Siesta Valley and the DeLaveaga Trail
Try to attempt going to Rockridge-to-Orinda ramble by a northern route. It might be strenuous, but you’ll get to Siesta Valley eventually.
First, climb up Tunnel and Caldecott Roads, then through Hiller Highlands up to Grizzly Peak Boulevard, a good 1200 feet higher, then down across the Fish Ranch/Claremont saddle. That’s Gudde Ridge, in Sibley Volcanic Preserve, with Round Top on the horizon. The stairsteps in the rock are the huge roadcut for Route 24. Siesta Valley is on the left side, over the ridge.
Siesta Valley is watershed land under the control of East Bay MUD, please make sure to have your hiking permit with you. It’s an amazing place to hike, enjoy the view or just relax. The De Laveaga Trail runs from the top of the valley, at the Scotts Peak Trailhead, along the valley’s north flank. (It’s named for one of Orinda’s founding families.)
Once you get to the De Laveaga Trail, the view opens up. The basalt flows of the Moraga Formation crop out well here.
This view looks down the Siesta Valley to its continuation as Wilder Valley, across the freeway in Orinda.
Siesta Valley is very calm and quiet. City noise and freeway noise are kept out by the contours of the land, and on a lazy weekday afternoon, you would really be tempted to just lie down and have a quick nap.
The trail leads up and over the east wall of the valley at about 1500 feet elevation, then it’s a steep 1000-foot plunge down to Orinda. This is the view north. The cattle pond is there because cattle graze these slopes.
The sunsets so early here that it gets cold at night. Shaded puddles stayed ice-covered all that day.
The winter haze obscured the Sierra, but not Mount Diablo and the Lamorinda hills.
As you race the sunset, downtown Orinda looks so welcoming to anyone who wants to visit the place. This is a harsh downhill, though. But some people think that the uphill would be worse.
The verdict: Siesta Valley is a challenge to enter on foot, but as vehicles of all types are prohibited on EBMUD land, that's your only option. This is an obscure piece of land that requires a permit, but it's a beautiful location. With nice rocks as well!
This amazing park is located near the following amazing must-see sites in Orinda, California:
- Orinda Oaks Park
- Briones Overlook Staging Area
- Mulholland Ridge Open Space
- Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve Labyrinth
- Tilden Regional Park
- Seaview Trailhead
- Orinda Park and Recreation Foundation
- Briones Regional Park
All of these wonderful points of interest are located just a short distance from our location, conveniently located just down the freeway at 1261 Locust St, Walnut Creek! Stop by for a visit anytime!