Recommendation: Bring water, snacks, stop often while hiking to listen to the birds, frogs and other creatures.
Hike date: 6/05/2013
This walk is longer than it appears on the Peninsula Crest Trail Map (JPG), but the hike’s halfway point stroll on the ridge of the trail, with its numerous oaks and unique views of the reservoir, makes it worthwhile. Also, there are 2 picnic areas with benches and tables on the Peninsula Crest Trail.
Peninsula Crest Trail
The Peninsula Crest Trail was created when the reservoir was expanded in 2012, and is the newest trail at Los Vaqueros. Though we saw few animals (a large group of turkeys were our highlight), many others have seen bald eagles, golden eagles, coyotes and bobcats on the peninsula.
The walk covers a lot of
rolling hills with climbs of up to about 300 feet, but the only steep
portion is at the tip of the peninsula. There is a long steep hill on
the Los Vaqueros Trail as you return to the Marina. There is also a
steep downhill portion where the Peninsula Crest Trail meets the Los
Most of the trail is gravel road, the welcome
exception is on portions of the Peninsula Crest Trail where it is
With electric boats on the reservoir, and
no nearby roads, this is an extremely quiet and peaceful walk. The day
we went, there was no noise other than what nature provided, and little
wind. Crunching on the gravel trail as you walk is noisy, but if you
stop frequently you will hear a lot of bird and animal calls.
If you want to take a shortcut, avoid going around the Peninsula Trail. Stay on the Los Vaqueros Trail and then go up the steep Peninsula Crest Trail with its switchbacks. You can avoid about two miles, and still get the great views.We made this trip in late spring, and left the Marina about 6:30 a.m.
If you want to avoid some hills on the way back, take the fishing trail. When you pass the large log bench and big tank about a mile from the Marina, cut down onto the fishing trail. You'll avoid a few rolling hills.
With frequent stops for taking pictures and listening to birds, the walk took us about four hours to complete. We expected to see snakes, but didn’t. Snakes do like the warmth of the gravel trail, so watch out. Also bring your own water and other snacks.