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Walnut Creek Guide Hiking

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Hiking in Walnut Creek CA
Walnut Creek Hiking

Known for its mild climate, preserves and outdoor lifestyle, Walnut Creek has become a center for outdoor activities, from golf to tennis to biking to hiking. There are an abundance of parks and open spaces in the city, and with Mount Diablo nearby, you will find no shortage of places to hike. The ridgelines around Walnut Creek are strikingly beautiful and much has been done to preserve the land. If you are looking to experience nature and exercise, there are a number of parks and trails available to you.

Mount Diablo's Grand Loop
Mount Diablo State Park, CA

This moderate, 6.2-mile walk takes about half a day to complete and offers panoramic views of the Bay Area, as far as the Farallon Islands, the Sierra Nevada, Mount Lassen and San Cruz Mountains on a clear day. It also provides hikers with beautiful wildflowers in the spring. The Grand Loop is also part of the Audible Mount Diablo series, which allows people to hear and see nature more clearly when they walk the area. Make sure to take enough water for this hike, especially on hot days. Views are best in the morning.

Kovar Trail to Mt. Diablo-Briones Trail via Ridge Top Trail
Off Walnut Blvd. in Walnut Creek, CA 94958

Spanning 4.5 miles, this moderate, half-day hike provides an undulating walk through the valley and foothills of Mount Diablo. The trail is a combination of rugged terrain and gentle stretches that makes it exciting but not too tough. Beautiful in spring with views of the greenery and majestic with autumn gold, the walk boasts a total of 1,300 feet climbing up to 800 feet above sea level. The incline is moderate, but near the top, it gets rather steep, so if you have trouble climbing, avoid the last part of the trail. Many other trails meet this one, so you can always continue on another section. Entry and parking are free at this location.

Iron Horse Trail
Off Marsh Drive, Walnut Creek, CA 94959

The Iron Horse Trail is one of Walnut Creek’s most popular and used trails, following Interstate 680 and connecting 12 cities and two counties. Running through residential neighborhoods, business and commercial districts and lush scenery, this trail runs from Concord in the north and passes through Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, San Ramon and Dublin. Accessible from the BART at the southern trailhead, this walk offers a variety of scenery and terrain. If you want to access the trail from its middle point in Walnut Creek, you can get to this in Heather Farm Park.

Shell Ridge Open Space
1035 Castle Rock Road, 1/2 mile past Northgate High School, Walnut Creek, CA 94598

The largest of Walnut Creek’s open space areas, Shell Ridge has trails for biking, riding and hiking. Traveling through woodlands of oaks and grasslands along the bottom of Mount Diablo, this open space provides 31 miles of trails, both paved and unpaved. Deriving its name from the marine fossils that were left behind when ocean waters receded, this area is great for exploring with the entire family.

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