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Hiking Stats as of 11/14/2018
Total Trips:
Total Distance:
Total Elevation Gain:
 325
 3,891.68 miles
 1,060,050 feet

Mar 22, 2015 - Bob Walker Ridge

 

Partners: (None)

Distance: 15.53 miles

Elevation Gain: 3,061 feet

Trip Time: 4:41

Maps and Stats:
Following an easy hike up to Weller Peak on Saturday I was in search of something to hike on Sunday to get my weekend quota in. Not wanting to drive too far I used the Peakbagger app to search for local peaks that were unclimbed by me, and found Bob Walker Ridge, a highpoint in Morgan Territory Preserve. Easily approached from Livermore to the south, I decided to try it from Round Valley just outside Brentwood. Going this way would require patching together trails from Round Valley, Los Vaqueros and Morgan Territory and would give me another 15+ miles and 3,000 feet of gain for the weekend, making the cumulative weekend efforts a bit more worthwhile.

After walking the dogs I set off for Round Valley, arriving around 12:30 to a packed parking lot. This place, while popular during the week, is packed on weekends. I could understand that, given that this is really the only place to hike in the area, unless you want to head further off to the southern hills of Antioch or to Clayton and Mt. Diablo. The went right on the trail, on the flat section that leads to the valley part of Round Valley, passing some horse riders along the way. The day was nice and cool, with clouds overhead and the threat of rain in the air, although the skies never actually opened up. After I passed the junction where a most people turn left to complete the Round Valley Loop (the same one that I had taken twice in the past couple of weeks) I found myself mostly alone, with only a couple of hikers between me and the summit of Bob Walker Ridge. The area past the turnoff for the loop hike was very scenic, although essentially completely flat. As such, travel was fast. I came across what looked like a very young coyote hanging around a cow. I was able to get pretty close before he started walking away. I continued on towards the higher ridgeline (higher than anything in Round Valley) and after about an hour and 3.5 miles I reached the boundary with Los Vaqueros.

For some reason the trail through Los Vaqueros was closed, which made me pretty mad. I knew of no other way to connect up to Morgan Territory than by taking this trail through Los Vaqueros, and the absence of any signs along the way to indicate that this would be the end of the road was frustrating. The sign indicated the trail was closed indefinitely as a resource protection area, which was a bit silly considering the trail showed recent evidence of somebody driving on it. So I hopped the fence and started up the trail. About halfway up I ran into a couple of other hikers who where headed my way. I wasn't sure if they had to cross a similar boundary and so few words were exchanges as we went our opposite directions. The trail continued up the hill, offering views towards Los Vaqueros. About 45 minutes later I reached the boundary of Morgan Territory, where the sign notifying hikers of the Los Vaqueros trail closure was a bit more informative, although someone forgot to run the sheet through the spell checker before printing. Now in Morgan Territory, I followed a long trail towards Bob Walker Ridge, not really gaining much more elevation along the way. Most of the work was done, now it was time to just enjoy the views towards Mt. Diablo and back to the lower ridge bisecting Round Valley. About 2 1/4 hours after starting out I reached the junction of a use trail that led up to the summit of Bob Walker. Whlie the views from the top were not so good because of brush cover, from just below the summit I had a nice view of Mt. Diablo.

I didn't stay long on top, being a Sunday afternoon and having to work the next day being motivation for me to get home. I followed the same trails down, and then took the flat route back to Round Valley. Once I reached the junction with the loop trail I decided to take that to complete the loop of Round Valley. From higher up I had nice views back to Bob Walker Ridge, and as I made my way back to the parking area I came across a wedding party taking pictures. I walked out with the photographer who happened to be the father of the groom, an older gentleman who told me of how his son had dated the bride for something like a decade before finally tying the knot. He told me he is a professional photographer looking to retire, and he was training his replacement so they had dual photographers for this event. At this point we were back to the parking lot so I congratulated him and hopped in the car for the 35 minute drive home.

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