Murietta Falls Trail

Livermore, California 94551

Murietta Falls Trail

Murietta Falls Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The route tops out on Rocky Ridge at 2.3 miles, drops 500 feet in 0.5 mile, and then climbs another 1200 feet to Wauhab Ridge. You’ll reach Johnnys Pond at 4.7 miles. Turn right at the junction with Springboard Trail (marker 35); from here, it’s a mile hike to the falls. Trek along the ridge for 0.25 mile, then turn left onto the Greenside Trail, which will take you on a sharp descent to the gulch where the falls remain hidden. You can’t really get a good look from this trail, so you’ll need to find the unsigned path that takes you past the creek to actually get into the floor of the canyon, where the water flows down rocky points into a large pool. Since this hike takes some time to complete (and you need to get your dog out before the sun sets), it’s best not to linger too long at the falls. Just retrace your steps back out to the Ohlone Trail (the trail is very well marked) and remember to be careful as you make your way back down the rocky ridge."

More Murietta Falls Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes With Dogs: San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond (The Mountaineers Books)
Jason Fator
View more trails from this guide book
"Psssssst: wanna know where the tallest waterfall in the Bay Area is? Right at the end of this hike, that’s where. Murietta Falls plummets some 100 feet down slick, moss-covered granite and makes for a nifty spot to take a dip in the numerous small pools. The falls, located inside the Ohlone Regional Wilderness, are named for Joaquin Murietta, a noted outlaw who rode this area in the 1800's. This hike is a butt kicker. It's 5.75 miles one-way and sticks to a steep, rocky ridgeline that gains and loses elevation. In fact, on one stretch of the Ohlone Trail, you'll gain 1600 feet in 1.5 miles of hiking (it's truly the worse part). So be prepared."

Murietta Falls Trail Trip Reports

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon3 Total
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
This trail is not good for beginners
My friend couldn’t pass 2 miles ☹️
I could not complete the trail but from what I saw
I recommend a lot of water light weight and start early in the am since most of the trail has no shade
The trees don’t cover the trail and its steep.
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
Trail is in very good shape and easy to follow. There is one stream crossing that can be tricky after heavy rains, but it's easily done by hopping on rocks and fallen trees.

We thought we're in good shape and laughed at the 8 hour estimate. Our time ... 6+ hours and we were BEAT when we got back to the car. The 1,500 feet climb from the stream crossing is gruesome! Don't attempt this hike on a hot summer day.

But the views are wonderful, the streams beautiful and the falls themselves are really really nice after heavy rains.

Be sure to have good shoes, leave enough time (walking downhill for 4 miles is no joke either) and use hiking poles if it has been wet as the trail can be muddy.
4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
I rated it 4 stars, because it made a great training hike that offers challenge by providing a continous steep up-hill climb with small intervalls of flat or downhills. The trail has great views, beautiful scenery and is well marked except for the stretch that dips down into the gulch and back up. Fireroad like, but not at all industrial! Pines, oaks and it was still green and flowers were out despite the dry spring we had this year.

Murietta Falls Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
3,500 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
8 hours
Best September through June
800 feet
Trailhead Elevation
3,300 feet
Top Elevation
Additional Use
East Bay Regional Park District
Local Contacts
USGS Mendenhall Springs
Local Maps

Trail Log