® ®
Wild Recovery
San Jose, California
February 08, 2014
Los Vaqueros Reservoir
Contra Costa County
Wild Recovery Meetings | What to Wear & Bring | Trail Maps/ Park Info | Contact Us
What is Wild Recovery? | NA Online Resources | Business & Documents

The Place

Los Vaqueros Reservoir
February 08, 2014


The Los Vaqueros reservoir, when full, is 1,900 surface acres and the watershed comprises 19,300 acres of open space. It is located in a deep valley between Brentwood and Livermore in remote eastern Contra Costa County. It is bordered between the steep ridge of Morgan Territory and Round Valley Regional Preserves to the west and the rolling hills of the Altamont Pass Wind Farm to the east.


An expansion project that was completed in 2012 resulted in the flooding of more surrounding oak woodlands. The crowns of some of the trees rise out of the water’s surface creating a unique habitat that attracts many shore birds and large flocks of water fowl. While the expansion permanently impacted 626 acres, over 6,000 acres in the surrounding area was protected in exchange. This includes land which provides wildlife protected under crossings of I-580 in the Altamont Pass as well as a nearly 4,000 acre area to the south that could conceivably, one day, connect protected land stretching from Mt Diablo to Mt Hamilton and Henry Coe State Park.


The surrounding protected land is home to many species of wildlife, including mountain lions, bobcats, coyote, San Joaquin kit fox as well as golden eagles and even the occasional bald eagle. Bobcat and coyote sightings are frequent in the watershed due to high numbers of prey species such as ground squirrels and rabbits.


This area is also home to many other smaller rare, threatened or endangered species such as California tiger salamander, Alameda whipsnake, fairy shrimp, western pond turtles, California red-legged frog, and San Francisco dusky-footed woodrat.


Walking the Walk

We will hike the Los Vaqueros, West Loop and Peninsula Trails.

Level: 3       Miles: 8.75       Elevation: 1000 ft       Hosts: Troy & Amy



Take I-680 North to I-580 East. In 11 miles exit at Vasco Road north towards Brentwood. Go 4.5 miles on Vasco Road and turn left into the Los Vaqueros Watershed entrance. We will meet at the end of the road at the Marina Parking Lot.


$6 Entrance Fee

Know Before You Go: