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Rim Trail

Intermediate
 4.0 (6) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A pleasant hike through the Lamorinda hills with great views.


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Map Key

5.2

Miles

8.3

KM

Loop

1,023' 312 m

High

469' 143 m

Low

903' 275 m

Up

901' 275 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

24%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features 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.

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Nick Barendregt

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 6 votes

#3232

Overall
  4.0 from 6 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#467

in California

#3,232

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33 Views Last Month
2,040 Since Nov 24, 2019
Intermediate

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Photos

View of the Lafayette Reservoir from the Rim Trail
Nov 24, 2019 near Orinda, CA
View of the rolling Lamorinda hills.
Nov 24, 2019 near Lafayette, CA

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Check-Ins

May 1, 2021
Alan Keefer
Great hike! Some very steep sections, so be warned! 4.7mi — 1h 37m
May 1, 2021
Amy Stork
Mar 8, 2021
Aditya Venkataraman
Nov 28, 2020
Tim Martin
I think this one is more elevation gain that the description says. My Fitbit recorded 1337 ft but description says 900ft 5.3mi — 2h 07m
Oct 11, 2020
mary lee
May 9, 2020
Scott W
Very steep gravel sections. 6.4mi — 2h 29m
Nov 24, 2019
Nick Barendregt
A nice hike during the great fall season. 5.2mi — 1h 45m