Staged out of the Bear Creek Entrance on Bear Creek Rd., approx 6 miles from Orinda. Large parking and picnic areas, great gravel lot... more » for horse trailers,
All the trails in this guide are fire roads with great footing and lots of room for all. Dogs are allowed in the park but must be under control at all times. Also note that this is a grazing park and you will encounter cattle at certain times of the year. Do not bother them and you will be fine.
Start by heading east out on Old Briones Rd. trail, this was the original road for the ranchers back in the day. Trail follows Bear Creek for a way, easy riding/walking. Ride/hike out to the cattle pens where Old Briones Rd intersects with Valley trail. Take a right through the gate onto Valley trail.
Valley trails winds through the valley, past the cattle pond, and through ground squirrel heaven (if on horseback, do not recommend trotting or faster due to squirrel holes!) before a short ascent to the Briones Crest trail. This part of the trail can be very muddy and slippery when it's been raining as it's in the shade and next to the creek.
At the intersection take a left onto Briones Crest Trail and begin a gradual ascent to the ridge top. The trail winds through the trees with several blind corners. Watch for bicyclists, they are usually very courteous but better safe than sorry.
Once you reach the top continue on around to the left on Briones Crest trail. Enjoy the fantastic views of Concord, Walnut Creek area and Suisun Bay to the east. You can even see Mt.Diablo and the Mothball Fleet! To the west enjoy views of the park and EBMUD watershed.
Continue on the Briones Crest trail and enjoy the rolling hills typical for this area. You will pass several lagoons that have been fenced in to protect the natural habitat.
When you reach the intersection with Abrigo Valley trail, take a left and head down to the valley below. One short section of this descent is very steep and can be slippery in wet condition.
Once in the valley meander through the valley floor. You will pass a couple youth camps, if not occupied you can stop and take a break.
You will end up back at the parking/picnic area. Hope you enjoyed your trip! less «