EBMUD: Old San Pablo-Inspiration Trail Hike

Thursday, August 10, 2017

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Shimmering lakes, wooded glens and colorful flowers can be enjoyed along 80 miles of EBMUD trails in the East Bay. These hiking and horseback-riding paths wind through 27,000 acres of open space. EBMUD provides parking at five staging areas and stocks water on the trails for horses. *1

This hike travels NW on Old San Pablo Trail along San Pablo Creek with gorgeous views of San Pablo Reservoir. It continues with a moderately steep climb up to San Pablo Ridge on the Inspiration Trail.

Begin this hike from the EBMUD Orinda Connector Staging Area on Bear Creek Rd at the corner of San Pablo Dam Rd in Orinda. Sign in at the registration kiosk and follow the rocky Orinda Connector Trail down through the shaded woodland along San Pablo Creek to the Oursan Trail junction.

Go straight onto Oursan Trail, it continues through the dense oak and bay woodland.

Stop at the EBMUD Watershed Headquarters (water & restrooms).

Exit the Watershed Office onto the Old San Pablo Trail.

The trail meanders through the woodlands with beautiful views of San Pablo Reservoir!

Follow the trail sign to stay on Old San Pablo Trail, it continues on flat terrain through the gorgeous canopy of conifers.

Follow the trail sign to stay on Old San Pablo Trail, it exits out through the open meadows before cutting back through the woods.

Old San Pablo Trail continues across a bridge and winds its way beneath the beautiful oak bay woodland towards the next trail junction.

At Inspiration Trail junction, turn left and cross Old San Pablo Dam Rd to stay on the trail.

At the next trail split, go left to stay on Inspiration Trail. It turns westwards through the chapparal covered slope and open meadows to San Pablo Dam Rd.

Cross San Pablo Dam Rd to stay on Inspiration Trail, it leads up to the EBMUD trail gate entrance.

Turn right to stay on Inspiration Trail, the moderately steep climb takes you up along the ridge with wonderful panoramic views of San Pablo Reservoir and San Pablo Ridge!

The trail continues upwards along the rolling ridgeline. Enjoy the phenomenal panoramas!

Inspirational Trail winds around the hillside to the next trail split.

Turn left to stay on Inspirational Trail, the fire road continues upwards to the next trail junction.

Turn left to stay on Inspirational Trail, it weaves up around the hillside towards the top of the ridge.

The fire road turns southward to the EBMUD trail entrance at San Pablo Ridge off Wildcat Canyon Rd at Nimitz Gate.

Lunch stop at Inspiration Point.

Return to Nimitz Gate onto Nimitz Way Trail. The paved road meanders north through the pine woodland and scenic overlooks to the EBMUD watershed trail gate.

Cross the gate for the return to Inspiration Trail.

Retrace the route back on Inspiration Trail to the EBMUD gate entrance off San Pablo Dam Rd.

Cross the road and return on Old San Pablo Trail to the Oursan Trail junction.

Go straight onto the Orinda Connector Trail for the return to the EBMUD Orinda Connector Staging Area.

This hike explores EBMUD’s trails north watershed areas around San Pablo Reservoir up to San Pablo Ridge. You’ll enjoy the gorgeous oak, bay and conifer woodlands and the spectacular ridgeline views of San Pablo Reservoir and San Pablo Ridge along Inspiration Trail!

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

Stats:
8 Miles with 1454′ of elevation gain
Max Elevation: 1063′
Time: 3.5 hours with a stop
Hike: Moderate
Parking: No fee with limited parking at the Orinda Connector Staging Area on Bear Creek Rd at the corner of San Pablo Dam Rd
No facilities
No dogs allowed
Water & restrooms available at the EBMUD Watershed Office
Pit toilets-NO WATER at Inspiration Point

Weather: Sunny, warm and breezy. Temps ranged from the mid 60’s to the low 70’s with brisk SW winds.

Directions: Orinda Connector Staging Area > Orinda Connector Tr > S-Oursan Tr > Watershed Office (water & restrooms) > Old San Pablo Tr > L-Inspiration Tr > cross road > L-stay on Inspiration Tr > SPDR Xing > S-stay on Inspiration Tr > thru trail gate to stay on Inspiration Tr > L-stay on Inspiration Tr > Nimitz Gate (restroom-NO WATER) > L-Inspiration Point > U-to Nimitz Gate onto Nimitz Way Tr > R-cross cattle gate onto Inspiration Tr > R-Old San Pablo Tr > S-Oursan Tr > Orinda Connector Staging Area

Purchase EBMUD Trail Permit

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Print EBMUD Trail Map

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