#7 Briones Regional Park

Briones Regional Park is part of the East Bay Regional Parks in Contra Costa County. It features rolling grasslands, secluded canyons, and peaks with sweeping views.

Distance: 6.3 Miles

Flora: California Live Oak, Grasslands, 

Fauna: Yellow Rumped Warbler, Acorn Woodpeckers, Cattle

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I'm really happy I gave Briones Regional Park a second chance.

The first time we hiked through this park we entered from the Bear Creek Staging Area in the Southwest corner of the park  and hiked over the large hills where the cattle grazed. A good way to get your heart rate up, but visually... not too interesting. 

This time I entered from the Alhambra Creek Staging Area near Martinez, and was treated to far more interesting terrain as I hiked up the Alhambra Creek Trail. At the top of this steep climb through the woods, I passed through the cattle gates and found myself on the top of the rolling hills of the Briones Crest Trail. It was sunny and warm, and from the tops of these hills I could see the northern section of the San Francisco Bay.

I followed the trail a few miles east and was treated to a lookout with a stunning view of Mount Diablo.  Another right turn and I was back to hiking through the woods toward the Staging Area.

This hike was more diverse than I expected and offered a solid workout. I'd happily go back!