Address: 38°02'56.0"N 122°13'17.2"W Parking: Free parking lot at the address above Hours: May-Aug: 8AM-8PM, Sept: 8AM-7PM, Oct: 8AM-6PM, Nov-Feb: 8AM-5PM, Mar: 8AM-6PM Type: Hike (moderate) Dog Rules: Dogs allowed off-leash if under voice control Best time to visit: Anytime, except on a very hot day.
Description: This 1,939-acre park offers views of the San Pablo Bay, Carquinez Bridge, Mount Tam and Mount Diablo. The trails snake through grassy fields and oak and bay trees, with intermittent shade. The trails on the ridge are windy, with a cool bay breeze, but they're also fully exposed to sunlight, so I would not recommend hiking on a very hot day. During our hike we saw plenty of lizards, butterflies, finches and even some hawks. This area used to be ranchland, and you can still visit the ranch barn and corrals in the staging area.
For our hike, we explored the Edwards Creek Trail, which runs along the stream and offered views of the expansive hillside. We also hiked up the Crockett Ranch Trail (the first unmarked trail to the right, after entering the cattle gate). This trail passed through tall grass and had intermittent shade, provided by tall oak and bay trees. Make sure to wear long pants and check you dog for ticks, as the tall grass is the perfect home for ticks. This trail climbed steadily, but was not too strenuous because it had several switchbacks. At the first trail split off, we headed to the right, which took us to another cattle gate and through a short tunnel. When we exited the tunnel, we were on the windy ridge. We took the Sky Trail up along the ridge, and were amazed by the beautiful views of the bay and Carquinez Bridge behind us. We continued to hike up to about 700ft. Up to this point, we had hiked about 1.5 miles. In another mile, you can reach the peak, at 800ft on the Big Valley Trail (up 650 ft, as the staging area is at 150ft). From here you can continue for many miles on trails on the opposite side of the hills. You could also retrace your steps, or take the Soaring Eagle Trail back to the Sky Trailhead, which is 1.6 miles. Once you pass through the tunnel, you can loop back via the approximately 1 mile long Edwards Creek Trail, which will take you back to the parking lot.
This park has running water, a pit toilet, garbage cans, picnic tables and a BBQ in the staging area.