Get your Camino training in! With the hills already green heralding spring, this is a wonderful walk, mostly along the East Bay Ridge Trail, and over rolling hills carpeted with wildflowers.
Compared to its neighbor regional parks – Tilden and Redwood just to the south – Wildcat Canyon is relatively unpopulated. We’ll start at the park entrance, convenient to I-80, then climb reasonably steeply to the ridge, from which we’ll have 360-degree views for about 4 glorious miles. Our destination is Wildcat Peak, just into Tilden Park, one of the East Bay’s iconic lookout points. After lunch at the summit, we’ll head down through the open landscape until we hit Wildcat Canyon Trail, which leads back to our starting point.
Schedule: Meet up at 9:30 AM for sign-in and briefing at the far end of the main parking lot. (See Getting There below.) Lunch at Wildcat Peak. Figure roughly 5 hours of walking, plus our lunch break, so we should be back around 3:30 PM or so.
Level of Difficulty: Moderate to slightly difficult. Total length is 9.5 miles, with approximately 1400 feet of climbing, the vast majority of which is in the first few miles when we’re still fresh. The paths themselves are smooth and wide and present no difficulty. For those who want a shorter hike, it is very easy to cut down from the ridge to Wildcat Canyon Trail and return to the parking lot.
Advance online registration is required. Click the Register button to sign up by Thursday, February 23. Because space is limited, we ask that you register if/when you are certain you can attend. Thank you!
Cancellation: Please email us at email@example.com so we can offer your space to someone else.
Getting There: The park is located where Richmond and San Pablo come together. If you’re heading east on I-80, take the Solano Avenue exit. Continue straight along the road bordering the freeway, and at the first light (McBryde Avenue), turn right. You’ll hit a stop sign after 1/4 mile, at which point you bear left onto Park Avenue. You’ll see an entrance to the park immediately, but DON’T enter there (the gate is usually locked anyway). Continue straight on Park and you’ll quickly come to a second – very long – parking lot. Park as close to the far end as possible because that’s where we’ll meet up. Here’s a map.
NB: The one and only non-natural toilet you’re going to see all day is at the beginning of this parking lot, so if you gotta go, pause there before continuing further on to our meet-up point at the far end of the lot.
If you’re coming west on I-80, get off at McBryde. Turn left onto McBryde, cross back over the freeway, and follow McBryde per the above directions.
Carpooling: Registered participants will have access to our online “Carpool Bulletin Board” to post a message if they need a ride or can give one.
What to Bring: A bag lunch, snacks, water and rain gear, if weather calls for it. Hiking poles would be helpful, but not necessary. If you’re a birdwatcher, bring your binoculars. Note that there is very little shade, so don’t forget your sunscreen. And the only water fountain is in the parking lot.
Leader: Andy Cohn. We’ll go unless the weather is truly awful, but if you’re in doubt, call him Saturday morning at 510-418-4728.
The Ruff Stuff: For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.