office is by San Pablo reservoir and the permit is inexpensive and it's good for a couple of years. I've done this hike a few times and I've only seen a few people, all women, on the backside of the trail away from Bear Creek Rd. I rated it difficult only because of length. Not many people are prepared to do a hike this long. I've never had anyone else go along with me. There is all kinds of wildlife especially waterfowl and birds and the usual deer, coyotes, foxes and I've had a bobcat jump off a side hill about 20' in front of me as well. It would be best to take a friend along because of it remoteness and I've seen signs of mountain lions also. Take plenty of water, a permit and enjoy the hike. For safety there is a sign in board in the lower end of the lake when you go EBMUD property. This is a great fall through spring hike.

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18 days ago

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