Briones Reservoir Loop - Oursan Trail
Monday, January 01, 2007 @ 9:00 AM
The Briones Reservoir Loop is an approximately 14 mile loop around the entire Briones Reservoir. This will take about 5+ hours and should only be attempted by experienced hikers. We will take one 15 minute break for a snack, but will not take many stops. There is an outhouse 1/3 of the way around the reservoir, and at the trail head. Part of the trail will be on the Bear Creek Trail which does not allow dogs and the rangers frequently patrol the area. The Briones Reservoir Overlook staging area requires the East Bay MUD permit.
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Cell Phone: (925) 348-0014
At this staging area, there are two trails (Bear Creek and Oursan). We will start out on the Oursan Trail and head clockwise around the reservoir.
The hike is 13+ miles (depending on various GPS systems) and is a moderately difficult hike, looping around the Briones Reservoir. It will take 4+ hours to complete. We will not take more than one 15 minute break for a snack about 1/2 way through the hike. There is an outhouse 1/3 of the way around the reservoir in addition to the one at the trailhead. There is another outhouse at the Bear Creek Staging Area which we will go through to complete the hike at the Briones Reservoir Overlook Staging Area.
It is recommended that only experienced hikers attempt this hike as there are some fairly steep areas and uneven terrain. Dogs are allowed on the Oursan Trail, but not on the Bear Creek Trail. Therefore, if you are planning on bringing your dog, you may need to turn around rather than do the loop since we start out on the Oursan Trail, but pick up the Bear Creek trail for approximately 3 miles before re-connecting with the Oursan Trail.
A protected area, trail use permits are required. You can go on-line to the East Bay MUD's website and purchase an annual pass and download your permit immediately. For more information about the permit, visit:
Parking Fee: East Bay MUD Permit
Other Fees: EBMUD permit required
From highway 24 westbound take the Orinda exit.
Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Orinda Village/Richmond and merge onto Camino Pablo.
Continue on Camino Pablo for 2.2 miles to Bear Creek Road.
From highway 24 eastbound take the exit toward Moraga.
Turn left onto Camino Pablo and continue for 2.3 miles to Bear Creek Road.
At Bear Creek Road (traffic signal) turn right and drive 1.4 miles to the Briones Overlook staging area on the left.
It is very near the top of a big hill. Easy to miss, so drive slow. Big parking lot, small entrance.
The trailhead information on this page was last updated
Wednesday, February 19, 2014.