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Briones Regional Park, East Bay Regional Park District
Briones Regional Park, East Bay Regional Park District    

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

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

Birds: woodland birds, breeding or summer residents.

Hiking Difficulty: 4

Directions:

  • Take Highway 24 west
  • Exit Orinda Village; turn right on Camino Diablo (north)
  • Turn right at stop light onto Bear Creek Rd.
  • Go approximately 4.4 miles to entrance of Briones Park (right hand side)
  • Park in lot on the right (after fee booth)
  • Be prepared to pay $5.00 if there is an attendant.

Hiking Difficulty codes:
1=Easy, very few hills to climb
2=Moderately Easy, some small hills to climb
3=Challenging, flat land ranging to gentle to some steep slopes
4=Difficult, some very steep hills to climb

Conversation with a Hawk


One thing we hate to see when we look out the window into the backyard is a brownish streak that zips through and snatches a songbird. The culprit is usually a Cooper’s Hawk or a Sharp-shinned Hawk. And, to make things worse, to watch it eat the bird in front of you. I happened to be out in the yard filling bird baths when this exact thing took place, literally a few feet from me. Luckily, the hawk missed its victim and landed on the bird bath.

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