EBMUD: Lafayette Reservoir-Rim Trail-Lakeside Nature Trail Hike

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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The Lafayette Recreation Area is an all-year day-use area ideal for hiking, jogging, fishing, boating and picnicking, located off Highway 24 only one mile from the Lafayette BART station. There are two main trails at Lafayette Reservoir. The Lakeside Nature Trail (paved, 2.7 miles) and the Rim Trail (unpaved, 4.7 miles). Additionally, there are 928 acres of open space for hiking, wildlife viewing, photography, and enjoying beautiful vistas. *1

This hike goes around clockwise along the ridge on the Upper Rim Trail followed by a counter-clockwise loop on the Lakeside Nature Trail.

Walk from Village Center and head west on Mt Diablo Blvd to the Lafayette Reservoir Recreation Area entrance. Follow the path that leads up to the large paved reservoir parking lot.

Enjoy the views!

Head east across the parking lot to the playground area along the Lakeside Nature Trail.

At the east end of the play structures, turn left onto the unmarked Rim Trail. It climbs uphill under the shaded woodland to the T junction at Sunset Trail.

Turn right to stay on the Rim Trail, it continues along the open ridge with splendid views of the reservoir and Mt Diablo!

The trail continues on rolling terrain along the treeless ridge with expanded views of Rheem Valley and Lafayette Ridge.

At the Campolindo Trail junction, the Rim Trail tilts up for a steep 17-21% climb.

The trail levels out for a short stretch followed by another steep pitch up to the Overlook Area near the Rheem Trail junction.

Enjoy the panoramic views of Mt Diablo, Las Trampas and San Ramon Valley to the east, Briones Hills and Lafayette Ridge to the north and the Berkeley Hills and San Pablo Ridge to the far west!

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The Rim Trail continues to The Rheem Reservoir. There is a drinking fountain on the  east side of the water tank.

The trail continues on a steady rolling moderate grade with fabulous vistas to the next Overlook Area near the Canyon Trail junction.

Stay on the Rim Trail, it keeps atop of the ridge with moderate rolling climbs as it heads north along the west side of the reservoir.

At Westview Trail junction, go straight to stay on the Rim Trail. It winds through the scattered oaks with broad views of Diablo and the reservoir.

The trail goes downhill past the small playground area surrounded by tall pines to the fishing cleaning station and restrooms.

Turn right and follow the paved road to the Visitors Center.

Enjoy the lakeside views!

The paved Lakeside Nature Trail is a relatively flat 2.7 miles around the reservoir. The trail goes along the manicured lawns and picnic areas as it travels counter-clockwise around the lake.

The trail cuts in and out of the shaded woodland on gentle terrain with the occasional glimpse of the reservoir.

The Lakeside Nature Trail leads to the large picnic area at the east end of the lake near the playground.

Exit through the parking lot for the return downhill to Mt Diablo Blvd.

Put on your hiking boots and hit the trails! The roller coaster hills on the Rim Trail offers spectacular panoramic views of Mt Diablo, Las Trampas, Briones, the East Bay Hills and the surround valleys and ridges! The leisurely walk around the Lakeside Nature Trail is a wonderful way to complete this double loop hike. In addition to these two trails, there are other fire roads that radiate from the lake or ridge which allows you to combine any of the trails for a variety of loops.

*1 http://www.ebmud.com/recreation/east-bay/lafayette-reservoir/

Stats:
9.2 Miles with 1871′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1029′
Time: 4 hours
Hike: Rim Trail-Challenging with steep climbs. Nature Trail-Easy
Parking: Ample free street parking on Village Center or Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette OR $7 parking fee at the reservoir lot
Facilities: Restrooms & drinking fountains available around the Nature Trail. No facilities on Rim Trail, water at Rheem Reservoir
Bring water & food/snacks
Dog Friendly-ON-LEASH ONLY

Weather: Sunny & warm. Temps ranging from the mid 60’s to the low 70’s with SW winds

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

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