Here are some challenging hikes you might want to try. Challenging trails are those that have significant elevation gain (1,000 feet or more), are 6 – 20 miles or more in length, trail conditions vary from good to rugged, and they generally take 4 – 8 hours to complete. These hikes are not for the faint-hearted!
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve:
Stewartville – Star Mine – Lower Oil Canyon – Oil Canyon – Upper Oil Canyon Trails
This route takes you by a trail that leads to the 200-foot deep Prospect Tunnel!
Length: 9.3 miles round-trip
Crockett Hills Regional Park
Edwards Loop – Sky – Big Valley – Sugar City – Kestrel Loop – Big Valley – Sky – Soaring Eagle – Edwards Loop Trails
Crockett Hills Regional Park features panoramic views of the Delta, San Pablo Bay, Carquinez Bridge, and Mount Diablo and supports annual grasslands, oak woodlands, and coastal shrub plant communities.
Length: 6.93 miles round-trip
Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Areas
Chabot-to-Garin Regional Trail
Dense forests and far-reaching views abound on this trail sure to remove you from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
Length: 14 miles round-trip
Del Valle Regional Park
Arroyo Road Staging Area to East Shore – Heron Bay Trails
This hike features several steep climbs and descents.
Length: 7.8 miles round-trip
Diablo Foothills Regional Park
Castle Rock – Stage Road – Little Yosemite – Briones to Mt. Diablo – Hanging Valley – Stonegate – Buckeye Ravine – Shell Ridge Loop – Borges Ranch Trails
This challenging hike travels through several different environments including a seasonal waterfall (January – April), open grass lands, and pine forest, and offers expansive views!
Length: 7.34 miles round-trip
Las Trampas Regional Wilderness
Elderberry – rocky Ridge View – Devil’s Hole – Sycamore Rocky Ridge View Trails
This strenuous hike offers magnificent 360 degree views of Mount Diablo, the Tri-Valley, and the San Leandro Watershed.
Length: 6.0 mile loop
Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park
Sycamore Grove – Woodland-Ridgeline – Thermalito Trails
This route features several different trails, crosses many distinct ecosystems, and has over 1,000 feet total elevation change.
Length: 11 miles round-trip
Redwood Regional Park
Canyon Meadow Staging Area to Stream – Tres Sendas – French – Orchard – Bridle – Stream Trails
Redwood Regional Park contains the largest natural strand of coast redwood in the East Bay; the serenity and beautifully lighted landscapes of these forests are unmatched in the region.
Length: 6.57 mile loop
Round Valley Regional Preserve
Miwok – Murphy Meadow Trails – Round Valley Group Camp and back The trail system is great for all types of users, especially mountain bikers and equestrians.
Length: 7.26 miles round-trip
Tilden Nature Area to Wildcat Canyon Regional Park
Laurel Canyon – Nimitz Way – Havey Canyon – Wildcat Creek Trails
This hike exemplifies the diversity and beauty of the Berkeley hills while awakening and freeing the senses with an ever-changing landscape of habitats.
Length: 7 miles round-trip