Birding · Views · Wildflowers
Access is limited to reservoir hours, which change throughout the year; see EBMUD's website for more information.
Parking at the reservoir parking lot is not free; all-day passes are $7, and there is metered parking available for $1.50 an hour. For those looking to return frequently, and annual pass is available.
Tucked away in the Lafayette hills, this route is perfect for those looking for more of a challenge than the paved Lakeside Nautre Trail. Throughout this hike, you'll enjoy long-distance views as far as Mt. Diablo as you wind along the boarders of Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda. Depending on the season, you can see wildflowers and greenery across the hills, and can often catch glimpses of eagles and other birds riding the wind currents in the area.
Need to Know
The only restroom and drinking water access is at the beginning and end of the hike, so it is advised to bring some water with you, especially during the hot summer months.
From the Lafayette Reservoir parking lot, head left across the dam towards the main entrance, where you'll find two restrooms, a drinking fountain, and a fish cleaning station. Behind the cleaning station is the access trail to the main Rim Trail.
After a brief uphill section, you'll be in the rolling hills of the Lamorinda area, where you'll remain for the duration of the hike. For those looking to make an earlier exit, there are several connector trails you can take to return to the paved trail on the shore of the reservoir.
Just after the halfway point you'll come across a large water storage tank. Just after this tank is a short but steep downhill section. The footing here can be a bit tricky, as the trail is often dusty and slippery from lack of traction. Caution is advised especially in the summer, as the trail can be almost entirely sand in the dry conditions. After this downhill, the remainder of the trail is more rolling hills, with great views of Mt. Diablo to the southeast depending on cloud cover.
To finish, take the trail down to the paved path; you'll end up next to a water fountain and children's play area and across from a large grass field. Hike along the paved trail a short distance until you return to the parking lot.
Shared By: Nick Barendregt