Lafayette Reservoir & Tilden Park

This weekend was VERY laid back and surprisingly very cool so we took full advantage and enjoyed two nice hikes- one at the Lafayette Reservoir Rim Trail and one at Tilden Park in Berkeley. As you will see by the photos, the Bay Area hills are back to their normal golden color- I already miss the beautiful hues of green rolling hills that never last long in this area.

Cluster of dead trees at Tilden Park

Cluster of dead trees at Tilden Park

This fall, me and a couple friends have permits to hike Half Dome in Yosemite! We tried a couple years back but there was too much snow fall so the Dome was not open yet to climb. We trained pretty hard that year in preparation for the strenuous 16 mile round trip hike, and I plan to train just as hard this year so that I can enjoy the hike and not be too sore. Me and one of my friends are starting out easy, hence the almost 5 mile Rim Trail around Lafayette Rez. The trail is nice and wide with good surface and is a pretty safe place to hike. The dogs must remain on leash but that’s ok since there is quite a bit of wild life on the trails (snakes, deer, turkeys, etc.). Most of the hike is up and down hills with very few flat areas which is good for interval training. There is one absolutely treacherous hill- no matter if you go up or down it, it’s horrible! I normally fall down on it a few times since it’s pretty slick- going up it is probably safer but will kick your butt! If you don’t want to pay the parking fee in the lot, you can drive up to Moraga and there’s a trail entrance there for free (off Campolindo Drive). The treacherous hill is right at that trailhead so you either begin your hike going up it or end your hike coming down it.

Dog enjoying the view at a lookout point at Lafayette Reservoir

Dog enjoying the view at a lookout point at Lafayette Reservoir

Lafayette Rim Trail

Pros: safe trail (you pass a lot of houses and there are enough people and other single women hiking there), good trail conditions, bathrooms/dog poop bags in parking lot, pretty views of reservoir and Mt. Diablo, free parking in Moraga, drinking fountain in parking lot and half way around rim trail by the water tower, if you get tired of hiking you can take a shortcut back down to the main paved reservoir trail below (every mile or so there is a cut off) and take a shortcut back to the parking lot.

Cons: paid parking ($2-$6 depending if you use meter or paid lot), park curfew is very early parts of the year and they do ticket a lot so don’t risk going over time, on-leash only (they will ticket if you are caught with a dog off leash)

Views from Tilden Park

Views from Tilden Park

The next day was a bit warmer so we headed west to Tilden Park. It was much cooler there but felt amazing- it was in the mid-60′s but I hiked in a tank top and it felt great! The fog was rolling out when we got there and in only 2 hours later when we were leaving- it made for a very dramatic moving sky during the whole hike. Tilden Park is an off-leash dog hiking area but there was rattle snake warning signs so I didn’t risk it and left them on. This was my second time at the park and the footing was just as bad this time as it was in the past- very rocky trails which aren’t great to hike on in my opinion and Rookie really wasn’t a fan of all the rocks for miles and miles. It is very beautiful however- panoramic views of the whole bay and also the valley looking east over Orinda and Mt. Diablo. We hiked up to Vollmer peak and found the most stunning view of the mountain and the whole valley- there was even a swing you can chill on and relax at the top while enjoying the view! We hiked just over 4 miles. Overall I wouldn’t come here often due to the rocky trails but other than that it’s a great park!

Tilden Park

Pros: Miles and miles of trails, amazing 360 degree views of the whole bay area, free parking, off-leash dog hiking, maps at the trail head, awesome views of fog rolling in and out

Cons: rocky trails make for uneven hiking surface on most trails

This weekend is warming back up to the 90s :( We were planning on a 9 miles hike in Sunol but I think we’ll have to move to a more coastal trail so we can enjoy ourselves a little more- and so the dogs don’t die! Hope everyone had a great long weekend!

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2 Responses to Lafayette Reservoir & Tilden Park

  1. Ma says:

    Beautiful views, but I wouldn’t get past the parking lot if there were snake warnings! Kind of random that there was a swing at the top of the peak! I would rather see a winery at that point:) Glad you enjoyed the weekend.

    • OnTheGoMutts says:

      Ma- there are snake warning at every trailhead in the Bay Area… that’s why I normally don’t hike much around here in the summer months. But it’s safe if I leave the dogs on leash. I have seen rattle snakes and others in the past though- scary site!

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