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East Shore Trail

Del Valle Regional Park

May 4th, 2008

1.4 miles
140 vertical feet
Total Time: 1:39

Rating: 6/10

Directions: From 580, take the N. Livermore Ave. exit and take Livermore Ave. south. Follow it as it turns into Tesla Road. Turn right onto Mines Road, and follow the road into the park. Just after the entrance station, turn right to head to the east shore. Follow the road to the end and park in the last parking lot (of course, don't drive right into the lake, which is entirely possible as there's a boat ramp at the end).   View Driving Map

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(Note: the trail route above was created post-hike using electronic maps and was not created using GPS, so it might not be completely accurate. It's probably pretty close, though.)

It was another bright sunny day as we started our hike. Unlike the previous day's hike into the hills, since this hike was flat and along the shore we'd encounter many people. Many of them would be boating, fishing, or picnicking, but there were a few hikers as well.

Kayakers on the lake

We walked down to the boat ramp, then turned right to pass through a cattle gate and start the hike. The wide gravel and dirt road closely follows the shoreline and is almost completely flat. After 0.43 miles we reached Hetch Hetchy Camp. There are restrooms here, and reservable picnic tables next to the water.

Lake Del Valle as viewed from our rest stop

We continued along the trail, looking for a good spot to rest and have a snack. The trail climbs just a bit before reaching an intersection for the Ridgeline Trail, just 0.27 miles from the Hetch Hetchy Camp. There's a small singetrack trail to the left just before this; we took this trail for a few yards before settling down for a snack. This provides nice views of Lake Del Valle through the trees. It would have been the perfect place to break out a bottle of wine or settle down for a nap, except for the fact that we had three kids all under the age of 5 with us.

Spur trail

After a short break we packed up and turned around. If you have the time, you can take the East Shore Trail all the way to the end (near the dam). Alternatively, you can take the Ridgeline Trail and loop back to the parking lot that way (but it's much more strenuous). With kids in tow on a Sunday, though, we kept it short.

Heading back down the trail

On the way back we ran into a woman who had picked up a King snake, literally. She said she'd seen it on the trail and didn't want some bicyclist to run over it. So she had picked it up and was holding it gently. She showed it to the kids before releasing it into the bushes. Obviously, don't try this unless you know what you're doing.

Releasing a King snake back to the wild

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