Between the busy commuter corridor of I680 in Danville, and the East Bay hills of Oakland lies a vast swath of wild land where you can hike for hours and not see a soul. Las Trampas Regional Wilderness and the adjacent EBMUD (water company) watershed encompass a wide region of ridges and valleys, with only a few trails for intrepid through-hikers.
I’d often been up on Rocky Ridge, exploring the blown sandstone of the wind caves, and had hiked through from Moraga several times, but I’d never found the actual high point of Rocky Ridge. There’s some disagreement on-line and the USGS topo maps are incorrect, but some research and review of Google maps and LIDAR data identified the mysterious Rock 2 as the seldom-visited true high point.
This hike was part of a grand point-to-point, 17 miles from Rancho Laguna Park in Moraga, up to the crest of Rocky Ridge, then over to Ramage Peak and finally finishing in Castro Valley. We found grass-surrounded Rock 2 in the fog, quiet and tranquil, and sat for a while enjoying the calm. In the whole day we only saw one other hiker.
There certainly is wilderness in the Bay Area. In our own backyard.
Agency: East Bay Municipal Water District (EBMUD)
Location: Upper San Leandro Reservoir Watershed
Trail Permit required