Briones Overlook via Bear Creek Trail is a 11.4 kilometer high-traffic trail located near Orinda, California, which features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activities and is accessible throughout the year. Horses are also in a position to use this trail.

Pleasant out-and-back on the Bear Creek Trail, which skirts the south and east shores of Briones Reservoir and ends near Briones Overlook staging area. A wide variety of trees , shrubs and flowers make this an ideal hike in nature.

Permit to use the trail required. No bicycles or dogs allowed on the trail. If you’re going to do this as a shuttle trip, leave your car at the EBMUD Briones Overlook staging area, 1 mile northeast of Camino Pablo on Bear Creek Road. Then continue on to the Bear Creek staging area.

The 6,255 acres of Briones are home to many animals and birds that feed on the grasslands or find shelter between the oaks and the bays. You may see black-tailed deer, coyotes, squirrels, red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, and, if you’re lucky, other more reclusive creatures. There are wonderful wildflower displays in the season. Naturalists of the Park District often take walks to see the natural and historic features of the park.

Briones is the ideal park for hiking, running, and horseback riding on the scenic trails of the park; picnic, bird watching, and similar activities; and informal recreation such as kite flying, photography, and nature study. There are five major access points, the most developed of which are the Alhambra Creek Valley Staging Area off Reliez Valley Road near Martinez and the Bear Creek Road Staging Area near Orinda and Lafayette.

With its rolling, grassy hills and secluded, shady canyons, Briones is a secret wilderness surrounded by the central town of Contra Costa County. Although the park is close to Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord, and Martinez, there are peaks within which you can only see parks and watersheds for miles in every direction.

From Briones Peak, the highest point in the park, you can enjoy panoramic views of Mount Diablo and the Diablo Valley to the east, the Sacramento River and the Delta to the north, the East Bay Hills and Mt. Tamalpais to the west, and the Regional Wilderness of Las Trampas to the south.

This well-known attraction is located near the following must-see sites in Orinda, California:

  • Orinda Community Center Park and Tennis Courts
  • Orinda Oaks Park
  • Siesta Valley Recreation Area
  • Orinda Library
  • Bruns Memorial Amphitheater
  • Tilden Regional Park
  • Orinda Theatre 
  • Scotts Peak Trailhead

All of these wonderful offices are located just a short distance from our location on Boulevard Circle in historic Walnut Creek, California. Stop by for a visit anytime!