Ringtail Cat, Madrone, Las Trampas Ridge and Corduroy Hills Loop

HARD 47 reviews
#1 of 25 trails in

Ringtail Cat, Madrone, Las Trampas Ridge and Corduroy Hills Loop is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Alamo, California that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as difficult and offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,909 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

trail running

views

wildlife

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness offers a true sense of wilderness in the Bay Area, with an expanded trail system that allows hikers to enjoy its remote and rugged areas. The park’s size and terrain allow visitors a feeling of privacy and escape from urban hustle and bustle. Two major Bay Area faults helped form the steep and rocky hills. This geologically diverse park contains a great variety of rock, from volcanic Pinole Tuff, to metamorphic, fossil-bearing El Sobrante formation, to the ancient beach and shoreline sandstone of the Orinda formation. If you stay vigilant, you may see a fossil on the Las Trampas Ridge Trail. Be sure to carry plenty of water; the park’s water supply is inconsistent, and water may be unavailable at any time. This route explores the northern portion of the park. The trails traverse a variety of terrains from flat grasslands, shaded woodlands, and beautiful, rolling ridgeback hills. This route offers scenic views of the surrounding areas. There are no bathrooms or water at the staging area or along the route, so please come prepared. Park at Ringtail Cat Staging Area, and enter the park through the fence opening, making a left onto Ringtail Cat Trail. Go through a gate, bearing left at the next trail post, and continue to ascend on Ringtail Cat Trail. At the next trail post, you will continue straight onto the Madrone Trail. Follow Madrone past the next trail post, staying to the right. Remain on Madrone Trail for just over 2 miles, passing over a seasonal stream and through shaded portions. The trail will take you uphill to a nice bluff that opens to landscape views of the East Bay. There is a bench here; a good place to take a break. At the next intersection go through the cattle gate and turn left onto Las Trampas Ridge Trail. In a short distance, the trail crosses private property; access is allowed for trail use only, so please remain on the trail. Follow Las Trampas Ridge Trail passing through another cattle gate and staying right to keep on the trail. At the next trail post, turn left onto the Corduroy Hills Trail. This beautiful trail is narrow and steep, snaking through sandstone outcrops among diverse chaparral plants. Take a left at the next trail post to stay on Corduroy Hills, descending the steps. Corduroy Hills will connect with Madrone Trail at the bottom of the hill. Turn left onto Madrone Trail. Follow it around the bend, and make a right to descend the way you originally came up. Be sure to continue onto Ringtail Cat Trail and follow it back to the staging area where you began.

6 days ago

Slipping, sliding and slogging up and down hills through mud. That definitely added some difficultly to the otherwise moderate terrain. The trail is pretty poorly marked, so it's easy to go off on tangents. There were tons of cows and timid calves out. Saw two turkey vultures and a pair of ravens. Pretty awesome views of Mt Diablo and the east bay. The rock scramble was pretty short, but I would recommend going counter clockwise so that that section is on the uphill. Loved the mossy oak environment.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
3 months ago

good trail, mostly covered by trees which was a huge plus when hiking in summer. the trail has some character to it, mix of hard bush, open grassland, Rocky scrambles and some scenic outlooks. the view from top of cordorouy hills was great. overall it's a moderate climb with no section particularly straining you. started early at 7 and finished before 11. there are areas with cattle but mostly it's isolated. good number of local hikers too. overall I would look towards coming back sometime in winter

hiking
4 months ago

Simple straightforward trail hike and easily manageable. Had an 830am start and ended in time for lunch in downtown Danville. Beautiful view and weather was sunny 75F.

hiking
4 months ago

Overall, really fun hike with amazing vistas and cool landscape changes. Highly recommend going counter clockwise in the loop as there are some parts of the trail that require you to climb up/over some rocks. I would not want to climb down these parts. I think the rocky parts and some very narrow paths with a steep drop-off to one side warrant the 'hard' rating. The elevation change is intense but well spread out. The first 2 miles were the toughest for us, but the views after mille 3 were well worth it. We saw a deer, lots of quail, squirrels, cows, and a gopher snake. Near the rocks, my husband swears he heard a rattlesnake rattle but we didn't stick around to see it. We were cutting it close to sunset so we took a ~0.5 mile shortcut on the very last leg. Excited to come back and do the full loop.

hiking
5 months ago

Easy until you hit Corduroy Trail. I highly suggest to follow the route as written. I doubt that I would have gotten down the rocky parts and up the "stairs" as those were pretty tall. I was able to enjoy Corduroy Trail by going counter clockwise as the directions state. I enjoyed the trails very much, lots of views and the trails were in okay shape. It has enough shade up to the last part as you descend. Take lots of water. I saw more people than animals. A few cows, but they didn't bother me nor I them.

The trails are not marked as well as others that I've been on. I totally missed my turn for Ringtail Cat trail and ended up south of the Ringtail trail head and ended up on Camille. I had to walk down Camille, take the Iron Horse trail back to Hemme. There are a lot of unmarked single tracks and I had taken one up to the top when I first started out, but couldn't find it on the loop back. My fault, so it added a little bit more to the hike.

I would think this would be a very pretty trail after some rains to get the water in the creeks again.

hiking
6 months ago

Training for the Tahoe Rim Trail. Good workout with the packs. Nice views of the East Bay.

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail especially in the spring. Good winter hike. Not too many people in the off season. one of the tougher hikes in the bay and the hardest hike I ever got my wife to do...

mountain biking
7 months ago

Excellent

hiking
8 months ago

8 months ago

Big hills.

hiking
11 months ago

We hiked the loop in reverse starting at Madrone Trail and I think it was even better. Good challenging day hike for semi beginner hikers.

11 months ago

Very pleasant hike. It’s not too hard I would rate it as moderate.

trail running
11 months ago

It's like running on pillows right now

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

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