EBMUD: Bear Creek Trail Hike

Thursday, June 28, 2018

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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 shaded hike winds through the oak/bay woodland along Bear Creek Trail from Bear Creek Staging Area to Briones Overlook Staging Area.

Begin this hike from the EBMUD Bear Creek Staging Area in Orinda. Enter through the trail gate at the west side of the parking lot and follow the trail down and across Bear Creek. The trail climbs out from the low canyon area up to the Bear Creek/Overlook Staging Area junction.

Go straight to stay on Bear Creek Trail, it leads to the trail gate out to the old Bear Creek Rd. Turn right onto the paved road, it heads westward across the valley to the next trail gate.

Enter through to stay on Bear Creek Trail, it goes along the south edge of Briones Reservoir with great views of the blue waters and its surrounding hills and ridges.

Bear Creek Trail continues on gentle terrain through the gorgeous bay/oak woodlands.

At the trail split, go right to stay on Bear Creek Trail, the single track continues with an uphill climb to the benches at the first high point.

Enjoy the views of Briones Reservoir!

Follow the trail signs to stay on Bear Creek Trail, it continues up to the transmission tower with open views of the reservoir.

Follow the trail signs to stay on Bear Creek Trail, it continues to wind through the beautiful shaded oak/bay woodland.

Due to time constraints, we opt to turn around at a 3-mile mark at the stockwater only sign. You can continue on for another mile up to Briones Overlook Staging Area for a total roundtrip hike of 8 miles. We turn around and retrace the route back to Bear Creek Staging Area.

This is a wonderful shaded hike through the beautiful oak/bay woodland along the south side of Briones Reservoir. EBMUD carefully manages watershed lands to protect water quality – so please, follow use rules and have your permit with you.*1 

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

6.1 Miles with 823′ of elevation gain
Time: 2.5 hours with one stop
Hike: Easy
Parking: No fee at EBMUD Bear Creek Staging Area on Bear Creek Rd in Orinda
PortaPottie-NO WATER

Bring plenty of water & food/snacks

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

Print EBMUD Trail Map



  1. Beautiful, wooded hike thanks for posting this. I’m the lady who recognized you on the trail, thanks for all you do. Excellent directions and maps too.


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