Some hikes have royally good views. One such crowning glory? King’s Canyon Loop Trail in the East Bay, delivering gorgeous views of the Upper San Leandro Reservoir. It’s a 6.4-mile hike filled with solitude, with just the occasional cow mooing in the distance to bring assurances that you’re not too far into the wild, even if you feel like you are!
Start at the Valle Vista Staging Area in Moraga and walk a flat stretch to reach Kings Canyon Loop. Follow it clockwise to get the tough uphill section out of the way early. Oak and walnut trees are abundant here; their fall colors should be on full display in the coming weeks. Enjoy increasing views of the surrounding hills and forests before a fast descent through open grassy fields brings your first look at the Upper San Leandro Reservoir.
Hiking the ridge overlooking the reservoir, you’ll have a nice vantage of this oasis as it meanders through the valleys below. You’ll finish by winding through the woods with a few hills along the way.
PERMIT REQUIRED: An East Bay Municipal Utility District Permit ($3 day pass) is required on the trail for one person in a party of three. This permit can be used on your phone if you purchase while on the way to the trail.
The trailhead begins at the Valle Vista Staging Area, where you will take a left after signing in to reach the King’s Valley Loop. Be sure to bring snacks and plenty of water for this hike as there are no fill-up locations along the trail. Dog-friendly!