Mount Burdell Preserve

The county's largest open space preserve, rich in history, rises to a panoramic summit.

Rangers Recommend

  • Eagle Rim Trail is now open for hiking and cycling. For spectacular views take Cobblestone Fire Road (part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail) up to Eagle Rim, and enjoy vistas of Big Rock Ridge, Mount Tam, San Francisco Bay, Mount Diablo, and more.
  • At the summit, a four foot stone wall, hand laid without mortar in the 1870s by Chinese laborers, marks the boundary into Olompali Historic State Park.
  • Gently graded Deer Camp Fire Road passes through classic California oakland and stands of massive old bay trees. Take a rest in the shade at Pierre Joske Grove.
  • The west slope of Burdell holds the remnants of a quarry that supplied cobblestones for San Francisco streets in the late 1880s. Fieldstone Trail leads to another old quarry, which provided andesite for the widening of Highway 101 in the 1950s.
  • Old Quarry Trail is the steepest designated trail in the open space district. The grueling climb is not for the faint of heart.
  • Cattle have grazed Burdell since the arrival of European settlers. Holstein dairy cows continue to graze here seasonally, helping to manage invasive plants and reduce fire fuel.
  • Dogs are welcome. Dogs must be leashed on trail, and under voice command on fire roads, with leash readily available.

Bowman Canyon Area

  • Bowman Canyon acquisitions have added 409.18 acres to western side of Mount Burdell Preserve.
  • At this time, existing ranch roads and cow trails in the new area do not connect with Mount Burdell’s designated roads and trails.
  • Cattle from an adjacent working ranch graze this area seasonally.
  • Equestrians: there is no space to turn a horse trailer around at this entry. 
  • Dogs must be kept on leash in the Bowman Canyon Creek area.

Naturalist Notes

  • During rainy season, frogs and other amphibians flock to Hidden Lake. Enjoy their thunderous croaking.
  • Blue-eyed grass, brodiaea, mallow, buttercup, linanthus, and mules ears color the meadows in spring.
  • Birders are likely to be rewarded with sightings of lazuli buntings, lark sparrows, house wrens and more. Bring binoculars.
  • Serpentine soils on some slopes give rise to rare plants.
  • Check out the iNaturalist field guide. Add your own observations.


dog on leash
Dogs On Leash
dog voice
Dogs Voice Control
Horseback Riding

Know Before You Go

  • Stay on roads and trails to preserve sensitive ecosystems and to avoid trespassing on private property.
  • Be courteous and safety conscious when sharing roads and trails. Go slow and say hello.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Trails can be muddy during rainy season.
  • Be sure to close all gates you pass through to keep cows in their pastures.
  • Bring water.
  • There are no restrooms at this location.
  • Steer clear of poison oak.
  • After an outing, check for ticks.