San Jose, California
Contra Costa County
In the hills east of Mt. Diablo, this hidden valley lies between Morgan Territory and the edge of
the San Joaquin Valley. It's hard to believe this beautiful place was once proposed to be turned into a
landfill and spoiled forever.
The area that is now Round Valley Regional Preserve was once home to California natives. It was probably a boundary between several different tribal groups in an area where members of East Bay and San Joaquin Valley groups met periodically to trade and socialize. Evidence of Native American use has been uncovered at several archaeological sites within the valley. The Volvon Tribelet of the Bay Miwok group lived in the area. European settlers farmed the area and a few old pieces of farm equipment in the preserve date to the late nineteenth century or early twentieth.
The 1,911-acre preserve contains non-native grassland, oak woodland/savannah, shrubland and
riparian woodland plant communities. In recent years efforts have been made to control invasive plants, namely
Star Thistle, to allow native species to repopulate the valley.
Mammals in Round Valley include the California ground squirrel, San Joaquin pocket mouse, Audubon's or desert
cottontails, and the endangered San Joaquin kit fox. The preserve is also home to nesting golden eagles and
We will hike up Hardy Canyon through Blue Oak and Buckeye woods. There will be a beautiful wildflower display along the way (assuming we get some rain). The meeting will be atop a ridge with an amazing view of the valley below. Then down to the valley floor, a loop through its meadows and returning along Round Valley creek.
Level: 3 (Challenging)       Miles: 5.25       Elevation: 1200 ft       Hosts: Troy and Amy
From San Jose Take I-680 North to I-580 East toward Stockton. Take the Vasco Rd North exit toward Brentwood. After appox 14 miles turn left on Camino Diablo. Then in 3.5 miles slight left onto Marsh Creek Rd. Go approx 1.5 miles and the park is on the left.
Drive time approx. Approx 1 hour & 15 minutes
Parking is FREE
No Dogs Allowed
Dress appropriately, layers are suggested