Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Shell Ridge: Twin Ponds Loop

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(231)
Shell Ridge Open Space

Shell Ridge: Twin Ponds Loop is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Walnut Creek, 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 are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,276 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

over grown

As of June 2020, hikers report that a 1/3 mile section over the summit is washed out and is closed.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Very little shade. Lots of options to extend your hike. A good place to see rattlesnakes.

hiking
1 month ago

Single track. Intermittent shade. Relatively flat. Went in middle of hot day and saw few people.

Great views up on Ridge Top. Downward slope of Ridge Top going clockwise says trail is closed and it is all rocky terrain on steep decline. Would be slippery if wet. Very open trail and would be too hot on summer afternoon.

hiking
off trail
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

Pretty awesome little trail.

running
2 months ago

This was really beautiful, but pretty heavily trafficked in certain areas. Also, it did have some shaded areas, but was still pretty hot today. Definitely need to go early as summer approaches. Beautiful wildflowers right now, and a small snake (pretty sure it wasn’t a rattlesnake, though).

hiking
2 months ago

Rattle snake

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

Lovely but very poorly marked. You go through gates a couple of times and hope you are going on the correct trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Good views, poor trail marking in places

hiking
6 months ago

It was a lovely 8 mile hike with a few wrong turns. A bit muddy here and there but mostly dry.

hiking
6 months ago

Perfect 3 mile hike for Kua!

hiking
no shade
Thu Apr 11 2019

Great option on a weekend or after work and is only a few minutes from downtown Walnut Creek. I took the Twin Ponds Loop which is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near WC and is rated as moderate. Elevations - You will hike approx 1,200 feet up on this trail. The first couple miles are flat but the next 3 miles up hill. See a Suggestion- It's easy to get lost back here. Check All Trails for a map of Shell Ridge Terrain- The terrain on the first leg of the trip is on a fire road that is muddy in the spring. Once you start climbing up the trail you'll hit a tight trail with a few steep drop-offs and eventually end up back on another fire trail. Parking-We parked on the street at the Indian Valley Elementary School and did not have any issues. Restrooms and water - Nope! Bring suntan lotion and water! This is an open space and you'll def get toasty on a sunny day. Dogs are allowed and running around everywhere!

hiking
Sat Nov 17 2018

I was curious to see the smoky air from a higher vantage point . went hiking with a mask on because of the smoke from all the CA fires. the air quality was very unhealthy. It looks like an alien landscape from the drought. The ground is cracked up like a giants puzzle. everything is dried out, looking like The aftermath of an apocalypse. Needless to say I was the only one hiking out there today.

Sat Oct 27 2018

Easy trail to hike. A perfect next door get away 10 min from home. Walked at leisurely pace and completed under 3.5 hours. The dogs loved every minute of it!

hiking
Sun Oct 21 2018

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

hiking
Sat Sep 22 2018

I liked the trail, but the heat was very tiring. There is practically no shade - keep that in mind.

Sun Sep 02 2018

This was so dry and hot Sept 1. Barely one good view.

hiking
Mon May 14 2018

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!

Sun May 13 2018

love running here. beautiful place!

hiking
Mon Feb 19 2018

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.

hiking
Fri Feb 16 2018

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

hiking
Wed Dec 20 2017

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.

hiking
Sun 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
Sun Apr 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.

hiking
Sun Mar 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.

walking
Sat Mar 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

running
Mon Mar 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.

hiking
Mon Dec 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.

hiking
Tue Oct 04 2016

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

Showing results 1 - 29 of 231