Cull Canyon Cooldown

Hiking in Cull Canyon Regional Recreational Area

Home to shaded trails, shallow creek crossings, ridge-top breezes, and a 1.5-acre white sand swimming lagoon, Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area is a local’s summer playground. The best slice of paradise? A 10-mile out-and-back journey along the Chabot-to-Garin Trail, a segment of the 367-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail system. Begin from the Swim Lagoon parking lot on Cull Canyon Road and follow signage through a culvert beneath Columbia Drive. Summer sun streaks the undulating creekside path with dappled light as it filters through a canopy of oak and fragrant bay laurel.

Cross cool Cull Creek twice (severed stumps and fallen logs make excellent rest stops to dip your feet!) before climbing through a dense stand of trees. Views of Mount Diablo can be seen between the leaves before coming to a clearing at about 3 miles. The next section requires an easy-to-get EBMUD permit (see below in italics). Return the way you came, or continue north through the gate for an exposed 2 miles to Dinosaur Ridge. Unimpeded views of forested foothills and rolling knolls make this 1,100-foot apex the perfect turnaround. A post-hike lagoon swim awaits you at the bottom.

Gallery image 1 of 7
Gallery image 2 of 7
Gallery image 3 of 7
Gallery image 4 of 7
Gallery image 5 of 7
Gallery image 6 of 7
Gallery image 7 of 7

Park for free in Cull Canyon’s main Swim Lagoon lot on Cull Canyon Rd. and follow the Chabot-to-Garin Trail north across Columbia Dr. At around 3 miles, you’ll enter EBMUD land, which requires a permit. Continue north for 2 more miles to Dinosaur Ridge. Return the way you came to the Swim Lagoon and picnic area. Hours and fees. No dogs.

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Get Outdoors In Sonoma County This Fall

    Sonoma County's great outdoors includes hike-in beaches, hidden redwoods, and a new zipline-to-treehouse stay. Here are 5 of the best ways to explore outdoors in Sonoma County.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Ride and Seek

    Oceanside breezes, beautiful beaches, a car-free pathway for biking, and beer at the end: You’re on a roll! The San Mateo Coast was made for beach hopping and beer tasting …

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Redwoods, Beach, Banner View!

    Explore among the redwoods in Henry Cowell State Park on this magical 5-mile hike featuring the big trees, a beach, and a beautiful view from an observation deck.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    GOAT Coastal Hike + Sunset

    GOAT (greatest of all time) Sonoma Coast experience? Hike the Kortum Trail, wine taste on a patio overlooking the Russian River, and catch a sensational sunset at, yep, Goat Rock Beach.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Shakespeare Bridge + Secret Garden

    Romeo, Romeo, we all know how this goes, but do you know how to go to the Shakespeare Bridge and secret gardens? We’ve got the online do-it-yourself hiking route for you.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Malibu Hike, Canyon, Beach

    Get a highlight reel of the Malibu coastline on a 2.25-mile hike through Leo Carrillo State Park, featuring a canyon climb, Pacific panorama, and a beautiful beach.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    The Highway of Waterfalls

    Ready for a totally refreshing road trip? Hit the Highway of Waterfalls! This stretch of road in Southern Oregon travels alongside the wild and scenic section of the North Umpqua River—and more than a dozen waterfalls.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Suspension Bridge Surprise

    This urban hike in San Diego connects two gardens by way of two spectacular bridges, including the awesome Spruce Street Suspension Bridge built in 1912.

    View