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Hiking and Trails
Protecting Nesting Golden Eagles
Every year beginning in late winter, golden eagle nesting activity is monitored and trails and public areas around the nests are closed. We appreciate your cooperation during the temporary trail closure, as nesting golden eagles are extremely sensitive to the presence of people. Eagles who are disturbed are likely to leave the nest. People must stay at least one-half mile from active nests to ensure the best chances of chick survival. Additionally, several trails that were severely damaged by recent winter storms remain closed to the public.
Current Trail Closures
- Kellogg Creek Trail from Mariposa Canyon to the Interpretive Center
- Mariposa Canyon Trail
- Eagle Ridge Trail from Walnut Trail to Vista Grande Trail
- Crest Trail
- Adobe Trail
- Miwok Trail
- Alkali Meadow Trail
View the 2023 Trail Closures Map (PDF).
Explore the Watershed
There are more than 60 miles of trails available at Los Vaqueros. Trailheads are available at both entrances, along with trailheads along the main roads and at the Marina. Keep in mind our multi-use trails for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding are on the north side only. Hiking trails are available on the south side. See our hiking tips and trail guides below to get started.
- Prepare to be off the grid. The mobile phone reception at Los Vaqueros is inconsistent. It’s best to review our Los Vaqueros Watershed Map (PDF) and familiarize yourself with the call box locations, in case of emergency.
- Plan for changing weather. It can get quite hot during summer months, so it’s best to start a hike early in the morning. During the winter, trails can be muddy and sometimes impassable if there is heavy rain.
- Bring plenty of water. There is no drinking water on any of the trails at Los Vaqueros. Bottled water is available for purchase at the Marina.
- Expect steep slopes and inclines. Without exception, all the trails have hills. Close-toed shoes, like hiking boots, and comfortable clothing are recommended. Most of trails are also used as truck trails, so the trails are plenty wide and usually pretty smooth. They also can be dirt, gravel or in some places asphalt.
- Watch for wildlife, particularly rattlesnakes, in the spring and summer months.heading
Crest, Vista Grande, Los Vaqueros Trails
This should probably be called an escalator hike, since it’s straight up, and straight down with an 800-foot climb in the first half of the walk.
Oak Savannah, Badger Pass Trails
For Los Vaqueros, famous for plenty of tough trails within its nearly 20,000 acres, this trail has only one really steep portion, way back at the halfway portion on the Badger Trail.
Peninsula, Peninsula Crest Trails
The Peninsula Crest Trail was created when the reservoir was expanded in 2012, and is the newest trail at Los Vaqueros.
Scenic Loop Near South Entrance
The trails that begin at the south entrance of the Los Vaqueros Watershed near Livermore are often overlooked and are among our least-used. Be sure to come enjoy!
West Trail Loop Near The Marina
This pleasant three-mile loop trail begins at the Marina, at the end of the road at the south entrance of the Los Vaqueros Watershed near Livermore.