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Hiking Amongst The Wind Turbines

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

Location : Brushy Peak Regional Preserve, Livermore, CA

Parking : Laughlin Ranch Staging Area (free parking)

Trail type : Loop

Trail Length : 6.1 miles

Elevation Gain : 1175 ft

Difficulty : Moderate

Trails traversed : Laughlin Loop Trail > Tamcan Trail > Brushy Peak Loop Trail > West Side Loop Trail

Pets Allowed : Yes

Post-hike Grub Stop Reco : Garre Cafe, Livermore, CA.

Each time we would drive over the Altamont Pass on Highway 580 in Livermore, I would always admire the numerous giant wind turbines we would pass and wonder if there was a way to get close to them. My wish was fulfilled when I found a hiking trail in Brushy Peak Regional Preserve in Livermore, that would took us close to these turbines.

The trail starts at the Laughlin Ranch Staging Area where there is ample parking and clean pit restroom. When we started our hike at 9.30am on a weekend, the parking lot was full and people were beginning to park on the side of the road.

The rolling hills of Brushy Peak Regional Reserve

We started our hike in the anti-clockwise direction. If hiking clockwise, the trail starts off pretty steep and continues to climb all the way to Brushy Peak. In the anti-clockwise direction, the climbs are more gradual over 3 rolling hills before summiting Brushy Peak.

Wildflowers beginning to bloom in mid Jan.

The trail starts off nice and wide with views of the wind turbines throughout the hike. The lush green hillside was strewn with cows lazily feasting on the fresh grass while enjoying 360 degree views of the Livermore valley.

Go Away! Let me enjoy my meal in peace!

The giant wind turbines accompany you all along the route as you continue on Brushy Peak Loop Trail.

At about mile 3, the trail starts climbing steeply towards Brushy Peak.

When you reach Brushy Peak at mile 4, the scenery suddenly changes from open meadows to a rocky hillside. This is a good point to enjoy a quick break or a picnic lunch as you admire a birds eye view of East Bay.

View along the ascent to Brushy Peak

The climb down from Brushy Peak is steep and rocky, which calls for good hiking boots for this hike.

Once you reach the bottom, you have the option to add another climb to your workout and turn right on West side loop, and add an extra mile to your hike. Or hang a left at the intersection of Brushy Peak Loop Trail and West side Loop Trail. This will take you past a small lake and all the way back to the parking lot in about a mile.

Garre Cafe and Winery on Tesla Road, 6 miles away, is a great stop for an American lunch and vino. They provide spacious outdoor and indoor seating but prior reservations are required.

Winter/Spring is an excellent time to hike Brushy Peak, while the hills are still green and the temperatures are mild. Since there is almost no shade, this hike can be treacherous during the summer months. My next goal is to find a drivable path close to these wind turbines so I can photograph these gentle giants during sunset.


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