My friends picked this loop trail at Las Trampas, a park just south of Danville that none of us had been to before. It was a brave choice given how hot it gets on the other side of the Oakland Hills, but to be fair I was the lunatic who requested an East Bay hike in the height of summer.
What makes Las Trampas enjoyable – aside from saying its name – are the expansive views on the way up the ridge. And on top of the ridge. And the way down the ridge. Oh, did I say ridge? Because that’s the thing about Las Trampas. It’s a giant hill.
Location: East Bay
Crowd factor: Moderate to light. We snagged the last parking spot of a ~40 car lot around noon.
Exposure: Almost entirely exposed.
Distance: ~4.5 miles on Elderberry, Upper, Cuesta and Rocky Ridge. There are some longer loops, too.
Difficulty: For a short hike, it packed a punch.
Pro tips: Have you been to Redwood Regional Park yet? If not, go there instead. But if you’re already set on hitting up The Traps, here’s what you need to know: (1) don’t let the first 100 feet of the Cuesta trail charm you; it’s steep, craggy, and lined with prickly bushes. Just stay on Upper Trail to loop back to the parking lot that way. (2) Seriously don’t skimp on the water. (3) Swing by downtown Danville for lunch after. Get the burger…and the ice cream…you earned it.
Date hiked: 8/20/17
Source: Bay Area Hiker by Jane Huber