Hiking Chronicles: Las Trampas Regional Park
One of our favorites things to do in the Bay Area is exploring the area's amazing hiking trails. This past weekend, we explored Las Trampas Regional Wilderness in San Ramon. The park features 5,342 picturesque acres that will make you feel far removed from the busyness of the work week. Aside from the faint silhouette of San Francisco in the distance, you could swear you're in the remote countryside.
Trail: Rocky Ridge Trail and Elderberry Trail
Distance: 4.7 miles
Elevation: 1,119 feet
How to Get There
If you're coming from I-680, exit Crow Canyon and head west, then turn right on Bollinger Canyon Road. Head all the way up until you reach the free parking lot at the end of the road.
If you want a route that offers premium views and you don't mind sweating for it, take the Rocky Ridge View Trail. It's a pretty steep climb to begin with, but you'll be rewarded with gorgeous extended vistas of Mt. Diablo to the east and San Francisco to the west.
If you park in the lot, head back toward the main road past the bathrooms and you'll find the entrance to the Rocky Ridge View Trail on your left. You'll be greeted by a wide paved road with a decent incline. Go ahead and power up that paved road for about a quarter of a mile and look out for the trail post on your left indicating the Rocky Ridge View Trail. Follow that trail and it'll take you up to a rolling ridge trail with incredible views of the Tri-Valley and beyond.
Like I said, you'll kick off this hike by breaking a nice sweat hauling yourself up a considerable incline. The advantage of this route is that you'll get most of the hard work out of the way early and the reward is well worth it. Your prize is a more than two-mile long stroll along a gorgeous ridge with miles of green, rolling hills in every direction and California golden poppies at your feet.
Look out for a trail marker on your left for the Elderberry Trail. It's a very pleasant descent back to your starting point. Along the way, you'll find pretty wooded areas and charming brooks. Some of the trail features some rocky slopes, so make sure to watch your footing. A walking stick wouldn't be bad to have.
The Elderberry Trail drops you off at the parking lot/picnic area, so if you packed a lunch, you'll find a nice seating area to enjoy it.
Pro tip: The park has two unisex bathrooms, but no sinks to wash your hands. You might want to bring hand sanitizer or moist towelettes.