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7 Top-Rated Trails for Hiking and Running at Lake Chabot, CA

Chabot Lake is an excellent spot for hiking and trail running. The terrain here is easy to moderate without extremes. Yet, there is plenty of trails for lengthy hikes.
Chabot Lake Trails - ItIsWild.com

Lake Chabot is a popular recreation spot in the East Bay Area, just 30 minutes from San Francisco. People come here for fishing, kayaking, boating, and its scenic trails.

There are dozens of miles of trails around the lake perfect for hiking, running, and biking. The difficulty varies from paved and smooth to hilly 10-mile routes for experienced hikers. And best of all, there is a campground near the lake that’s open all year round.

Other Trails in Bay Area:

Trails at Lake Chabot:

  1. Lake Chabot Loop
  2. Lake Chabot: East Shore Trail
  3. Bass Cove and Goldenrod Trail Loop
  4. Brandon Skyline Trail to Anthony Chabot Campground
  5. West Shore and Bass Cove Trail
  6. Brandon Skyline Trail to Knowland Park
  7. Lake Chabot Extended Loop

1. Lake Chabot Loop

  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 9.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 838 feet
  • Time to Complete: 5h
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Main Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: Lake Chabot Loop is the top hike that keeps close to the lake at all times, providing stunning views. The area is well-developed, and the first couple of miles are on the paved path. Most of the hike is in the shade, and there are campgrounds on the way if you want to split the trail in two days.

2. Lake Chabot: East Shore Trail

  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 3.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 198 feet
  • Time to Complete: 2h
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Main Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: East Shore Trail is a shorter and easier way to experience Chabot Lake and enjoy its lakeside vistas. The trail is paved almost all the way to Honker Bay Bridge and has many benches to rest and soak in the views. Stroller and wheelchair-approved, it’s a beginner-friendly route for everyone.

3. Bass Cove and Goldenrod Trail Loop

  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 3.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 481 feet
  • Time to Complete: 2h
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Parking: Chabot Park Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: Bass Cove and Goldenrod Loop is a highly-rated but not crowded loop on the west side of the lake. It leads to the water before climbing on the ridge to turn back. The trail has terrific views over the lake and shaded sections, so it’s an excellent option for any time of the year.

4. Brandon Skyline Trail to Anthony Chabot Campground

Brandon Skyline Trail to Anthony Chabot Campground
  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 881 feet
  • Time to Complete: 2h 30min
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Redwood Canyon Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: Brandon Skyline Trail is the best way to access the campground. It is a hilly hike that will test your lungs, but you will get sweeping views over the lake in return.

5. West Shore and Bass Cove Trail

West Shore and Bass Cove Trail
  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 662 feet
  • Time to Complete: 2h 30min
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Main Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: West Shore and Bass Cove Trail route is another way to experience the lakeside views without completing the whole loop of the lake. Comparing East Shore and West Shore trails, the west side is arguably more scenic and has more overlooks on the way, although it is a bit longer and steeper.

6. Brandon Skyline Trail to Knowland Park

Brandon Skyline Trail to Knowland Park
  • Type: Out and Back
  • Trail Length: 9.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,379 feet
  • Time to Complete: 5h
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Parking: Redwood Canyon Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: This trail runs almost to the northern border of the park. It is also the southern chunk of the East Bay Skyline Trail, a 33-mile monster that stretches from Richmond to the lake. Brandon Skyline Trail is an excellent option for those who have already explored the lake and want to venture further.

7. Lake Chabot Extended Loop

  • Type: Loop
  • Trail Length: 12.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,417 feet
  • Time to Complete: 6h
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Parking: Main Lot: Google Maps
  • Dog Friendly: Yes

Description: The extended loop of Lake Chabot includes all the best sections of the park. You get to explore both West and East Shores. As well as climb to the ridge above the lake and soak in the sweeping panorama. This route is best suited for backpackers or experienced hikers.

Final Thoughts

The San Francisco area has plenty of fantastic outdoor destinations like Half Moon Bay or Muir Woods, and Chabot Lake is undoubtedly one of them. It is the perfect spot to unwind and recharge the batteries.

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