The rolling hills of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park can bring an extra burst of color in spring—wildflowers hidden in the emerald grasses pop up and come into full bloom (give or take rains!). Even if they don’t pop, enjoy a 4.8-mile loop (and loping) hike among this park’s 5,271 acres.
Specks of lavender and baby blue wildflowers paint parts of this wide-open trail that skims the park’s oak-studded border. Midway an impressive olive grove planted in the early 1900s still stands and makes a nice spot for a quick snack break (*NOTE: During Covid-19 picnics are not allowed.) Continue up the ridge to 1,600 feet and gain views of Pleasanton and the Livermore Valley from the west.
It’s also a great way to survey if there’s a flourish of flowers: blue-eyed grass, lupine, poppies, and redmaids might color the landscape. You may share the trail with other trekkers and mountain-bikers taking in the vibrant terrain, but the trail usually grows more solitary the deeper you dip in.
This hike departs from the Foothill Staging Area. Take Oak Tree Trail for 0.15 mile, and turn left on to Woodland Trail. At the top of Woodland, you’ll reach a three-way fork. Continue straight to Olive Grove Trail, then take Ridgeline Trail, and Thermalito Trail to loop back around toward the trailhead where you began. For a detailed map, see the park’s website. Bring plenty of your own water. Dog-friendly!