A Very Muiry Holiday Hike

Hike the East Bay's New Open Space Preserve Carr Ranch

We know the North Pole is currently all the rage with elves preparing gifts, but here in NorCal there’s something exciting afoot, too. We’ve got some new hiking open space! Thank the John Muir Land Trust, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), and donors for successfully completing their campaign to save Moraga’s Carr Ranch. Owned for over 100 years by the Carr family, the 604-acre ranch harbors unique ecosystems for plant and animal life and gives hikers gorgeous views of the East Bay within its seemingly endless rolling green hills.

Carr Ranch is not only beautiful, it’s essential—the creeks on the ranch drain into the Upper San Leandro Reservoir, which provides drinking water for the East Bay. See the bounty of this land on an 8.5-mile (round-trip) hike that starts at Moraga’s Laguna Park. Take EBMUD’s Rocky Ridge Trail for about 2.5 miles through oak trees and along a small creek. You’ll reach the Carr Ranch Loop Trail and follow signposts counter-clockwise, which allows easier climbs and more time facing the views!

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The 3.5-mile Carr Ranch Loop has some relatively steep ups and downs, but the rewards are views of the ranch hills and all the way to the bay from the highest points. After completing the loop, follow the Rocky Ridge Trail back down. Hallelujah!

From Moraga, drive south on Canyon Rd. and turn left on Camino Pablo. Take Camino Pablo about 1.7 miles to Rancho Laguna Park. The EBMUD trailhead is at the fence behind and to the left of the play area. Follow the signs for Rocky Ridge Trail and Carr Ranch Loop Trail. EBMUD trail permit required (just $10 per year) and EBMUD rules apply. Bring water and snacks because this hike takes about four hours. No biking. Dog-friendly!

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