Ohlone-Crystyl Ranch Loop
ElevationAscent: 734' 224 m
Descent: -747' -228 m
High: 861' 263 m
Low: 372' 113 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 20% (12°)
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“Enjoy sweeping views of the Walnut Creek and Concord areas on this hike located just off Ygnacio Rd.”— Jeff Richards
The first part of the hike is within sight of Ygnacio and there is a buzz of road noise. The sweeping views of the nearby towns will be to your right and the Lime Ridge Open Space in front and to the left of you. The Ohlone Trail is well-marked and should be fairly easy to navigate. Stay right on the fire road for the first two intersections with the Buckeye and Blue Oak trails respectively.
The first several miles are mostly descending yet keeping things interesting with rolling hills up and down. Head straight through the Lime Ridge and Blue Oak trail junctions. To continue on the loop, hike past the Manzanita Trail and head right down Ohlone Trail. The views of the Boundary Oak Golf course are quite nice. You'll hike right by the driving range and, although you are most likely not in the range, one should be aware during this section.
The Ohlone Trail goes through a cattle gate and continues uphill to the intersection with Paraiso Trail; at this point you leave the Ohlone Trail and head east on Paraiso Trail. The road noise is replaced by the sounds of doves, wild turkey, and hawks in the wooded valley to your left. The highest point in the area, Mt. Diablo, is now visible, and this is one of the best sections of this hike.
The hill towards the ridge is the most sustained on the hike, and one should pace themselves accordingly. At the top, the views of Clayton and Crystyl Ranch Trail are visible. Take a right on Manzanita Trail for perhaps 100 yards and then head downhill on Crystyl Ranch Trail to the left. The trail is easy to follow.
Veer left at the bottom of the hill; there are no signs, but this will take you to another green cattle gate. Once through the gate, follow the Crystyl Ranch Trail until it ends at the Oak Knoll Dr. Take a left on Monticello Dr. and follow it back to the parking lot.
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Land Manager: City of Walnut Creek, CA - Open Space