West Trail Loop Near The Marina

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Terrain: Hilly, but not too steep
  • Highlights: Picnic tables and benches, view of reservoir, walk in oak groves.
  • Trailhead: Start at Marina
  • Recommendation: Bring a picnic lunch
  • Hike Review Date: 1/15/2013 January 15, 2013
  • View the West Trail Loop Map (JPG).
This pleasant 3 mile loop trail begins at the Marina, at the end of the road at the south entrance of the Los Vaqueros Watershed near Livermore. For Los Vaqueros, famous for plenty of steep trails within its nearly 20,000 acres, this trail is not too steep with a gentle 350-foot climb that offers great views of the reservoir and a picnic area near its peak. Also, you'll walk through some oak groves

In the winter and early spring, the grass is dark green and trails are soft, the oak trees are bare. We would not recommend this trip during hot and windy July, unless you walked very early in the morning.

Start at the Marina and head north on the gravel Los Vaqueros Trail, crossing the "Rock Wall" and staying to the left and up. After about 1/3 of a mile, turn left at the first trail marker you see. There is some confusion here. When we hiked this trail, the trail sign said: "Danner Trail." On the map it states "West Loop Trail." These are the same trail.

You take the trail up, heading to the west. The trail heads toward imposing Mallory Canyon and Morgan Territory. While that's very, very steep, this trail avoids that difficult climb. You don't link up with any other trails on this loop.

Oak Groves
The highlight of the trip are the walks through the oak groves, and the picnic area overlooking the reservoir.
On the way down, you'll see some large water tanks on the hills. The Contra Costa Water District has planted hundreds of oak trees in this area, and the tanks are part of the irrigation system for the young trees.

The loop rejoins the Los Vaqueros Trail, and we headed back along this curvy gravel road back to the Marina.
When we hiked this loop early in the morning in January, it was a fun and cold walk and took a little more than an hour to complete.