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Tri-Valley High

For a fantastic East Bay hike, check out the newly opened Brushy Peak Regional Preserve in Livermore


Photo by Lea Blevins

When We talk about climbing high in the East Bay, Mt. Diablo State Park gets all the buzz. But Mount Diablo isn’t the only peak around, especially with the newly opened Brushy Peak Regional Preserve in Livermore and its 1,700-foot summit.

Brushy Peak is where the San Francisco Bay Area, the California Delta, and the Central Valley meet. Bearing a rich Native American history, it was considered sacred ground and is crisscrossed by ancient trade routes.

The preserve is just a few minutes’ drive from I-580 but feels like a different universe. The region is so tranquil and removed, it’s no wonder legendary bandit Joaquin Murrieta used caves in these hills to hide out in the 1850s. The hike toward the peak rewards you with spectacular sights, including a view across a valley of power-generating windmills. Also keep your eyes out for wildlife, including red-legged frogs, raptors and hawks, and the endangered Alameda whipsnake.

The Livermore Area Recreation and Park District offers a guided monthly hike to the summit through an area not usually open to the public. That hike offers views of the Central Valley and, on a clear day, the Sierra Nevada.

The quickest way to get to Brushy Peak is from I-580 in Livermore. Exit north at Vasco Road, and immediately turn right onto Northfront Road. Then, go .8 miles, and turn left onto Laughlin Road. Proceed roughly two miles to the staging area at the end of Laughlin Road.

Go to ebparks.org/parks/brushy_peak for information about public access to Brushy Peak Regional Preserve. The next guided hikes are on April 25 and May 30, and cost $23 per hiker. Go to larpd.dst.ca.us for information.

To view additional photos of Brushy Peak Regional Preserve, click HERE.

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