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blueBlack Elderberry - Rocky View - Cuestas Loop

  4.4 ( 7 ) Favorite


8.1 mile 13.1 kilometer loop


Ascent: 1,397' 426 m
Descent: -1,396' -426 m
High: 1,954' 596 m
Low: 993' 303 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)


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Trail shared by Haiyan Jia

Great loop with views of the bay and Mt. Diablo

Haiyan Jia

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Hikers are allowed to enter the trails starting at 5:00 a.m.


A fun lollipop loop with great view of the bay, trip-valley and Mt. Diablo

Need to Know

To get to the trailhead, drive along the Bollinger Canyon road west bound till the end (about 10 minutes drive from Crow Canyon Road intersection). If you arrive before, or outside of gate hours, you may find the park gate is closed. But don't panic, you can park at the left side of the unpaved parking area.


Pass through a small gate to the right. After roughly 500 feet, make a left and go up the hill gradually, as you climb up, look east for canyon views. About 1.8 miles in, you'll arrive at the junction of Elderberry Trail and Rocky Ridge View Trail.

Enjoy a quick rest on the chair donated by a hiker's friend while enjoy the panoranic view of Mt Diablo, Tri-Valley, San Mateo Bridge, etc. Continue west and upwards on the Rocky Ridge View Trail. At mile 3.3, after a couple of rolling hills, you'll reach the peak around 2,000 feet elevation. On a clear day, you'll be able to see the cityscape of San Francisco.

Continue for a gradual descent and hang a right on the Rocky Ridge View Shortcut Trail. At the end of this, the hike turns right on the Cuesta Trail for more views (but you could head down the Rocky Ridge View Trail for a more direct exit if you're short on time).

Start climbing on this less-frequently traveled trail. The mostly singletrack is a bit uneven and their are low branches. At Mile 5.3 you'll return to the Rocky Ridge View Trail, continue to the east, you'll be hiking downhill gradually back to Elderberry Trail. At mile 6, make a sharp left turn and hike back to the parking lot. You just completed an 8.0-miler hike with 1,700 ft of elevation gain. Give yourself a hug.

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Feb 23, 2019
Corey B
dope. need to try the devils loop portion. 8.1mi
Sep 23, 2018
D. Michael Wassom
Rocky Ridge and Elderberry 5mi
Sep 1, 2018
Christina W
Elderberry & rocky ridge only. 7.1mi
Dec 29, 2017
Juemin Z
Walking with 2 7year Olds again, stopped by the beach on top for the sunrise. Kids were able to finish the hike 30 minutes earlier than the prior wee 6mi — 3h 20m
Dec 3, 2017
Larisa Zakharova
Sep 10, 2017
Andrea M
Dec 27, 2013
david weaver
This trail requires an annual permit from EBMUD. We hiked up the trail to the cell tower, and then along the western ridge with views of SF Bay.

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 7 votes


  4.4 from 7 votes
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