Enjoy beautiful views of Walnut Creek along the hike. This is not an overly strenuous trail, but it makes for a good, quick escape from the city.

Walnut Creek Park has a TON of little side trails that make this a must do if you are in or near the area. This particular trail (1 of 2 major ones) is a 15 mile loop but can be done as a shorter out and back. Once you park in the parking lot head southwest to find the trailhead and you're good to go. Dogs on leash are welcomed too, so bring along your lil' buddy.

Photo: Jim Allen

Pack List

  • Hiking or running shoes
  • Water (especially in Summer)
  • Snacks
  • Hat/ sunblock
  • Sunglasses
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RT Distance 4.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 190 Feet
Activities Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Picnic Area

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great For Bikes.... Not So Much For Hikes

Don't get me wrong, the park is beautiful and packed with lots of rugged undulating trails. It's an absolute blast to run... except the MBs are everywhere. And some riders out there don't demonstrate the best trail etiquette in the world. If you're jonesin for some good trail miles, the park makes for challenging dusk/night or dark/dawn runs. Bikes are gone, but obviously so is the light.

Probably Better for Biking

We arrived at Walnut Creek around 9 am on a January Saturday and were happy to find a map with about 200 acres of criss-crossing trails, most of which allowed dogs off leash. Not many cars were in the parking lot, which we figured was due to the threat of rain and cooler temperatures. The trails were beautiful with scenery varying from dense trees to the limestone creek bed to open grassy areas. Based on the trailhead map, we aimed to follow a designated 5 mile trail, but the trails were poorly marked and we ended up on lots of smaller side trails. It was fun to explore these different trails and our dogs seemed to enjoy the varied terrain. However, around 10 am and with the sun coming out, the trails become crowded with mountain bikers. We found ourselves frequently stopping to let bikers pass. We put our dogs back on leash lest they encounter an unsuspecting bike around a corner. I can imagine the vast network of trails and terrain would be fun to explore via mountain bike, but I am rating Walnut Creek based on our intention to hike with our dogs. If you go during non-peak bike hours, Walnut Creek is an easy and enjoyable way to escape the city with your dog and explore numerous different trails. I would also suggest this site for trail-runners, again go early so as to avoid crowds.

Great Escape In The City

Nestled between to major highways, Walnut Creek is the perfect park for a weekend warrior or even a simple day walk. The trails are beautiful, bike-friendly and easy to navigate. There are several to choose from depending on your preference and time. Parking is abundant, the deeper ravines provide for some great unexpected views. Summertime finds drier creek beds, and winter yields a faster water flow so careful where you step! Definitely encourage both locals and visitors alike to check out Walnut Creek.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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