The landscape is lovely, with open meadows bordering on a stream shaded by oaks and bay laurels. The views are great, across the hills to the north bay and delta. But it’s the companionship of the dogs—and the dog lovers who walk them—that sets this trail apart. This pocket of the expansive Briones Regional Park— which encompasses more than 6,000 acres—features some of the most bucolic hiking in the East Bay. The loop couples an easy saunter alongside Alhambra Creek with a more challenging climb onto the Diablo View Trail. Vistas of Mount Diablo are framed in the boughs of oaks that grow on the ridgetop. Once part of an enormous rancho belonging to the Briones family, cattle still graze on the grassy hills of the Alhambra Valley. But cows aren’t the only animals that run here. On cool weekend mornings hikers let the dogs out, and they rule the trail. It’s a joyous scene, full of tail wagging and sniffing, with happy masters and their families sharing in the frivolity.
© Tracy Salcedo-Chourre/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.