Hiking Briones Park's Lafayette Ridge
San Francisco › Lafayette Ridge Trail
Added by Kathy M
- Just a 10-minute drive from Berkeley, Briones Regional Park is a 6,117 acre park in Contra Costa County
- With its rolling, grassy hills and secluded, shady canyons
- 4.5 mile hike roundtrip
- After you tackle this one, be sure to come back to Briones as it has multiple hiking trails with low to moderate difficulty
This is a nice and casual hike through the meadows and rolling hills, dotted with cows and hawks and sometimes goats or foxes. As you head up Lafayette Ridge, you'll be rewarded with the beautiful vista spanning from the Oakland Hills to sparkling Lafayette Reservoir. The hike is mostly through the hills but, if you decide to take a side tour to the top of peaks like Briones Peak, you can see some spectacular views. From the peak, you can take in Richmond, Mount Tamalpias, Mount Diablo, Walnut Creek, and Concord (see map link below).
One exciting piece about the park is that Briones is still used as pasture land for cattle herds, much as it was used in its early history as a working ranch. This makes it a nice backdrop to the hiking experience.
Here is a helpful park map in case you're looking for a longer or shorter hike: Briones Regional Park Map.
- $3 parking on the weekends
- If it has rained anytime in the near past, expect mud
- In spring, blooms with wildflowers on the high slopes of the grassy hills
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This is a great find. We saw it on the map it was on the way from Mendocino to our next stop, Napa Valley. So glad we took the time to visit.