So this was camp. You can see the water faucet and horse trough in the top middle of the picture and the bathroom on the right. There are only 3 sites here to camp so you had better made reservations. Also note that even if the ranger does not tell you you are assigned a spot (the sites are numbered). That number should be on the confirmation you get in the mail. I didn't realize that since no one has ever told me until this trip when I accidentally camped in someone else's spot. Luckily it was a nice group of people from Redwood City who checked out the site I was supposed to be in and like it enough to not make me move. Don't count on this though (just camp in the right spot).
So this is the last section of the trail on the map. You can see that you follow a much more North course now. Although you end up losing most of you elevation you do go up and down quite a bit. I find this section the most challenging due to the ups and downs. The route I took is basically the red line on the map. At the end I took a slightly different course (the Vallecitos Trail). I think it shaves a couple tenths of a mile off but I was doing it because of where I was meeting my ride.
The views of the valley at night were awesome and the views of Mt Diablo that morning were greater still. You couldn't see anything else since everything was covered in fog.
This time of year it is a little wet on the trail. I am sure that some of these ponds are dry by early summer. They do provide interesting reflections while they are here.
There are a ton of views of Mt Diablo and on foggy mornings it is the only thing you can really make out.
I took so many pictures on this trip it was hard to choose which ones to put up here on the site. This one while I was going into the fog was hard to really capture with the camera. The fog was getting pushed along by the wind and the sun was fighting to break through it. I think even a video camera couldn't have caught the scene out there that day.
If you want the last section of trail to yourself I would suggest leaving early morning if on a weekend or try during the week. There is a side trip to Murietta Falls that I haven't done yet but I hear that it is worth it. I plan on doing that next time (probably next year). Scroll down for some other shots on the way to Lake Del Valle.
This is the home stretch on the Vallecitos Trail. It is well shaded so I recommend it to get out of the sun. You can split this trip into three or more days of hiking if you want.