Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area is a California, US state park unit that provides off-road opportunities in the Diablo Range. This is one of the eight State Vehicle Recreation Areas (SVRAs) managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, located in the southern Alameda and San Joaquin Counties. Carnegie has become a popular destination for off-road enthusiasts of all ability levels, with a variety of terrain ranging from rolling hills to steep canyons.
The area supported a large cattle grazing operation for years, and has also become a popular picnic spot for Livermore and Tracy residents. During the 1930s and’ 40s people began riding off-road and competitions were held in the 1950s. The privately owned Carnegie Cycle Park was developed during the 1960s, providing motorcyclists with an environment to test their off-road skills. Eventually, as off-road recreation gained popularity, in 1979 the state purchased Carnegie with money from the OHV Trust Fund to build the present-day Carnegie SVRA.
Image taken from an overnight camp spot at the park was taken with a vine. The best time to ride at Carnegie, after a light shower, is a day or two. The silty soil can otherwise be very powdery. Awesome hills of bright blue and black diamond tracks to climb there, all of them in the woods. At the edge, a fun, practice track. $5 a day, or $10 a vehicle for the overnight. Inns, picnic tables, barbecue fireplaces, and bathrooms. Only a small park-shop. One downer is a busy nearby road with the hills ringing all night long car noise. Place PLUGS in EAR!! During the warmer months, there are typically heavy afternoon & evening delta winds blowing through Carnegie, so add extra rope to keep stuff down and warmer clothing for the evenings.
The lower section has many tracks for different levels of ability. There’s a quad track, a peewee track, and even a jeep / buggy section. In an area reserved for newbies beginners may learn. Trails are labelled with color to give you an indicator of difficulty level. The steep hills of Carnegie will pose the best of riders with a challenge. There’s plenty of variety and most riders can consider something enjoyable for their level of ability. During the weekends, there’s a pro shop available. You’ll also find shaded picnic tables, toilets and docs to load / unload. Don’t forget the park rangers who are always supportive when you cause trouble.
Carnegie is a wonderful opportunity so similar to the Bay Area and always a pleasant feeling of being out in nature and riding one’s aluminum pony over beautiful terrain. There are wonderful training programs for the experienced driver. Everybody has something to say. The “simple” hill roads are bladed fire roads, and are not very useful for developing skills on safer trails. The hill trails are fairly easy, but if you drop them, they can have high consequences. It has been said that if you can ride Carnegie all over the world you can travel anywhere in the world.