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San Ramon State & National Parks

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Featured Story
San Ramon: State and National Parks

San Ramon has a wealth of state and national parks within an hour’s drive from the city. An example of this natural beauty is the fine view of Mount Diablo you can get from anywhere in the city of San Ramon. However ,as great as the view maybe from afar, it's the parks and recreation areas around San Ramon that are the best places for a closer view of the majestic mountain.

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness is the park closest to the city of San Ramon. Las Trampas sprawls over 5,342 acres of wilderness but a sophisticated trail system let hikers and horseback riders explore areas deep in its remote and rugged expanses. The park is large enough for visitors to feel they have left the urban jungle and truly enjoy the serenity and natural beauty around them. Las Trampas is also a great place for bird watching and biking.

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness has four well-defined geological formations, a result of the two major Bay Area faults  —t he Las Trampas and Bollinger faults — that cut through it. The Orinda formation has remnants of an ancient beach, while the El Sobrante formation is made up of compressed, fossil-bearing rock layers. The Pinole Tuff is of volcanic origin.

Things to do at Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

Las Trampas Stables offers horse boarding and riding lessons for children five years and older, including adults. Reservations for special equestrian events for groups, birthday parties and day camps can be made for the Stables. For information and reservations contact (925) 862-9044.

The O'Neill National Historic Site is owned and operated by the National Park Service. Call (925) 838-0249 to make your reservation.

Hiking and Horseback Riding

Some of the best views of the surrounding areas can only be seen when hiking and riding through the Wilderness. Many trails crisscross the large open space such as Rocky Ridge that takes hikers near the 2,024-foot summit. The Chamise and Bollinger Creek Loop trails, east of Bollinger Creek, lead to Las Trampas Ridge for stunning views of Mount Diablo; Carquinez Straits; Ygnacio, San Ramon, and Amador valleys. The Corduroy Hills Trail skirts around Eagle Peak and is for hiking only, as are the Sycamore, Mahogany, and Trapline trails.

Picnicking

Picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Both picnic areas, Steelhead and Shady, are near the parking lot.

For overnight group camping at The Corral Area you must make a reservation. Campers need to bring their own water as water supply in the park is inconsistent and may at times be unavailable. For information or reservations, call 1-888-327-2757.

Park Access

There are disabled parking spaces, a wheelchair accessible chemical toilet, drinking fountain and picnic site at the Bollinger staging area.

Directions to the Park

From I-580 in Castro Valley, take Crow Canyon Road north to Bollinger Canyon Road. Turn left (north) onto Bollinger Canyon Road and follow it into the park. From I-680 in San Ramon, take Crow Canyon Road west to Bollinger Canyon Road, turn right (north) and follow it into the park.

Before you head out and for more information on weather conditions and closures at the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, click here.

Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve

The Bishop Ranch Regional Preserve is a smaller park of 444 acres near the San Ramon Valley subdivisions. If you are looking for quiet and solitude, you’ll find it here. The large tract of land is a refuge for deer, red-tailed hawks, and turkey vultures.

The park located strategically on the ridge is ideal for quiet activities such as hiking, kite flying, and blanket picnicking. There are no facilities other than a trailhead and trails.

Things to do

There's plenty to do here. Most people enjoy hiking,  picnicking, kite flying, and bird watching.

Park Access

Due to the steep grade to the ridge, the trails are generally not suitable for wheelchair users.

Directions to the Park

Exit I-680 in San Ramon at Bollinger Canyon Road and go west to San Ramon Valley Boulevard. Turn left (south) on San Ramon Valley Boulevard and drive to Morgan Drive. Turn right (west) on Morgan Drive and go a short distance. Park on Morgan Drive and the trailhead is on the left.

Before you head out and for more information on any daily updates on the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, click here.

Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space Preserve

Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space Preserve spans two prominent ridges over a swath of rolling hills and valleys south of Mt. Diablo. Typical elevations in the preserve range from 600 - 1,000 feet.

