Acalanes Ridge is situated on the northwest side of Walnut Creek above the junction of Interstate 680 and Highway 24. It is a relatively small protected area between Walnut Creek and Lafayette acting as a greenbelt. The ridgeline with the Carquinez Strait and delta to the north and Mount Diablo to the southeast, provides stunning 360 degree views. There are a range of short hiking possibilities including a secret sylvan stream and beautiful wildflowers in the spring.

Rangers are advising that dogs still stay leashed. The dogs will be under clear sight and speech order while they are off leash.

Various trails, including the regional trail between Briones Regional Park and Mount Diablo State Park, make Acalanes Ridge available for day use. A 360-degree panorama of the Livermore foothills, Mt. Diablo, Suisun Bay, Carquinez Strait, Briones Regional Park, Oakland Hills and Las Trampas Regional Park are accessible to climbers entering the 781-foot top of this sky-reaching open area. Position of the land adjacent to the Acalanes Ridge Open Space (AROS) also provides trail connectors to the common trail network of that recreational area.

Acalanes Ridge derives its name from the Sacalanes, the original Native American inhabitants of the region. In collaboration with the City of Lafayette, the City of Walnut Creek and the East Bay Regional Park District, JMLT bought Acalanes Ridge. Local community leaders have played an important part in the land conservation program. The Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation worked tirelessly on its behalf, helping to collect much-needed money from local ballot initiatives, philanthropic groups, and charitable individuals. It was only through this special relationship that Acalanes Ridge could have been saved from growth. JMLT shall in perpetuity continue to own the land.

Acalanes Ridge Open Space Loop is a 4.2 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Walnut Creek, California providing wildlife viewing opportunities. The trail is graded as mild and used mostly for climbing, trail biking, nature trips and birding. This trail can also be used by dogs but must be kept on leash. When you enter through this entrance into Acalanes Ridge, make sure you have plenty of water and lather on the sunscreen, particularly when it’s warm out. There’s very little shade in the summer and it’s really dry. The first few tilts are tough! Before you get to Acalanes Ridge, you have to hit the first ridge (informally known as “Beacon Ridge” according to google maps).

It’s actually a secret gem with panoramic views.

Image courtesy of Jeffreymendel Jeffrey Nash – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

This amazing trail is located near the following must-see trails in Walnut Creek, California:

  • Diablo Foothills Regional Park
  • Shell Ridge Open Space
  • Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area
  • Lime Ridge Open Space
  • Heather Farm Park
  • Sugarloaf Open Space
  • Arbolado Park
  • Mount Diablo State Park

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