Located in the heart of the East Bay, the Tassajara Ridge trail straddles the low hills between San Ramon, Danville, Black Hawk and East Dublin. It’s a beautiful ride that climbs and drops across fire roads and cattle trails through the rough scrub that surrounds Mount Diablo. Views of the 3,800 foot peak are easy to catch especially if you climb to one of the Overlooks. We took to the trail a weekend or so ago amidst the haze caused by the Tesla Fire near Livermore.

From GearGuide HQ access to the Tassajara Ridge trail is at the staging area 12295 Windemere Parkway in San Ramon. In addition to a small parking lot, there’s a dog park, rest rooms and a little shade. Don’t expect much of the latter when you’re out on the trail.

Head through the cattle gate and the first mile or so presents moderate ups and down until you reach the first overlook. It’s a short but steep walk up to a view towards Tassajara Road. Head down from there and the trail slips away downhill and around a tight turn ending just outside one of San Ramon’s many new housing developments.

Just passed the development begins a half-mile-or-so stretch of steep ascent. Once you crest that hill, it’s a series of up, downs and sweeping turns as the trail switches from fire road to single track and back again. Cows, ground squirrels and lots of other wildlife are all around. And Mount Diablo is either straight ahead or off to your right as you swing around the trail.

At mile four, you’re presented with the option to head back over the hill on the trail (I believe this part is called the Hidden Valley Trail) or bail out through a lower trail that hugs the outskirts of another development.

The Tassajara Ridge trail represents a real find. It’s close, surprisingly close, to our stomping grounds yet feels completely disconnected from the hustle of greater Silicon Valley. Give it a shot if you’re in the area.