This park is on my trail map of Oakland Hills and Pleasanton Ridge Waterproof printed version GPS app for mobile devices

Dublin Hills Regional Park

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A view of Dublin from the Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail


Opened in 2010, Dublin Hills is one of the newer East Bay regional parks. The park occupies a rolling hilltop with some pretty nice views over the sprawling Tri-Valley, although the views are somewhat limited by the surrounding hills. Maybe because it’s so new, the park feels more like a ranch than most of the other East Bay parks. The park is heavily grazed, so it has somewhat worn-out look and there are large amounts of cow manure on the trail.

The park has two main trails. The Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail starts in a new housing development off Highway 580 and runs along sunny, open hilltops. The Martin Canyon Creek Trail descends into a densely-wooded canyon and connects with the City of Dublin’s Martin Canyon Creek Trail. Most people seem to hike only one or the other, but the contrast between the two makes a nice extended hike.

Click map to show all trails and roads
Part of the Oakland Hills and Pleasanton Ridge trail map from Redwood Hikes Press (second edition, 2019)

Martin Canyon and Calaveras Ridge (Length 6.7 mi, climbing 1240 ft)

Here’s the trailhead location in Google Maps and Google Street View.

Start at the trailhead off Silvergate Drive. The paved trail looks like a private path that leads into a gated community, but a sign just inside the gate indicates that it is in fact the Martin Canyon Creek Trail.

The paved path soon turns into a trail, and the trail joins a gravelled road that runs along the bottom of a partially-wooded valley. The scenery isn’t especially promising at first, with chain-link fences separating it from the private property on either side.

However, the scenery improves quite a bit at the gate where the trail enters Dublin Hills Regional Park. At this point the trail becomes much narrower and begins to climb steeply. It’s cut into a steep, fern-covered hillside under the deep shade of bay laurel trees.

The Martin Canyon Creek Trail

The trail breaks out of the woods just as it reaches a ridgetop. Officially, you’re supposed to continue onto the faint dirt road directly ahead, which descends into shallow Donlon Canyon and then climbs back up to the Calaveras Ridge Trail. However, there’s a convenient unofficial path to your right that climbs directly to the trail by way of a rock-studded ridgetop, skipping the unnecessary descent.

Donlon Canyon and the Donlan Loop Trail seen from the Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail

Turn onto the Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail. The trail rises and falls as it travels over rolling ranchland, making its way to the hilltop in the distance with two electrical towers on it. There are some pretty impressive views of the suburbs below; the broad plain is much wider here than it is below the other nearby parks and so is a more impressive sight.

The Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail

The Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail

There are a few faint, little-used side trails.

The final climb to the hilltop is somewhat steep. Somewhat confusingly, a side trail is marked with a sign indicating that it’s a dead-end, but the main trail, which is pretty faint at this spot, isn’t marked. A lot of people turn around at this point.

The Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail

The views from the top of the hill are pretty nice, but they’re not really that much better than the views from the rest of the trail and they’re partially obscured by the electrical towers and lines.

The view from the end of the Calaveras Ridge Regional Trail

Return on the same trails.


© 2018 David Baselt