Carquinez Strait Scenic Loop Trail, Top Four RT Routes

Jun 16th, 2020
view of mount diablo from carquinez loop

Learn more about the Ridge Trail’s work to complete the Carquinez Strait Scenic Loop Trail. 

Top 4 Ridge Trail Routes in Vallejo, Benicia, Crockett Hills, and Mount Wanda

1. Vallejo Benicia Waterfront Trail
From: Benicia State Recreation Area
To: Benicia Point at F Street and Carquinez Bridge Overlook Trail
Mileage: 3.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 350 feet
Why we love it: A family-friendly trail for all ages and abilities through historic Vallejo and Benicia.
Description: Take a trip through Mexican and early California history on two routes that follow the Carquinez Strait waterfront through the thriving towns of Benicia and Vallejo. Enjoy brisk breezes and occasional fog as you watch the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers funnel into San Francisco Bay. This route travels mostly level trails, including sidewalks, paved and unpaved trails, and foot paths.
Download Vallejo Benicia Waterfront Map
Learn more about activities in Benicia
Restaurants in Benicia on or near the Ridge Trail

2. Contra Costa: Crockett Hills Regional Park
From: Crockett Ranch Staging Area
To: Highway 4 (no outlet to Highway 4)
Mileage: 5 miles one way
Difficulty: Moderate
Total Elevation Gain: 1,250 feet
Why we love it: An incredible multi-use trail that provides the 360 degree views that make the Ridge Trail unique.
Description: Climb to high grasslands for East Bay views from Carquinez Strait west to Mt. Tamalpais and north to Hood Mountain and Bald Mountain on 3 miles of new, improved singletrack Ridge Trail. Great views and quiet wooded canyon.
Download Crockett Hills Regional Park Map
Learn more about Crockett Hills Regional Park
Restaurants near Crockett Hills Regional Park

3. Contra Costa: Martinez City Streets to Mount Wanda
From: Franklin Canyon Road and Alhambra Avenue
To: Mount Wanda
Mileage: 4.1 miles one way, 2.8 miles to John Muir National Historic Site
Difficulty: Difficult, Moderate if only hiking to John Muir National Historic Site
Total Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Why we love it: Take a hike or bike ride starting in an urban area and end surrounded by wildlife high above the city.
Description: The Hulet Hornbeck Trail leads you through the Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline which comprises 1,415 acres of bluffs and provides a gateway to the river delta region along the northern edge of Contra Costa county. Stop along the trail between the Regional Shoreline and Mt Wanda on the north side of Highway 4 at the John Muir National Historic Site where the writer worked, wrote and raised his family. The ascent to Mount Wanda is a short, but unrelentingly upward trip, with an elevation gain of 460 feet which leads you to vast views of Carquinez Strait and surrounding hills from a hilltop often visited by John Muir and his daughters.
Download Martinez City Streets to Mount Wanda Map
Learn more about activities and recreation in Martinez
Restaurants in Martinez and near Mount Wanda

4. Bridge to Bridge Bike Loop
Suggested Start: Benicia Point area, 1st street and East B Street
Suggested Direction: Clockwise
Mileage: 24 miles
Difficulty: Hard
Total Elevation Gain: 1500’
Why we love it:  Experience the Carquinez Strait by riding over it twice! Great views and diversity of terrain for strong riders.
Description: Explore both sides of the Carquinez Strait on this mix of road and pathways connecting both bridges and shorelines for a full 360 degree experience. We suggest starting at Benicia Point area and fueling up at One House Bakery or Java Point Cafe. Your adventure should go clockwise from there to cross the Benicia – Martinez Bridge. While on the bridge, enjoy the views of Suisun Bay to the East and the rest of your route along the strait to the West. Roll through industrial and historic Martinez before winding along the Carquinez Scenic Drive with great views throughout. Take a break at The Warehouse Cafe in Port Costa before continuing through the diverse rolling grassland and forest. Make your final crossing over the strait along the Carquinez Bridge as you feel the breeze blowing in from the bay. Complete your journey through Benicia State Recreation area and look for wildlife in the scenic marshlands. Top off the end of your adventure in Benicia with great eateries like Lucca’s Bar & Grill or Bella Siena.

Download Bridge to Bridge Bike Loop Map
Outer Spatial Mobile Map: Coming Soon

Food and Drink:
Lucca’s Bar & Grill
Bella Siena
One House Bakery
Java Point Cafe
The Warehouse Cafe
The Dead Fish Restaurant 


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