Wednesday, September 5, 2018
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Located outside of the town of Crockett, the 1,939 acres of Crockett Hills Regional Park were likely hunting and gathering grounds for Native Americans, later were nineteenth-century ranchlands and more recently were part of the industrial history of the region. The original ranch barn, milkhouse, and corrals can still be seen in the Crockett Ranch staging and picnic area. The park ranges in elevation from 150-800 feet, offering views of San Pablo Bay, the Delta, Mount Tamalpais, and Mount Diablo. Trails include a 4.5-mile segment of the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
The topography of Crockett Hills Regional Park and the adjoining Carquinez Regional Shoreline consists of open, rolling grasslands, wooded ravines, eucalyptus-shaded meadows, and river shoreline. Multi-purpose trails provide access to canyon views and ridgetop vistas.*1
Begin this hike from the Crockett Ranch Staging Area at Crockett Hills Regional Park in Crockett.
Enter through the trail gate up to the Edwards Loop/Edwards Creek Trail junction: go left onto the Edwards Creek Trail. The trail climbs up along the old spillway and creek to the Edwards Loop Trail junction.
Turn right onto Edwards Loop Trail, the single track traverses through the dense oak/bay woodland to the Wood Rat Trail junction.
Turn right to stay on Edwards Loop, it continues across the chaparral-covered hillside with views of San Pablo Bay and the Carquinez Bridge.
At the next signpost, go straight and enter through the tunnel under Cummings Skwy.
At the Crockett Ranch/Sky Trail junction: the road splits three ways-go straight on the unsigned narrow single track Soaring Eagle Trail. The trails winds around the open ridge with scattered sections of brush woodlands.
Enjoy the spectacular views of San Pablo Bay, Carquinez Strait, the Delta and Mount Tamalpais!
At the next trail split: go straight to stay on Soaring Eagle Trail. The trail continues rounding the rolling hills through the open grasslands and woodlands.
Enjoy the scenic views!
Soaring Eagle comes to a T at Sky Trail junction.
Turn right onto Sky Trail. The trail goes along the ridge past the paved picnic area to Big Valley/Sugar City junction.
Go straight through the cattle gate to continue on Sugar City Trail, the single track winds its way down along the hillside dotted with grazing cattle.
The trail comes to an unmarked split, you can go left to continue traversing downhill or drop straight downhill on the unmarked cattle trail. We opt for the shortcut downhill across the dry creek into Big Valley. Follow the no-name trail across the open grassland onto Big Valley Trail.
Turn right onto Big Valley, the broad fire road tilts up for a moderate climb up to the cattle gate at Kestrel Loop junction.
Go through the gate to stay on Big Valley, the trail continues with a climb back up to the top of the ridge at the Sugar City Trail junction.
Turn left and return across the picnic area onto Sky Trail.
Stay on Sky Trail, it turns northwards across the open grasslands along the top of the ridge.
At the next trail split, go left onto the unmarked trail for a short jaunt uphill. Enjoy the expansive panoramic views!
The trail drops downhill back onto Sky Trail, turn left onto Sky for the return to the tunnel.
At the Edwards Loop junction, go straight and retrace the route back to the Wood Rat junction. Go straight and continue on Wood Rat Trail. The trail continues through the open brush area into the shaded woodlands before exiting out onto the open hillside.
At Edwards Creek trail junction, go left onto Edwards Creek. The trail tilts up for a short climb before dropping downhill through oak woodland out to the open meadows.
Stay on Edwards Creek Trail for the return back to the Crockett Ranch Staging Area parking lot.
This scenic hike around Crockett Hills has fabulous ridge top vistas! It’s easy to shorten or lengthen the hike as you meander along the rolling hills and valley. It’s best to come out here during cooler weather conditions-the open ridge has full sun exposure with little pockets of shade. Bring plenty of water, wear a hat and sunscreen.
7.27 Miles with 1389′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 762′
Time: 3.5 hours with multiple stops
Parking: No fee at Crockett Hills Regional Park-Crockett Ranch staging area at 1300 Crockett Blvd, Crockett
Water & pit toilet available
Bring plenty of water & food/snacks-No facilities or water along the trails
Weather: Cloudy overcast skies > sunny & warm. Temps ranged from the low 60’s to mid 70’s with SW winds.
Directions: Crockett Ranch Staging Area > L-Edwards Creek Tr > R-Edwards LoopTr > R-Edwards LoopTr > S-through Tunnel > R-Soaring Eagle Tr > S-stay on Soaring Eagle Tr > L-Sugar City Tr through gate > L-stay on Sugar City Tr > Shortcut on unmarked trail down into Big Valley > R-Big Valley Tr > R-stay on Big Valley Tr > L-Sky Tr > R-through Tunnel > R-Edwards Loop Tr > S-Wood Rat Tr > S-Edwards Creek Tr > R-Crockett Ranch Staging Area