There is one thing you need to know about the Rim trail: Hills!
Trails Taken - We started out on the trailhead at the end of Campolindo drive. We followed the trail north to the Reservoir. There are several side trails along the way, but we kept to the right. Eventually the trail drops down to the paved section of the Reservoir loop. Just before we dropped down, we came across a lost dog. After wandering around the dam area, we found the happy owners. After that, we forgot to access the Rim Trail on ramp at the other end of the parking lot, and walked right past it. So, we continued on to the Westview trail, and climbed back up on Rim. At the top, we took a left and followed the Rim Trail back to the start.
Mileage- 5.71 miles
Trailhead - 3849 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Lafayette, CA. This is the main parking area, with bathrooms and water.
Notes and Impressions -
The trail started out slightly wet in some places, and cracked in others. Much of the Rim Trail is exposed, so bring sun block and wear a hat.
Some trails offer switch backs to decrease the angle of ascent, but not the Rim Trail. Expect some heart pounding hills. You'll have great views of the Reservoir, see some canopies, and walk through some really pretty sections of the park area. At that point, there are bathrooms, water and picnic tables. It's a beautiful and popular area. Here is the EBMud Lafayette Reservoir page. Get there early for better parking.
This is a trail shared by runners, hikers and dogs, so step carefully.
There is a tremendous variety of wildlife in this area. I've seen deer, rabbits, numerous raptors and water birds. I almost always hear or see Wild Turkeys.
There are three trails that drop you to the reservoir from the Rim Trail. They are Big Oak Trail, Campolindo Trail, and Westview Trail. You can create numerous paved and dirt trail loops from the start at the parking lot, and each one would offer some nice hills to climb. Two other trails cross the valley from opposite sides of the Rim Trail. Canyon Trail is a gentler incline and takes you under a majestic old oak. Rheem Trail is steep and is challenging in both directions. This is 1.1 miles from side to side. About half way across is another trail that takes you to the reservoir.
.28 Little bit of a hill
.49 Totally exposed, brush on right, Oaks and Eucs on left, houses on right
.63 Serious horse deposit on trail
1.05 Beautiful view of reservoir, passing lots of people, runners/hikers/dog walkers
1.11 Lots of birds, especially Scrub Jays
1.2 On left is forest of Oaks and variety of trees in valley below, I can hear lots of birds down there
1.22 Seeing reservoir as you crest the hill
1.51 Really nice views of the reservoir from here, you can see people fishing and hanging out in play area, hills green
1.62 Heading down to reservoir
1.70 Passing beautiful twisted old Oak, nice valley, lots of bird activity
1.75 Jays really chattering today
(Paved section, dog rescue, lunch, siesta, etc)
3.23, Leaving paved reservoir, going to Westview Trail
3.32 Climbing up via Westview Trail, lots of twisted old Oaks here
3.51 Getting steep, no switchback, just up
3.90 Higher elevation, some pine trees and redwoods
4.41 Mega steep hill