Briones Regional Park - Mott Peak Hike

This hike was a nice combination of exposed ridge line hiking and canopied trails.

See the Photo Map

Location: Briones Regional Park

Trails Taken -

Start out on Abrigo Valley Trail

R on Mott Peak Trail (Maud Whalen campsite is on your left)

R on Briones Crest (Look for Sindicich and Manicich Lagoons)

R on Old Briones Road Trail

L on Valley Trail

R on Yerba Buena Trail

R on Crescent Ridge Trail (Hike past Archery range)

R Seaborg Trail back to Trailhead (Keep to your left)

Mileage - 5.76 miles, Total Ascent 2431', total descent 2415'

Trailhead - Bear Creek staging area (EBRPD, not EBMUD)  If you are coming from Orinda, the EBRPD Bear Creek staging area is on your right, just after the EBMUD Bear Creek staging area, on your left.  

Notes and Impressions - 

At the EBRPD Bear Creek trailhead, you'll find toilets and water and nice picnic areas.  If the gate is attended, you'll have to pay a fee to enter.

.14 Starting on Old Briones road trail, sign on gate says watch for cattle and water line is broken...saw lots of horse poop

.31 Nice trail for dogs, passed a trail runner with dog, wide, beautiful tree lined trail

Steep hill on right, decline on left, trail is wide enough for car

.37 Valley on left is loud with birds

.44 Just passing beautiful old oak covered with moss, canyon on left and incline on right

.54 Little stream crossing road, you can see a lot of erosion on left from recent rain, where the side of the hill just caves in

.56 There is a nice bench to observe valley and hills across the way, Buckeyes getting leaves, nice Oaks

.64 Still on gravel trail, to left are hills with drop down to valley, hills full of birds, sun hitting that spot, some rock exposure in the hills across the way

.74 Trail is still wide fire road/gravel, to right is hillside, with terracettes, hawks hovering

.76 Crossing over a little stream

.79 So far it's been completely exposed, but nice views of valley to the left, Bay trees, Oak trees, to the right is grass

.90 Hear stream loudly on left

.94 At intersection of Mott peak and Abrigo Valley trail, big meadow and pit toilet, giant old oak here, must be hundreds of years old

.94 Starting on Mott Peak, to left is big lean-to structure

1.03 Crossing a little stream on the trail...starting to climb

1.11 Climbing up Mott Peak, water tower on right, huff huff...

1.14 Bear to left on Mott Peak trail

1.14 Trail is pretty wet and muddy in middle but dry on left, mostly exposed with brush and oak, occasional bird activity

1.22, Trail is really muddy here, stream almost going down the middle of it

1.25 It's like I'm walking through that clay we used to use in 3rd grade

1.28 Climbing on Mott Peak Trail, totally exposed rolling hills as I go through the muck...some sign of spring wild flowers, hawks circling above

1.34 Path that goes to right, but I'm staying to the left, trail marker ahead, hawk on the trail marker, but he disappears as I approach

1.40 At intersection of Mott peak trail and Black oak trail, I'm staying on Mott Peak to left

1.44 Lots of paw prints on the ground, probably dog, seeing lagoons down below

1.46 Going up hill, in area of rolling hills and seeing lagoon

1.55 Cattle country, on ridge, see rolling hills all around me, to my left in distance is San Pablo Bay

1.57 Far off I can hear a train (to left) seeing birds hunting

1.68 Numerous little trickles of water going across the trail, ATV tracks on road

1.73 Just went through gate, giant hawk on fence up ahead, beautiful views of mothball fleet in Suisun Bay, Benicia Bridge, see Martinez, Concord

1.77 At intersection of Briones Crest Trail and Mott Peak Trail,  all is lush and wet, (Also called Ivan Dickson Memorial Loop Trail 

Hiking down Briones Crest Trail, extremely muddy in spots

1.84 See some ground squirrels on left, some lagoons with lots of birds, ducks, etc

1.88 Little bench to eat lunch or take a break

Sitting on bench eating lunch, seeing refineries, mothball fleet, windmills off in distance, Mt. Diablo

Cow crew ahead checking me out

2.12 Sign explaining terracettes and seasonal ponds

2.18 Trail runner just passed me, now a biker, lots of trail activity, see some terracettes on hills

2.2 Full sun now, seeing more hikers, runners, bikers

2.39 At intersection of Briones Crest Trail and Old Briones Road, taking a right on Briones Crest Trail

2.51 Taking Old Briones Road to Valley Trail

2.53 Seeing lots of ground squirrels

2.56 Taking Valley Trail because sky is washed out today and I want some canopy shots

2.60 Trail is very wet, rutted, bikes, ATVs, cattle, people, horses, just a mess

2.71 Steep cliff on left and drop on right as I descend Old Briones Road

2.74 Heading down in to valley, beautiful trees coming up

2.81 Trail is crazy wet, just passed hiker and her dog, lots of dogs on trail today

2.87 As you come down there are nice rolling green hills on right, Buckeyes starting to bloom

2.90 Seeing fresh bike trails, I don't know how they got through this mud

2.95 Little stream flowing right on left edge of Old Briones road, but then goes under via pipe and blasts out on right

3.04 Cattle pen ahead, going to Valley Trail

3.18 Valley trail goes to left, taking that

3.33 Passing a bench on Valley Trail, on left are hills with terracettes, hawks circling, maybe a cave on the hillside?  I'm on a rancher road, barb wire fence on right, maybe a stream bed on right (can't see), lots of birds about

3.50 Getting buzzed by giant bees, but they're not bothering me, just checking me out

3.56 Little lagoon, Great Blue Heron just took off

3.67, Taking right on Yerba Buena Trail to right, path is not too apparent, but you'll see the gate across the meadow

To get to Yerba Buena trail you need to cross the meadow and go through gate

Starting Yerba Buena trail, it's wet and there are bike tracks in the fresh mud, smelling a musty, forest scent

Early part of Yerba Buena, lot of Bay trees, very wet

3.96 On Yerba Buena to left is an steep incline, to right are nice Oaks and Bay trees and hillside 

4.04 On left of Yerba Buena trail hillside is steep, and trees are showing their roots after erosion washed away soil

4.05 Remains of old gate on trail, part of fence post is embedded in tree

This part of Yerba Buena trail at mile 4.13, quite a few Bay trees, shrubs, Oaks, ferns, quite a variety of life, hawks flying over me

4.2 Yerba Buena trail starts going up hill

4.35 on Cresent Ridge, looking at valley below which is lush

4.4 beautiful oak groves on right, gnarled and twisted, really pretty

4.43 Heading down Crescent Ridge trail, little bit of downhill, heading to valley below, can see the archery range

Hearing frogs on right in the Oak forest

Somewhat steep descent coming down

4.79 Just passing Archery range, friendly cows hanging out

4.94 Taking right on Seaborg trail

4.95 On Seaborg trail, wide trail, dirt and gravel, on left is dense brush, on right is open meadow, hearing stream on left, seeing Manzanita bushes

5.16 Stream is down below, seeing small waterfall

Very steep side trail to waterfall, steep and slick

5.23 Walking this part of trail just a constant sound of stream on left

5.47 On Old Briones heading back to parking lot

5.6 Walking down to parking lot

Photo Map