Hiking and Trails
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. 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
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.
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.
The Peninsula Crest Trail was created when the reservoir was expanded in 2012, and is the newest trail at Los Vaqueros.
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!
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.
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.
No Trail Closures for Golden Eagles are in Effect at this Time.