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Murietta Falls Trail [CLOSED] is a 11.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Livermore, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 11.8 mi Elevation gain 4,176 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Horseback riding

Nature trips

Running

Lake

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Closed

Description
Waypoints (11)
Facilities
Contact
Tips

Note: This trail is currently closed due to COVID-19. The Ohlone Wilderness Trail, is only open to hikers and horses with a permit. This scenic hike explores sections of the Del Valle Regional park and the Ohlone Regional Wilderness. The waterfall is worth the effort! Start at Lichen Bark and take the Sailor Camp Trail. This turns into the Ohlone Trail. Remember to sign in! Head towards Stewart's Camp A tough-but-rewarding hike to the San Francisco Bay Area's highest waterfall. It takes strong legs and an even stronger sense of humor to take on the trek to Murietta Falls. If you can laugh off the prospect of hiking six miles one way with over 4,000 feet of ascent for a waterfall without any actual water in it, you have a strong chance of enjoying this hike. Murietta Falls is a remote, rocky slit in the backcountry between Fremont and Livermore on the eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. At an elevation of just under 3,000 feet, it's the highest waterfall in the region. The East Bay hills are bone dry three-fourths of the year, except in the winter, when Pacific storms turn many dry creeks into wet gushers. One of those creeks pours over Murietta Falls. Even at maximum flow, the waterfall is so-so. The hike, however, is excellent. Two beastly climbs top out on ridges overlooking some of the wildest country in this part of California. In late winter and early spring, the hills turn a shimmering green dotted with an impressive array of wildflowers. Add in the ego boost from conquering one of the Bay Area's toughest hikes and you'll soon forget you came to see a waterfall.

Start at the Lichen Bark Staging area, parking is nearby

East Bay Regional Parks page for Ohlone Trail http://www.ebparks.org/parks/ohlone EBRPD page for Del Valle Regional Park http://www.ebparks.org/parks/del_valle Online map of Ohlone Wilderness Trail http://www.ebparks.org/files/parks/ohlone/ohlone_permit_4500w_32c.gif

This hike is not for rookies -- it's very strenuous. Best time to see the waterfall is after several days of rain in mid to late winter. Note the storms will make the trails very muddy, so try to give the trails a couple days to dry. Next best time is the peak wildflower season of March and April, when the hills are a shimmering green. It's too hot in the East Bay hills to try this hike in the summer, but autumn is fine (of course the falls will be dry). Fees, regulations: You must purchase an Ohlone Wilderness Trail Permit -- $2 at the gate of Del Valle Regional Park. Parking fee is $6 (prices as of summer 2010). Your permit -- good for a year -- is also a map of the entire Ohlone Wilderness Trail. When you buy the permit, ask when park closes, and time your hike to finish before the park's gates are closed. What to bring: Clothing in layers -- it's often very blustery on the high ridges. Rain gear in winter and early spring. Water filter or purifier. Snacks for energy Sunscreen

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Reviews (276)
Photos (954)
Recordings (343)
Completed (518)
Farhan T.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 09 2020
HikingFee

lots of uphill in the first half and downhill on the way back. But overall nice workout.

View Farhan's Recording
Niko Kingi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Feb 01 2020
Hiking

2/1/20 - Great workout with decent scenery, but the falls were unimpressive. Started at 11:30 and finished at 17:45, with a 15 min break at the falls. Gates to the parking lot close at 6pm, so be sure to give yourself enough time to get back. I'd recommend the East Shore Trail that begins from the Arroyo Rd Staging Area (North Lake Del Valle) over this trail. However, the sunset views from the drive out of the park are awesome.

bodhi m
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jan 29 2020
HikingFee

All up, or all down with not much in between. The falls are still flowing.

T.J. Edwards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jan 27 2020
Scramble

This trail is marked hard, for good reason. Constant incline then decline. on some declines the areas can be a little rocky so watch your footing. There are a few decent stops a long the way, but be sure to set a pace if you don't want to spend an entire day on this trail. I started at 8am and was finished at 2pm. Overall hard, but rewarding hike.

Tyler Chuck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jan 25 2020
Hiking

A steep climb and a great workout. Felt a little dangerous going down the steep inclines, so having poles might be helpful. When you feel like you've almost reach the high elevation, you have to go down again before you go back up. Great for training the legs for steep climbs. The waterfall at the top doesn't have too much water flowing in it, but it is very cool to see as you approach it from the top.

Samuel Dickinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jan 20 2020
HikingMuddyNo shadeSnow

Hiked to the falls today. Great challenging hike with majority uphill to the halfway mark and downhill on the way back. One stream crossing and a good amount of mud from recent rains plus a bit of ice at higher elevation, boots are a must. The falls were flowing, and the return trip was triumphant. Clocked in around 12.8 miles with about 4,300 feet in elevation gain thanks to a detour on a neighboring trail. Lots of fun.

Nathan Tsang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 19 2020
HikingSnow

Hiked this trail today. There were few snow spots remained, the water was running on the waterfall. The total distance for our hike was 12.5 miles with 4,200 feet elevation gain. This is a strenuous hike so allow yourself at least 5 hours. We started at 8:30 am and completed at 2:30 pm. We got a good workout.

Barbara Buonauro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Dec 31 2019
HikingIcyMuddyNo shade

This Trail was pretty intense from the beginning its mostly up, some down to give you a short break, but then back up again. once almost there the trail looks like a dear path and was hard to find. Not really any water this time of year, so will be doing it again in march. Great workout though if your training for bigger and more strenuous activities.