The park has distinct areas: the expansive grasslands that cover The Sherburne Hills Unit and the Short Ridge Unit that are dotted with scattered oak savanna with valley oak, coast live oak, and buckeye. The terrain is home to abundant wildlife from Northern Pacific rattlesnakes, gopher snakes, black-tailed titmouse, racers; and birds like the acorn woodpeckers, scrub jays, Western bluebirds, Northern orioles, lazuli buntings to loggerhead shrikes. The woodlands to the north of the park have several species of birds, including birds of prey such as nesting red-tailed hawks and great-horned owls, and the California quail, wild turkeys, and gray fox.

The Preserve's steep-sided gullies drain into Sycamore Creek. These drainages, along with several ponds located in the Preserve, create some wetland habitat for garter snakes, Pacific tree frogs, and red-legged frogs. These wetter areas are also home to raccoons, striped skunks, deer, coyotes, and bird species including ruby-crowned kinglets, chestnut-backed chickadees, vireos, warblers, red-winged blackbirds, and great blue herons. Raptors seen hunting in the Preserve, include the northern harrier, Cooper's hawk, and white-tailed kite.

Park Accessibility

The steep grade of the trails is generally not suitable for wheelchair users. The Sycamore Valley Park parking lot on Sherburne Hills Road has wheelchair accessible toilets, drinking fountains and parking spaces.

Directions to the Park

From I-680 in San Ramon, exit at Sycamore Valley Road and head east. Sycamore Valley Road becomes Camino Tassajara. Continue on Camino Tassajara to Holbrook Drive. Turn left on Holbrook Drive and park in the staging area.

Before you head out and for more on local weather conditions on the Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space Preserve, click here.

Little Hills Picnic Ranch

Little Hills Picnic Ranch is next to Las Trampas on Bollinger Canyon Road. The 100-acre Ranch offers picnic areas for groups of between 50 -1,500 people by reservation only. It is also a popular wedding venue, offering full service ceremony and receptions. To reserve your spot, call the Picnic People at (925) 462-1400.

Park Facilities

Little Hills has eight group picnic sites or the entire park available for reservation. Activities available include basketball, softball, tetherball, foosball, volleyball, ping pong, horseshoes, rock climbing, swimming, kayak races, trout fishing, spin art, face paint, and live featured performers.

The park also offers food catering and is available for special events.

Park Access

Little Hills has disabled parking spaces, wheelchair accessible picnic tables, and restrooms.

Directions to the Park

From I-580 in Castro Valley, take Crow Canyon Road north to Bollinger Canyon Road. Turn left (north) onto Bollinger Canyon Road and follow it into the park. From I-680 in San Ramon, take Crow Canyon Road west to Bollinger Canyon Road, turn right (north) and follow it into the park.

Before you head out and for more information on the Little Hills Picnic Ranch, click here.

Dublin Hills Regional Park

Dublin Hills Regional Park has natural grasslands and open meadows with a main ridge that runs from Donlon Point to the south of the Park to Wiedemann Hill in a private property to the north.  Deep canyons slice through the park. Dublin Hills Regional Park is boxed in by I-580 to the south, Schaefer Ranch, private grazing lands, and California Highlands.

 

Popular things to do in Dublins Hills include hiking, spotting Wildlife, biking, and riding.

Park Features

The Park’s excellent network of trails provides access into the park and offer excellent views for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. The main Calaveras Ridge Trail begins near the Schaefer Ranch development and takes you to natural grasslands.

The hilly area of the park in Dublin Hills is a watershed that empties during the rains into Palomares Creek and Dublin Creek. Most of these streams begin in open grasslands and drain into dense coastal live oak and California bay woodland.

Directions to the Park

From I-680 southbound in San Ramon, take Exit 31, the San Ramon Valley Blvd. exit. Turn left on San Ramon Valley Blvd. San Ramon Valley Blvd. becomes San Ramon Road. Continue south to Dublin Blvd. and turn right (west). Continue west on Dublin Blvd. for two miles. The staging area for hiking is on the right.