The National Nature Park of Las Trampas is an area of 5342 acres (21.62 km2) located in the northern California counties of Alameda and Contra Costa. The closest city is Danville. Las Trampas in California are Spanish for snares and traps. The park is part of the East Bay District Regional Park (EBRPD).
The Regional Preserve Las Trampas Wilderness offers 5,778 hectares of wildlife and an extensive network of trails that allow hikers and riders to enjoy the rugged, rough plains of this region. The size and terrain of the park encourage visitors to feel privately and to escape from city turmoil. You and your dog(s) and horses take plenty of drinking water to the park when you visit it. The water source in the park is intermittent and water can at any time be unavailable.
It consists of two long, hilly ridges (Las Trampas Ridge on the east and Rocky Ridge on the west) flanking a narrow valley along Bollinger Creek, which contains a stable for horses and visitor parking. Some of the hiking trails have steep sections; they can cover up to 900 feet (270 m) of altitude change. The park has been described as "a tough guy in the East Bay Regional Park District."
The vegetation on the southern and western slopes of the two ridges is predominant: black sage, chamise and buck brush, with less toy, hybrid manzanitas, elderberry, gooseberry, caparral currant, sticky monkey flower, coffee berry, coyote bush, poison oak, holly leaf red berry, deer weed and dozens of other species. Some of the exposed rocks contain compressed fossil layers.
Rocky Ridge reaches a height of 2,024 feet (617 m). At an altitude of 1,760 feet (540 m), there is another trail that leads across the EBMUD land. The trail leads either to the Valle Vista staging area on Canyon Road in Moraga or south to the Chabot staging area in Castro Valley.
The Chamise and Bollinger Creek Loop trails lead to Las Trampas Ridge, east of Bollinger Creek. The ridge offers good views of the valleys of Ygnacio, San Ramon and Amador, as well as Mt. Diablo and Carquinez.
There are two picnic areas, called Steelhead and Shady, near the parking lot. They are available on a first-come , first-served basis and can not be reserved. Picnic sites are available for groups of 50 to 300 people at the nearby Little Hills Picnic Ranch.
Bicycles are allowed on half of the trails; riders and hikers on all the trails. Dogs are allowed to go. Cows, calves, steers and an occasional free-range bull can be found on the trails; the grass is kept short for summer fire safety.Deer, coons and skunks can be seen, as well as hawks, vultures and an occasional eagle. The most common trees are the laurel bay of California and the live oak coast. Other species include buckeye, large leaf maple, live oak canyon, black oak and scrub oak. The latter, with its mistletoe, appears to prefer the ridgetop habitat at the end of the Chamise Trail.
On its eastern border, the park encloses the triangular heritage of the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site on all three sides, with access from Las Trampas via hiking trails or from Danville via a single-lane road. There are also several secluded waterfalls in the eastern section of the park, most of which are difficult to reach.
The western part of Las Trampas is a sensitive EBMUD (East Bay Municipal Utility District) watershed and is closed to hiking by visitors who do not have a valid EBMUD permit.
This amazing must-see site is conveniently located near some of Blackhawk’s other top attractions. Make sure to check them out on your next visit:
Blackhawk Country Club
Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space Preserve
Morgan Territory Regional Preserve
Diablo Vista Park
Red Willow Park
After visiting these lovely attractions make sure to stop by and say “Hello” to us at our downtown Danville location, DPG Pavers Danville Location on 4115 Blackhawk Plaza Circle!