Vasco Caves Regional Preserve in Contra Costa County, CA is one of the many hidden gems of the East Bay Regional Park District. Located in the rolling eastern foothills of Mount Diablo, it features many endangered plant and animal species, Native American rock art, and beautiful landscapes. Enjoy an expertly guided tour through the beautiful scenery. The grassy hills dotted with wildflowers and staggered sandstone outcroppings are sure to impress. Tours begin at Brushy Peak Regional Preserve, which is just 15 minutes from The Purple Orchid. Tap into your adventurous side and take in the view as you bask in the California sunshine!
For more information on what to do in Livermore, you can download our free Vacation Guide. It features our favorite places to go in and around Livermore, like Vasco Caves Regional Preserve or Los Vaqueros Reservoir.
Native American History
One of the things Vasco Caves Regional Preserve is most known for is its unique rock formations. The weathered sandstone that juts from the hills has been carved out by water and wind, giving each rock you pass a unique shape. The preserve is also known for the fact that it used to be home to Native Americans many years ago.
Transport yourself back in time as you walk where the first inhabitants of the United States once roamed. Today, the rocks form beautiful scenery for hikers, but they used to be considered sacred ground for Native Americans who used to call some of the caverns home. Although the Native Americans lived there thousands of years ago, the Vasco Caves petroglyphs are still very much intact. Archaeologists date some of these rock drawings and carvings back to over 10,000 years ago. Because of the park’s previous secrecy and now limited access, the area remains preserved in the same state it was thousands of years ago.
Experience Endangered Wildlife
Vasco Caves Regional Preserve’s unique and untouched landscape is not the only thing protected by the state of California. The beautiful rolling hills and caverns create the perfect habitat for many endangered species you may see on your hike. Small vernal pools on top of the weathered sandstone provide a home for tiny fairy shrimp. The natural springs that run through the park harbor amphibians like the red-legged frog. Its lush grasslands house many other animals like the kit fox. It also contains the biggest golden eagle nesting site in the world. Many of these animals are listed as a threatened, making the park an even more important space to be preserved. As you hike through the grassy hills, your guide will point out these species that many have never seen before!
Because this area of land is so important to maintain, reservations must be made. Tours are only done by professionals that know the area well enough to keep its preserved state.
After a Day of Hiking, Retreat to the Purple Orchid
Because of its previous secrecy and effort by park employees to keep it preserved, a visit to the Vasco Caves Regional Preserve is truly a memorable experience. After your adventure in the park, unwind at our resort. Schedule one of our spa packages for some extra relaxation before you retreat to one of our luxurious suites, like the Wilderness Retreat. This room includes a king-sized bed and furnishings inspired by the great outdoors. Soak in your room’s Jacuzzi tub before getting a restful night’s sleep and waking up for tomorrow’s adventure!