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Summit and Secret Valley Trails Loop

Open grasslands and ocean vistas with stair-climbing in a deep Redwood canyon

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  This trail has numerous vistas of Mt. Diablo, much of the East Bay, and up into Napa Valley. Down in Secret Valley the trail gives a... more »

Tips:  Bring water and appropriate clothing for the season.

Walking the ridge right after a storm with crystal clear air would make for... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trail Head

Start at the Macedo Ranch Staging Area at the end of Green Valley Road at the southwest corner of the Park.

After passing through a gate the road will head up on a gentle grade and around a grass covered open range hill.

To the west are nice subdivided neighborhoods.

The ground squirrels are everywhere here; bold little things with no fear ... More

2. Junction

Diablo Foothills Trail and Summit Trail.

This intersection falls in a grassy valley and near a small pass. Continue up the Summit Trail. We will be returning to this intersection later. The hike will continue a steady climb. The trail in spots will be worn down to the underlying bedrock.

3. Vista

Vista overlooking the cities Walnut Creek, Alamo, and Danville below.

4. Vista

Vista Point Mt. Diablo and the canyons below to the northeast. To the North, great view of the northern East Bay (Pleasant Hill, Concord, and Martinez region).

5. Gate

Cattle Gate. Close it behind you please.

6. Junction

We are on Dusty Road which is part of the Summit Trail and Stage Road. Continue up the Summit Trail.

7. Vista

Top of a rise with a broad vista. Mt. Diablo and the Canyon below to the east.

8. Vista

Vista of Carquinez and the refineries. To the northeast are views up the Napa Valley and peaks in the range east of the valley around Lake Berryessa.

9. Panorama

Point on curve and extensive East Bay view including Carquinez and the Vacaville Areas. Enjoy the view down the steep grass slope to the valley below.

10. Junction

Park Boundary Trail, Summit Trail, Macedo Ranch Trail. Follow the Summit Trail to the left.

Vista toward the Western Livermore and Pleasanton region. Views below include rough country with rock outcroppings and oak/chaparral scrub lands. The majority of the hike so far continues the steady uphill climb.

11. Panorama

View of the 680 corridor, the East Bay Hills down towards Pleasanton and north to San Pablo Bay. The trail is now on the top of the ridge being followed.

12. View

View of Mt. Diablo.

13. Panorama

Broad Panoramic view blocked only by Mount Diablo to the East. The trail is traveling through dense chaparral and manzanita country along the ridge top.

14. Rounding a nose

Rounding a nose

15. POI

Found Mountain Lion tracks in the road that were fresh and unweathered. They were made after the rain and well before the mud set after the rains earlier in the week.

16. Vista

Summit, with view down toward the south and the Livermore Valley.

17. Grade Change

The trail’s first significant downgrade! Enjoy it.

18. Forest Cover

Oak forest and shade. The trail has leveled off somewhat.

19. Junction

Intersection Summit Trail, Secret Trail, and BBQ Terrace.

Follow the Secret Trail into the valley to the East. The BBQ Trail for much of its length is a narrow path passing through Black Oak forest in a sheltered and “secret” feeling valley. One would never know that just over the ridge are the East Bay cities!

20. Junction

Intersection: Secret Trail, BBQ Terrace.

Follow BBQ Terrace Road toward Stagecoach Road and northerly towards the valley floor. The trail is a ranch road and looks to be a multi-purpose trail. The valley is forested with live oak, a deciduous oak, and grasslands that feel like 19th century California. To the West, the backside of the ridge that ... More

21. Homestead?

Wild Figs? There also appears to be scattered old Walnuts growing as well. It’s possible this area has the barest remnants of orchards.

22. Junction

To the runs East Stage Road and Stage Road to Diablo Foothills. Follow Stage Road to Diablo Foothills. The trail drops down and follows the valley’s creek.

23. Creek Crossing

The road crosses a creek. No bridge.

24. Junction

Dusty Road to the West. Stage Road to the park boundary.

Follow the Westerly road toward Diablo Ranch. The trail will start an upgrade to head over a low spot in the ridge climbed earlier.

25. Junction

Return to WP 6. Take the lower road Stage Road to the Summit Trail and pass through the gate and backtrack to the hike’s starting point.

26. Junction

Return to WP 2.

27. Return to Trail Head

Trail head and end of hike.