Las Trampas Regional Wilderness is a 5.342 acre (21.62 km2) regional park located in the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa in northern California. The nearest town is Danville, California Las Trampas, which is Spanish for traps or snares.The park is part of the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD).
Las Trampas Wilderness Regional Preserve provides 5,778 acres of wilderness and an extensive trail network that allows hikers and horseback riders to explore remote and rugged areas. The park ‘s size and geography give visitors a sense of privacy and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Take plenty of drinking water for yourself, your dog(s) and your horse(s) to visit the park. The water supply of the park is inconsistent and water may be unavailable at any time.
It consists of two long, hilly ridges (Las Trampas Ridge on the east and Rocky Ridge on the west) flanking a narrow valley along Bollinger Creek, which contains a horse stable and a visitor car park. Some of the hiking trails have steep sections; they can cover up to 900 feet (270 m) of altitude transition. [b] The park has been described as “a tough guy in the East Bay Regional Park District.”
The vegetation on the southern and western slopes of the two ridges is predominant: black sage, chamise and buck brush, with less toy, hybrid manzanitas, elderberry, gooseberry, caparral currant, sticky monkey flower, coffee berry, coyote bush, poison oak, holly leaf red berry, deer weed and dozens of other species. Some of the exposed rocks contain compressed layers of fossils.
Wildlife in the park includes raccoons, foxes, opossums, bobcats, skunks and squirrels. Late in the day, with binoculars, you can count the deer in the hilly areas adjacent to the parking lot. Las Trampas is Spanish for “The Traps” or “The Snares.” According to Erwin G. Gudde’s California Place Names, traps were once placed in the chaparral of the hills to catch elk. Historical records also indicate that the antelope and mountain lions have been abundant in the last century. Sightings of large cats have been reported in recent years. There are several species of hawks, and the golden eagles are rarely seen.
Bicycles are allowed on half of the trails; riders and hikers on all the trails. Dogs are permitted to go. Cows, goats, steering wheels and an occasional free-range bull can be found on the trails; their grazing keeps the grass short for summer fire protection. Deer, coons and skunks, as well as hawks, vultures and an occasional eagle, can be seen. The most famous trees are the laurel bay of California and the live oak line. Certain plants include buckeye, broad leaf maple, live oak canyon, black oak and scrub oak. The latter, with its mistletoe, appears to prefer the ridgetop habitat at the end of the Chamise Trail.