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Ridgeline Trail

Del Valle Regional Park

May 3rd, 2008

2.2 miles
640 vertical feet
Total Time: 3:09

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. Park in the second to last parking lot, signed for Beach View. Park as close to the road as possible, as the hike starts on the other side of the road at the cattle gate.  View Driving Map

We started our hike under clear sunny skies. While there were lots of people enjoying Lake Del Valle (boating, fishing, etc.), very few were taking to the trails. In fact, on this hike we didn't see another hiker. We would see two pickup trucks and two pairs of equestrians. Oh, and a couple of cows for good measure, but no other hikers.

After entering the cow gate, we had our first decision. The Ridgeline Trail to the left and the Lake View Trail to the right. Both are about the same distance (about 0.6 miles) and both will take you to the same place. We decided to take the left fork, the Ridgeline Trail.

Dying tree next to the Ridgeline Trail

We followed the wide dirt road uphill past green and brown hills filled with wildflowers. It was only the first weekend in May, but the hills were almost all brown already. This was probably due to almost no rainfall in the months of March and April, which typically receive a fair amount of rainfall. Wildflowers of all colors were everywhere, though.

Trees dotting the hillsides

We passed the East Take Trail intersection, veering left to continue on the Ridgeline Trail. We then came to another intersection with both forks claiming to be the Ridgeline Trail. This was obviously confusing, so we decided to have lunch here. After lunch we took the left fork, partly because we saw two equestrians take it. The trail heads slightly downhill, then passes a small cattle pond and veers left, sharply uphill. The trail climbs and climbs before topping out and providing a nice view of Lake Del Valle. You'd think that would be the end of the climbing, but you'd be wrong.

Wildflowers and trees

Lake Del Valle

The trail then descends before we turned left onto the Squirrel Gulch Trail. If you have the time, you can continue straight on the Ridgeline Trail and make a loop out of it including the East Shore Trail. That would make a slightly more than 4 mile loop hike.

Climbing up the trail

View of the manicured lawns next to the lake

Squirrel Gulch goes up and down before it finally descends *very* steeply to a cattle gate. We passed through the gate, turned left, then followed the road a short distance back to the parking lot.

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