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Briones Regional Park Loop

Intermediate
  3.8 ( 4 ) Favorite

Trail

9.6 mile 15.4 kilometer loop
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,503' 458 m
Descent: -1,502' -458 m
High: 1,352' 412 m
Low: 679' 207 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Kristen Arendt

A lovely hike in Briones Regional Park that is outstanding when the wildflowers are in bloom.

Kristen Arendt

Features Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly While most kids won't be up for the full 9.5 mile loop, you can park at the Bear Creek Staging Area to shorten the loop to a kid-friendly distance.

Overview

This loop is a great tour of the beautiful hillsides of Briones Regional Park. The park is especially pretty in the spring when the hillsides are full of wildflowers, but it is well-worth a visit during the other seasons as the rolling hills and open meadows make for a great hike.

Need to Know

The trails are also open for mountain bike and equestrian use. Use caution and be respectful of other trail users.

Description

Start your hike on Old Briones Road Trail. This trail is a north-south trail that bisects the park and provides access to many of the other trails in the area. Like the park, the trail is named after the original ranching family that settled this area in 1829. From the north end, expect some roots and rock and a generally rough road until you reach the junction with the Spengler Trail. After passing through a gate, head to the right and climb gradually toward Briones Peak and the junction with Briones Crest Trail.

At the ridge, be sure to look back for a view of the Sacramento River Delta. After passing through another gate, you'll start on a long, winding descent into the Bear Creek Valley. The road flattens at the junction with the Valley Trail near some corrals. From here, the rest of the trail is relatively flat with a gate or two until you reach the Bear Creek Staging Area.

From the Bear Creek Staging Area, continue straight to pick up the Briones Crest Trail. Most of this trail is actually a wide fire road that circles the Bear Creek watershed. As you hike along the ridge tops, you'll be treated to some splendid views of the area. The views along the trail are beautiful, and if you find you need an excuse to stop and catch your breath, be sure to take the time to take in the sights.

After about 3 miles of hiking along the Briones Crest Trail, look for the Mott Peak Trail which will be on the right-hand side. Use this short, easy trail to connect to the Black Oak Trail. The Black Oak Trail descends steeply into a valley, and the sunny slopes are home to many wildflowers in season.

Black Oak Trail will connect back to Old Briones Road Trail where you'll turn left to retrace your steps back to your car.

Note: If you are looking for a shorter hike, park at the Bear Creek Staging Area and complete the loop. There are many other trails in the park giving you a wide variety of loops to choose from.

Flora & Fauna

Wildflowers in season including California poppies, lupines, and buttercups. You may come across cows grazing in the fields.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, History & Background

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Check-Ins

Feb 17, 2019
Joshua R
muddy on the backside 3mi
Mar 25, 2018
Victoria Fredericks
Super muddy 9.5mi
Aug 19, 2017
James Butler
Training for Yosemite 9.6mi
Jul 31, 2017
Erin Couture
Briones Park Trail Loop
Feb 11, 2017
Alex Dubrouski
Dec 2, 2016
Summer Winston
8mi

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#3431

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
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Featured Hike Rankings

#540

in California

#3,431

Overall
77 Views Last Month
2,928 Since Oct 13, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

Lovely view.
Oct 13, 2016 near Pleasan…, CA
Forest in Briones Regional Park.
Sep 22, 2016 near Lafayette, CA
Briones Crest view towards Mt. Diablo.
Sep 22, 2016 near Pleasan…, CA
Hiking at Briones Regional Park.
Sep 22, 2016 near Orinda, CA
Valley Trail Junction with some friendly cows.
Sep 22, 2016 near Lafayette, CA

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