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Yellow Lupines Along Tassajara Ridge Trail

Location : San Ramon, CA

Parking : Street parking along Longleaf Circle in San Ramon

Trail type : Out and Back

Trail Length : 4 miles

Elevation Gain : 984 ft

Difficulty : Moderate

Trails traversed : Tassajara Ridge Trail

Dogs Allowed? Yes

Post Hike Grub Stop : Oyo, Pleasanton CA.

During springtime, purple lupines grow in abundance along many hiking trails in the Bay Area. But it is not often that one sees a carpet of yellow lupines, as is evident along the Tassajara Ridge Trail in San Ramon. In March - April, the park is covered with many wildflower varieties, including blue and yellow lupines, poppies and purple owl clover.

Where To Park : The closest location to park to view the lupines is along Longleaf Circle ("X" marked in the map below) . The lupines can be seen from the street, with purple lupines behind the fence on the northern side of the road (highlighted in yellow) and yellow lupines on the eastern side (highlighted in yellow).

The Trail : Tassajara Ridge Trail is fully unshaded and is best hiked when the temperature is mild. The AllTrails map for Tassajara Ridge Loop takes you through neighborhood street on an 8 mile loop. Do not follow it if you want to do the hike to see the lupines. The trail I have described in this blog is an out and back route with good elevation gain and provides a decent workout. Park at the location mentioned above. The gate to the trailhead starts at the northern corner of Longleaf Circle. You will see a carpet of yellow lupines to your right. Where the trail offshoot from the gate joins the main Tassajara Ridge Trail, turn right to walk through the yellow lupines. This is the most beautiful portion of the entire trail. The yellow lupines with red roofed homes in the background on one side and green hills on the other provide ammunition for some stunning photographs.

The trail soon starts climbing gradually. At each intersection, you are given a choice to either take an easy, gradual inclination route, or a steep climb. All options meet somewhere on the main trail further ahead. So you cant go wrong with your choice.

After the first climb, the trail flattens out and heads to the other end of the park towards the Tassajara Ridge Staging Area on Windemere Parkway, which is about a mile away from where you started. Along the way, you witness various other varieties of wildflowers, including poppies, purple owl clover and Indian paintbrush.

The almost flat trail with San Ramon and Dublin covered in fog in the distance

Poppies blooming along the side of the trail.

A carpet of purple owl clovers

When you reach the end of the trail, turn back and retrace your steps back, past the various wildflowers, over the hill and past the yellow lupines.

That yellow is from the yellow lupines, not yellow mustards!

Continue past the intersection where you started and in the opposite direction of the yellow lupines. After this point, there are no more wildflowers, other than the invasive yellow mustards. The trail climbs sharply uphill once again. In about a mile it reaches the highest point along the ridge line with panoramic views of San Ramon.

Here, you can turn back and return the way you came, back down the hill, or continue on to add a few more miles to your hike.

At the bottom of the hill, turn right, and instead of heading back to your car, find a small trail that will take you for a short distance through a carpet of purple lupines, growing behind some homes of the Windemere community.

After you have clicked pictures to your hearts content, turn back and return to your parked car.


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