San Francisco, CA: Pleasanton Ridgeline Loop - Backpacker

San Francisco, CA: Pleasanton Ridgeline Loop

Just minutes from downtown Pleasanton, this 5.2-mile loop treks through shaded olive groves past panoramic vistas of rolling hillsides.
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This Pleasanton Valley loop climbs to a scenic bluff that offers panoramic views of the Bay Area. Starting on the Oak Tree Trail, the hike gains 1,000 feet of elevation (over 2.5 miles) on the way up to a trail network that wanders through century-old olive groves and sprawling grassland. In the summer, temperatures can easily push 100 degrees; shade is limited on this trail, so drinking water is the key to a safe, enjoyable hike. It’s not uncommon to see deer ducking in and out of the landscape. Mountain lions, though present, are rarely spotted here.
-Mapped by Dave Miller

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 8.4



Location: 37.6199226379394, -121.887725830078

Turn right @ T-junction onto Oak Tree Trail and begin climbing gently towards the ridgeline. (Trail marker 3)


Location: 37.6154403686523, -121.889137268066

Bear right on main trail @ 3-way junction.


Location: 37.6207885742188, -121.883392333984

Continue right on the main trail bearing northeast towards the road. In 200 feet, veer left onto a small worn footpath heading west up the hill towards Sycamore Grove Trail. Note: There are no trail markers here so keep your eyes peeled.


Location: 37.613697052002, -121.890830993652

Bear left @ Y-junction (Trail marker 10). Directly ahead is an old olive grove planted in the early 1900's. The groves are being restored by the park and private parties.


Location: 37.6237602233887, -121.900688171387

Continue straight @ 3-way intersection (Trail marker 15).


Location: 37.6129264831543, -121.889305114746

Turn left @ T-junction onto Oak Tree Trail and head back to Waypoint 4 where you'll turn right @ Y-intersection heading back to the trailhead.


Location: 37.6210479736328, -121.888557434082

Turn left @ T-intersection onto Sycamore Grove Trail. To the west is the ridgeline you will be traversing shortly.


Location: 37.6147689819336, -121.881996154785

Pass through gate and turn right @ Y-junction onto Oak Tree Trail.


Location: 37.6161689758301, -121.893608093262

Keep left @ Y-junction towards the Thermalito trail (Trail marker 12).


Location: 37.6245613098144, -121.900520324707

Turn right @ Y-junction back onto Ridgeline Trail (Trail marker 16). Continue southeast along the ridgeline, enjoying panoramic views of Pleasanton Valley to the east.


Location: 37.6187477111816, -121.894950866699

Left @ Y-junction onto worn footpath (Trail marker 14). Before continuing, grab your camera and spin around for a jaw-dropping view of Pleasanton Valley to the northeast.


Location: 37.6125869750977, -121.889373779297

Turn right @ 3-way and immediately bear right @ Y-junction onto the Ridgeline Trail. (Trail marker 5) Note: Several small rabbit trails sprout off to the right, so make sure to stay on the main trail.


Location: 37.6165657043457, -121.895439147949

Continue straight on Thermalito Trail @ 3-way intersection (Trail marker 13). Ahead, several small hills obscure your view.


Location: 37.6143264770508, -121.890663146973

Turn left @ Y-junction leaving main trail and hiking along footpath to Oak Tree Trail.

Oak Trees

Location: 37.6219711303711, -121.887657165527


Location: 37.6135520935059, -121.890663146973

Pleasanton Valley

Location: 37.6223945617676, -121.898468017578


Location: 37.6205749511719, -121.89623260498

Olive Orchard

Location: 37.6181182861328, -121.89469909668

This grove of olive trees has been around for many years.

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