Brandon Frederick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Dec 29 2019
Hiking

Attempted running this trail, turned into a slow hike on the way out and ran most the way back. The uphill was more than what I expected but a great trail overall. Plenty views of the surrounding cities and amazing mountain range scenery. Dog friendly! Finished 13.3 miles in 3:47:00 min.

Adrian Chavez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Dec 23 2019
HikingFee

12/21, Got on the trail about 7:45 a.m. and made it back to the parking lot by 3 p.m. went down to the base of the falls to have lunch. Using poles made the accents and descents manageable taking some of the stress off of the lower extremities. your quads, calves and possibly knees and hips will suffer. Saw Deer, Turkey, and a bobcat. Took my last sip of water as I got to the parking lot. (3 liter Camelback) I will bring more water next time and some electrolytes. 13.6 miles and over 5117' in total elevation. Gets windy on ridges and I was glad I had a lite balaclava and sweater. loved the challenge and solitude. Will do again!

Génevieve Tiangco
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 23 2019
HikingRockyScramble

Hiked sunrise to sunset! This trail is really no joke! As an avid hiker and backpacker, I have to say that this is the bay areas most difficult hike. Elevation increases immediately, and it feels like it doesn’t end. One really has to be in good shape and physically fit to trek this path! Also, I highly suggest good traction shoes and poles sticks. It’s really hard on the knees coming back down, lots of gravel, and you can easily slip. I fell a couple times, and by the end of the trek, my knees were jacked-up. Our trek totaled out 13.1 miles, 4,500 elevation, and 10 hours of moving time. Just be ready... Overall, I recommend this trail to anyone who is looking for a challenging and rewarding hike, totally worth it!

View Génevieve's Recording
Kailey Norris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 23 2019
HikingNo shadeOver grown

Oh my! This trail kicked my crews butt but we made it! It’s incline all the way up with a few sweet spots for what I call party time!! This time of year is the best time to hike because there is not much shade. I can imagine it’s a killer hike in the summer. It took us all day. We rested a lot in between. I would definitely hike again after some rain so I could actually see a waterfall. Coming down was really hard. The hill were steep! If you are looking for a challenging hike with beautiful scenery than this is a hike for you! Enjoy!

View Kailey's Recording
Evan Gruda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 02 2019
Hiking

Favorite trail I’ve done so far in California! I sprained my ankle on the way back so be careful. Was not as fun of a 6 mile descent but still beautiful!

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Noel Martinez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 12 2019
RunningRocky
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Tamlin Matthews
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Sep 22 2019
Hiking

Mostly sun exposed and a lot of swarming flies, but beautiful views of the landscape. Fall were dry (September). The sun made this hike especially difficult. There is an outhouse about half way, which is great.

Rodney Harrison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 14 2019
Hiking

This is an awesome trial for training for Spartan Racing. This is my second time here and it kicks my butt. As an adaptive Spartan this presents some good challenges for my prosthesis. I don't know hurts more the uphill or the downhill.

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Kunal Dixit
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Sep 14 2019
Hiking

collected the wilderness permits a day before. Started the hike early morning from Del Valle, east side. weather was very good in the morning hours. for first few miles, the elevation gain is ok to decent . After Byod's camp, post that you drop down several hundreds feet into the small creek. the real climb start after that. The grade is very steep at some places. COming down is tough on knees and needs good and careful footing. Since it was after the season, the falls were complete dry. Overall 16+ miles of hike with 4000+ feet of gain/loss. highly recommended for those who are training for a long haul!

Rodney Harrison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 31 2019
Hiking

Awesome sport for Spartan training. My buddy Jeff brought me here to hike. As an adaptive Para Spartan, this puts you to the test.

Rodney Harrison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 31 2019
HikingBugs

Awesome sport for Spartan training. My buddy Jeff brought me here to hike. As an adaptive Para Spartan, this puts you to the test.

View Rodney's Recording
S Gadam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 25 2019
HikingBugs

All the reviews are pretty accurate. In late August 90 degree heat, the only reason to do this hike is to train for half dome hike in a month. Otherwise, would not recommend it this time if the year. Mostly exposed so you will feel the heat. No poison Ivy this time of the year. The trail is well laid out with plenty of signs. Still useful to have all trails map downloaded as there a couple of places where you could get off-trail. Too many bugs, inspect spray, sun screen, sun glasses and a hat are a must

View S's Recording
Karthik Nagaraj
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Aug 15 2019
Hiking

Never thought I could do this trail but did it. and feel proud to have completed it.

Raman Dokka
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 11 2019
Hiking

One of the best trail to practice for quick elevation gains.. Carry enough water at least 2 liters. There is no waterfall at this time of year at the end of trail.

Sankararam Kausik Subramanian
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 30 2019
Hiking

It’s good practice hike for high elevation gains, we did around 4500ft gain. Recommend carrying 2-3L of water in the summer, there is no clean water source on the trail.

Ian Stern
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed May 29 2019
HikingMuddy

This trail starts right off with some good uphill grades for the first couple miles on what is more or less a fire road, then you give up about 500 of ft of elevation to reach the Creek, and once you cross that the trail turns into a narrow foot trail and you make another 1400 foot climb to reach the top of the ridge. We had rain on our hike which made it pretty slippery, but was still manageable. Overall a good hike for those who want to get some real elevation gain in their trek, probably just average from a scenic perspective. We used this as a local warm up hike with our full packs for some Sierra hikes coming up (Whitney).

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