Siesta Valley & Claremont Canyon: Orinda to Berkeley

This hike has been rated moderate to hard.

Important: EBMUD trails require a Trail Use Permit ($3/day, $10/year). Purchase online and print at home.

Important: Camino Pablo does not have crosswalks. Cross with traffic on Santa Maria Way. Use caution when crossing freeway slip lane.

Siesta Valley is odd. Part of the water district’s land right outside Orinda, the permit requirement and general low population in the immediate surrounding area keeps it quieter than East Bay parkland in the hills closer to Berkeley and Oakland, but the views from the shoulder of the valley are no less impressive. If it weren’t for the Wilder Ranch subdivision, you’d barely know you’re in the middle of one of the country’s biggest metropolitan areas.

The initial climb out of Orinda can seem steep, and the EBMUD gravel maintenance road is perhaps maintained more for practicality than scenery, but the views right before dipping over into Siesta Valley of the Carquines Strait and the reservoirs north of Orinda are fantastic, and the tranquility of the valley itself even moreso. After hiking past a eucalyptus grove and into Cal’s hill land, a steep descent down through Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve back into Berkeley awaits.

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