A fun lollipop loop with great view of the bay, trip-valley and Mt. Diablo
To get to the trailhead, drive along the Bollinger Canyon road west bound till the end (about 10 minutes drive from Crow Canyon Road intersection). If you arrive before, or outside of gate hours, you may find the park gate is closed. But don't panic, you can park at the left side of the unpaved parking area.
No drinking water available, bring your own! Bathrooms are available at the bottom of the hill at the staging area as well as some along the beginning of Elderberry trail.
Pass through a small gate to the right. After roughly 500 feet, make a left and go up the hill gradually, as you climb up, look east for canyon views. About 1.8 miles in, you'll arrive at the junction of Elderberry Trail
and Rocky Ridge View Trail
Enjoy a quick rest on the chair donated by a runner's friend while enjoy the panoranic view of Mt Diablo, Tri-Valley, San Mateo Bridge, etc. Continue west and upwards on the Rocky Ridge View Trail
. At mile 3.3, after a couple of rolling hills, you'll reach the peak around 2,000 feet elevation. On a clear day, you'll be able to see the cityscape of San Francisco.
Continue for a gradual descent and hang a right on the Rocky Ridge View Shortcut Trail
. At the end of this, the run turns right on the Cuesta Trail
for more views (but you could head down the Rocky Ridge View Trail
for a more direct exit if you're short on time).
Start climbing on this less-frequently traveled trail. The mostly singletrack is a bit uneven and their are low branches. At Mile 5.3 you'll return to the Rocky Ridge View Trail
, continue to the east, you'll be running downhill gradually back to Elderberry Trail
. At mile 6, make a sharp left turn and run back to the parking lot. You just completed an 8.0-miler run with 1,700 ft of elevation gain. Give yourself a hug.