Whenever we visit California, we try and get a hike or at least some good walking in. During our last trip, we headed up to the San Francisco area, so before we even landed, we knew we wanted to hit some Redwoods. We met up with Linda’s friend Alexis from the area, and she knew a perfect little spot to head to. She does a lot of hiking in the area with her dog Bastian, an Australian Shepherd. So somewhat early morning, we headed out of the city and went over to East Bay. After a nice curvy ascent in the car, we pulled into the Chabot Space and Science Center, which is connected to Redwood Regional Park (you can see a map and info below). There is apparently some great science and astrological stuff to do here, as well as a nearby Archery range. Both were closed at the time. I think the Archery was due to some of the sprinkler the current micro-climate was dishing out. We had heard on the news that there was some rain sprinkles expected, but in San Fran, it seems that every mile has it’s own weather forecast. We figured a little rain, no biggie, onward.
After parking we walked through the Redwood Bowl and started on what I believe may have been the Redwood Peak Trail. I know we started heading downhill for sure and eventually made it to the Stream Trail. It continued to sprinkle, but when we were down the mountain and in the deep canopy, we hardly noticed the rain. We continued along the Stream Trail, which has some cool spots with great trees and moss covered ground, the type of forest that we don’t see much of, and when we do, it’s mainly on TV. We were coming to the end of the Stream Trail, and the rain started picking up. We had to make this one clearing, and try and pick up the West Ridge Trail to head back up the mountain. At this point, the rain was coming. After a quarter to half mile, we came to the junction for West Ridge Trail. Just our luck, it was closed at this point. We started heading back down the Stream Trail to find another connection, and eventually went back up the mountain on Chown Trail. It was a steep climb up, but was the shortest path. The rain was really coming down now, to the point where we had mini water falls cascading over our feet as we continued trudging upward. We were all completely soaked. I had forgotten my coat, which would have been nicely suited for this to some degree, so my newly purchased Russian River Brewing jacket was clinging to me. Alexis, who was somewhat prepared, was also soaked to the bone, so not sure it would have really helped at this point. The Chown Trail brought us out onto the West Ridge Trail finally, everyone pretty exhausted in addition to the wetness (though Bastian seemed ready to keep going, minus the occasional annoying shake off). The West Ridge Trail is basically a fire road, so we still had a climb, but not the switchbacks we had just a little earlier. We made it back to the car, and the girls changed into something dry. None of us expected to run into a monsoon during this hike. So we headed to Drake’s Brewing Company afterwards, and you can read about that and Russian River Brewing here.
This is a great park. The parking we chose was covered, and it was a great area to access a lot of the trails, though on the upper ridge portion of these trails. The park was a dog friendly park, and Bastian was allowed to be off leash for most of the time. Apparently this is more common place in these parks. We ran into a couple of dog hikers, literally vans full of dogs, heading out. It’s a well maintained park, and with the many trail heads, presents a lot of variety lengthwise and scenery. We enjoyed the Redwoods and some of the little stops along the way, such as the Fern Dell and Old Church. There are several areas that you can picnic and even restroom stops along the easier gentler routes. We went during the weekday, so wasn’t too busy, but was told that the weekend would be packed. If you are ever in this area, and want to get away to nature for a bit, this park is worthwhile.
Redwood Regional Park
7867 Redwood Road
Oakland, CA 94619