Las Trampas Federal Wilderness is a regional park of 5,778 acres, located in Northern California’s Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Danville, California, is the nearest city. For traps, or snares, Las Trampas is Spanish. The park belongs to the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD).

The Regional Preserve of Las Trampas Wilderness provides 5,778 acres of wilderness and an improved trail system that enables hikers and horseback riders to enjoy its remote and rugged areas. The scale and terrain of the park allows visitors to experience a sense of privacy and avoid the metropolitan hustle and bustle. When visiting the park, bring plenty of drinking water for yourself, your dog(s), and your horse(s). The supply of water to the park is intermittent and water can at any time be unavailable.

It consists of two steep, hilly ridges (Las Trampas Ridge on the east and Rocky Ridge on the west) flanking a small valley along Bollinger Creek, which includes a horse stable and a visitor car park. Some of the hiking trails have steep sections; they can require a change in elevation of up to 900 feet (270 m).  The park has been described as the tough guy of the East Bay Regional Park District.”

The vegetation on the southern and western slopes of the two ridges is predominant: black sage, chamise and buck grass, with less toy, hybrid manzanitas, elderberry, gooseberry, chaparral currant, sticky monkey flower, coffee berry, coyote bush, poison oak, holly leaf red berry, deer weed and hundreds of other species. Some of the exposed rocks contain compressed layers of fossils.

Rocky Ridge reaches a height of 2,024 feet (617 m). At an altitude of 1,760 feet (540 m), there is another trail that leads across the EBMUD property.  The trail leads either to the Valle Vista staging area on Canyon Road in Moraga or south to the Chabot staging area in Castro Valley.

The Chamise and Bollinger Creek Loop trails lead to Las Trampas Mountain, east of Bollinger Creek. The ridge provides excellent views of the valleys of Ygnacio, San Ramon and Amador, as well as Mt. Diablo and Carquinez.

There are two picnic areas, named Steelhead and Shady, near the parking lot. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved. Picnic sites are accessible for groups of 50 to 300 people at the nearby Little Hills Picnic Ranch.

Park Features:

The O’Neill National Historic Site

Join the East Bay Regional Park District Naturalists and National Park Service Rangers on an immersive virtual hike from Danville, along the Iron Horse Trail, to Las Trampas, and finish at the Tao House at the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site.

Little Hills Picnic Ranch

Adjacent to Las Trampas, this facility is available on reservation for community picnics of between 50 and 1,400 people. Facilities include a swimming pool, covered picnic areas, playgrounds and barbecue/picnic areas.

Animals and Birds

Wildlife in the park includes raccoons, foxes, opossums, bobcats, skunks and squirrels. Late in the day with binoculars, you can count the deer in the hilly areas adjacent to the parking lot. Las Trampas is Spanish for The Traps” or The Snares.” According to Erwin G. Gudde’s California Place Names, traps were once put in the chaparral of the hills to capture elk. Historical records also suggest that the antelope and mountain lions have been abundant in the last century. Sightings of large cats have been recorded in recent years. There are several species of hawks, and the golden eagles are rarely seen.

The East Bay Regional Park District rents some of the grassland areas for livestock grazing. Cattle hold the grass height down, which decreases the chance of fire during the dry season.

This amazing park is located near the following must-see parks in Danville, California:

  • Hap Magee Ranch Park
  • Osage Station Park
  • Sycamore Valley Park
  • Oak Hill Park
  • Diablo Vista Park
  • Monterosso Community Park
  • Sycamore Valley Open Space South
  • Danville South Park

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