Riding Crockett Hills Regional Park
by Yvette Skinner
How to get there
The parking area for Crockett Hills trails is located off of Crockett Blvd. just south of the city of Crockett, CA, in Contra Costa County. The parking lot is not large and can fill up on weekends – please carpool if possible.
Trail system overview
The Crockett Hills trail system is real gem in the East Bay: it is one of the few places that mountain bikers can ride singletrack trails. The singletrack trails at Crockett Hills were professionally built and well maintained by cooperation between East Bay Parks and BTCEB volunteers. The trail system within the park contains a mix of fire roads and singletrack. All trails are open to hikers, cyclists, and horses, however horses are uncommon. The park is used for cattle grazing – stay alert for cattle on the trails and keep all gates closed. Begin your ride from the parking lot on the Edwards Creek Trail. This fire road has a couple steep pitches with washed out ruts but mostly is smooth and wide. In less than half a mile you will reach the intersection with Edwards Loop Trail. Hang a right to take this singletrack to the top. This section of trail is beautiful climb through the woods and is well shaded. Three tight switchbacks in a half mile will take you to the top where you will get your first views of the Carquinez Strait and Carquinez Bridge. At the top, hang a right then a quick left to reach the tunnel that allows for safe passage under Cummings Skyway road.
On the other side of the tunnel, proceed straight ahead on the Soaring Eagle singletrack trail. This trail offers breathtaking views of the North Bay: the Carquinez Strait, San Pablo Bay, and Mt. Tam. Unfortunately it’s hard to pause and appreciate the views because this trail is so much fun. For about two miles the trail hugs the sides of the hills and the grades is never too steep. At the end you will find yourself at a large concrete pad with several picnic tables. This is a great spot to regroup and take some photos.
The Sugar City Trail is one of my favorite trails! Although it’s less than a mile it is a non-stop rollercoaster ride when ridden downhill from the top of the ridge to the valley below. Lower your seatpost and enjoy the ride as the trail winds back and forth downhill. The trail has several humps that you can use to catch a little air if you’re feeling zesty, or if not just roll them.
From Sugar City, take the Big Valley Trail and cross the creek until you reach an intersection next to a wooden livestock corral. The Tree Frog Loop is another of my favorite trails with some fast flowy singletrack sections through the woods. Watch your speed as some sections of trail can be covered in leaves and it is a bi-directional trail. Some riders take the Warep trail which parallels the creek up to the Tree Frog Loops whereas others prefer to take the fire road called the Back Ranch Loop for just a short way for a shortcut to the Tree Frog Loop.
After enjoying Tree Frog, return the way you came in on Big Valley. Although Sugar City is bi-directional on weekends it can be quite busy and riders should consider continuing up the Big Valley Trail fire road back up to the top of the ridge. At the top of that steep fire road hang a right to stay on the Big Valley Trail to return to the concrete pad with the picnic tables.
Return on Soaring Eagle and cross under the road through the tunnel. The Edward Loop trail is even more fun downhill than up but check your speed – this section of the trails are commonly used by hikers.