Tuesday, October 20, 2015
A hidden redwood forest lies off Redwood Road just a few miles over the ridge from downtown Oakland. The forest’s peaceful groves give little evidence of the park’s bustling past – in the mid-1800s the area was the scene of extensive logging to supply building materials for the San Francisco Bay Area. The logging era has long since passed, and a stately forest of 150-foot coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) has replaced those cut down. (http://www.ebparks.org/parks/redwood)
This hike takes you along the ridge at Redwood Park on the West Ridge Trail before dropping into Redwood Canyon. It continues underneath the dense forest on the Bridle Trail and the Stream Trail . Enjoy the beautiful towering redwoods along Redwood Creek before climbing out of the canyon on the Eucalyptus and Phillips Loop Trails. Return to the Skyline Gate parking lot on the East Ridge Trail.
Begin this hike on the West Ridge Trail; the fire trail takes you southeast for 4.8 miles from Skyline Gate to Redwood Canyon. West Ridge Trail to the first junction at French Trail-look for the rock that resembles a woman’s face, you can clearly see the eye, nose, mouth and hairline!
West Ridge to Tres Sendas Trail junction:
The trail kicks up with a gentle climb to the next trail junction at Skyline Blvd.
West Ridge continues to climb up to the thin eucalyptus stand towards the Chabot Space and Science Center parking lot.
Cross the paved road and continue on West Ridge; the trail travels along the south edge of the science center with views of the dome planetarium and Observatory to the next road crossing.
Cross the road to stay on West Ridge Trail; it cuts through the redwoods to the open picnic area at Redwood Bowl.
At the Graham Trail junction: go left to stay on West Ridge Trail. The trail comes a high point at the Madrone junction-go straight and stay on West Ridge as it gently descends through the eucalyptus trees out to the open ridge at Baccharis Trail junction.
West Ridge continues to travel along the ridge as it cuts in and out of the dense brush and trees to the Chown Trail junction.
Enjoy the views!
Stay on West Ridge-the trail cuts through the eucalyptus stand and winds around the woodland pass the Tate and Orchard Trail junctions.
At the Toyon Trail junction: West Ridge comes to a steep drop from the ridge as it heads down into the canyon.
West Ridge levels out as it continues through the woodlands into Redwood Canyon to the Bridle Trail junction.
At the Bridle Trail junction-go left onto Bridle Trail: the trail travels underneath the shade of the beautiful forest towards the Stream Trail junction.
Turn right at the trail junction and make an immediate left to head west on the Stream Trail. Stream Trail goes along Redwood Creek pass the Fern Dell Camp to the Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Redwood Grove.
Enjoy the gorgeous redwoods!
Lunch stop at Old Church picnic area:
Stream Trail continue through the redwood forest to Big Bend Meadow and Trail’s End Camp.
The trail runs alongside Redwood Creek to the creek crossing at Mill Trail junction.
Cross the bridge to stay on Stream Trail; the trail begins to gently ascend out of the wooded canyon floor to the Eucalyptus Trail junction.
At the junction-turn right onto Eucalyptus Trail; the trail kicks up with a moderate climb as it goes up through the eucalyptus forest to Phillips Loop Trail.
At the trail split-turn left onto Phillips Loop Trail; the trail continues with a moderate climb as it winds its way through the thin pine forest to the top of the ridge.
The trail comes to a T at East Ridge Trail; turn left onto East Ridge for the return to Skyline Gate parking lot.
This hike around Redwood Park takes you along the top of the ridge before dropping down into the beautiful canyon redwoods along Redwood Creek. You’ll enjoy the scenic walk under the canopy of the dense redwood/bay forest! This wonderful park is a local favorite among hikers and dog-walkers alike.
7.8 Miles with 1374′ of elevation gain
Time: 3.5 hours with a stop
Parking: No fee at Skyline Gate Staging Area off Skyline Blvd in Oakland.
Water & Pit toilets available
Dog Friendly-On Leash and Off-Leash trails
Bring plenty of water & food/snacks
Weather: Sunny and warm with temps ranging from the mid 60’s to mid 70’s with SE > NW winds.