Brushy Peak and Morgan Territory Regional Preserves

Brushy Peak Regional Preserve – 6 miles, moderate

Brushy Peak Regional Preserve; california; east bay; east bay regional parks The land was owned by Joseph Laughlin in the 1920s and 1930s. Remains of the ranching days can still be seen in the park. Brushy Peak can be seen in the background.

The land was owned by Joseph Laughlin in the 1920s and 1930s. Remains of the ranching days can still be seen in the park. Brushy Peak can be seen in the background.

At a meek 1,702 feet, Brushy Peak might seem insignificant but it was an important landmark for trade routes amongst the Bay Area Ohlones, Bay Miwoks, and Northern Valley Yokuts. The area has also been used as grazing grounds even to this day; the effects of grazing are easily visible.

The park is currently managed in conjunction with Livermore Area Recreation and Park District. the peak itself lies outside of East Bay Regional Park District Lands. Summit bids can only be achieved with a guide. If you wish to reach the summit, please refer to the LARPD website for more information. Please respect the sensitive habitat and stay only on maintained trails and abide by all rules.

Brushy Peak Regional Preserve; california; east bay; east bay regional parks We

We’re still curious why this boulder wall exists in this particular spot.

Brushy Peak Regional Preserve; california; east bay; east bay regional parks The City of Livermore viewed from the Laughlin Ranch Loop trail.

The City of Livermore viewed from the Laughlin Ranch Loop trail.

The preserve is fairly small but  provides heart-pumping hiking and riding for those willing to take on the heat. One of our most interesting observations of the park was that while incredibly dry, the area provided evidence of wetter times. As you approach the top of Brushy Peak, the landscape quickly changes from grassy slopes to rocky outcroppings; a few bits of shade can be found near the trail to sit and enjoy the views of Livermore Valley.

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Morgan Territory Regional Preserve – 7 miles, moderate

california; east bay; east bay regional parks; morgan territory regional preserve; san francisco bay area On narrow trails like this, watch out for poison oak and ticks.

On narrow trails like this, watch out for poison oak and ticks.

Like most East Bay Parks, Morgan Territory is a former ranch, in fact named after Jeremiah Morgan, who started his operation in 1857. Unlike most East Bay Parks, Morgan Territory provides shade. There is a stark contrast between the hot, dry, exposed, grassy hill slopes, and the much cooler, shaded valleys of the creeks that run between them.

california; east bay; east bay regional parks; morgan territory regional preserve; san francisco bay area Unlike many other parks in the area, Morgan Territory has a decent bit of shade.

Unlike many other parks in the area, Morgan Territory has a decent bit of shade.

Don’t let the shade fool you. Any hike in the area is bound to thoroughly exercise your legs and lungs. The grades on the ranch roads, which serve as a large portion of the park’s trail system, weren’t built with walking in mind.

california; east bay; east bay regional parks; morgan territory regional preserve; san francisco bay area The trails in Morgan Territory are often quite steep.

The trails in Morgan Territory are often quite steep.

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For more information and adventure ideas in the area, please visit our page: East Bay Regional Park District