Five Canyons Grand Loop
8.0 miles     1300 ft
27 May 2012

An awesome walk combining urban areas and green rolling hills, with a side trip to the lake in Don Castro Reservoir.

Location: Five Canyons Open Space PreserveDon Castro Regional Recreation Area

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Official Trail Map: Good map showing various hiking trails and their lengths. Also see text section of the map.


The route goes through a variety of terrain including green rolling hills, cow pastures, paved roads, grassy picnic areas and trails close to residential complexes. About one-third of the route is shaded, most trails are in the open. So avoid summer days. For best experience, plan your trip in Marcy — April time frame when hills are lush green and spring flowers would be blooming.

To Don Castro Reservoir (4.6 miles): From Five Canyons Parkway parking lot, follow Diamond View Trail (0.6 miles), starting at the entrance into the parking lot. Continue along Sandstone Trail (0.2 miles) → right on Deer Canyon Trail (0.6 miles) → right on Shadey Canyon Trail (0.4 miles) → left on Chabot to Garin Regional Trail (1.4 miles) to Five Canyons Parkway, cross the road and walk along the road for a few hundred feet to reach a junction with Shady Canyon Trail. Instead of turning left for Shady Canyon Trail, continue along the side of Five Canyon Parkway to reach an entrance marked as 'Fire Trail' next to an electricity tower. Continue along this unknown trail (0.4 miles), following signs at various junctions, towards Don Castro Reservoir.

Loop Around Lake in Don Castro Reservoir (1.9 miles): Follow Whispering Creek Trail for 0.9 miles, always staying on the right at unmarked intersections to reach a paved road (Woodroe Ave). Turn right to reach the parking lot for Don Castro. Walk along a paved road to reach the swim lagoon, which may be accessed only by paying a small fees. For the hike, you may walk along the 'fenceline' drawn on the map, then along Shoreline Trail, which meanders next to the lake, then along Ridgetop Trail. Finally, cross the bridge to complete the loop around the lake. There are several intersections along this section of the hike. It is best to study the trail map for Don Castro Reservoir carefully.

To Five Canyons Park (2.4 miles): Follow Shady Canyon Trail (0.4 miles) to Boulder Canyon Rd → cross the road and continue along Shady Canyon Trail (0.3 miles) → left on Deer Canyon Trail (0.9 miles) → right on Sandstone Trail (0.2 miles) → continue along Diamond View Trail (0.6 miles) to reach Five Canyons Park.


Location: Along Five Canyons Parkway, Castro Valley, CA 94552 (0.2 miles south of intersection with Peacock Hill Drive) . No street address. Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: May 2012)

Capacity: Dozens of cars may be parked here.

Latitude: 37.678497     Longitude: -122.031122


Varied terrain in Garin and Five Canyonsxsa

Don Castro Lake

Two mile loop around a lake in Don Castro

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