Briones Overlook via Bear Creek Trail is a highly trafficked 11.4 kilometer trail near Orinda, California, which has a lake and is good for all levels of ability. The trail provides a range of possibilities for activity and is available year-round. Horses are capable of using this trail as well.

Using the Bear Creek Trail, a fun out-and-back skirting the south and east shores of Briones Reservoir and ending near the staging area of Briones Overlook. This is an ideal nature-study hike with a large range of trees, shrubs and flowers.

NOTE: Required trail use permit. No bicycles or dogs on the trails are permitted. Leave a car at the EBMUD Briones Overlook staging area, 1.4 miles northeast of Camino Pablo on Bear Creek Road, if you are going to do this as a shuttle tour. Then you proceed to the staging area of Bear Creek.

A few small climbs, but plenty of spectacular views and a decent temperature. Tiny bits of the hike near the lane, beautiful viewpoint at the west end, fairly narrow path, so be ready to make room for others on the path.

    This amazing attraction is located near the following must-see parks in Orinda, California:

    • Orinda Oaks Park
    • Orinda Community Center Park & Tennis Courts
    • Siesta Valley Recreation Area
    • Old San Pablo Trail 
    • Seaview Trailhead
    • Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve Labyrinth
    • Bear Creek Staging Area
    • Tilden Regional Park

    All of these landmarks are located just a short distance from our location in downtown Walnut Creek, Spaulding Concrete on Locust Street!

    Nice shade for a hot day.   A coyote family on the trail is the highlight – happy juveniles jumping and playing. Most birds, too, but unfortunately they do not carry binos. It’s very dry and brown, of course, but still a reasonably late summer hike with lovely views of the reservoir. Numerous bugs are also noted – irritating but not biting, so it isn’t too bad.

    Great and tranquil views. Great for newbies trying to test themselves. If you plan to go on a hot summer day, plenty of cover. I like the spooky sounds of the area’s wildlife.

    Excellent trail along Briones reservoir, which is mainly single track out and back. There are no steep, difficult hills on the trail itself, but most of the time it’s just a little up and down roll.

    You can do Bear Creek Trail without a permit, but you have to have an EBMUD permit to do the backside of Briones Res that you can get at their office on the way to nearby San Pablo Res. It’s inexpensive and well worth it and has been fantastic for many years and makes it easy for others to go with you.