Tilden: Nimitz Way Trail Hike

Friday, February 24, 2017

View the entire Google Web Album

One of the District’s three oldest parks, Tilden has been called the jewel of the system, and its recreational activities have become a happy tradition for generations of East Bay youngsters. From a carousel ride and a picnic to a swim at Lake Anza and a stroll through the Botanic Garden, Tilden has the variety to delight everyone. Yet there are plenty of quiet places in Tilden’s 2,079 acres to shelter the wildlife and preserve natural beauty. Tilden was named for Charles Lee Tilden, first president of the Park District Board of Directors.*1

Nimitz Way, paved and wheelchair accessible, is popular with hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians, and affords spectacular views from the crest of the East Bay hills. The best parking for this trail is at Inspiration Point on Wildcat Canyon Road. Please note there is no drinking water at this parking area, and dogs must be on a leash on Nimitz way. The East Bay Skyline National Recreation Trail follows Nimitz Way and other Tilden trails during part of its 31-mile route. *1

This scenic out & back walk/hike on the paved Nimitz Way Trail starts from Inspiration Point in Berkeley; it’s a beautiful ridge line route that winds 4.1 miles through Tilden and Wildcat Canyon Regional Parks with gorgeous panoramic views of San Pablo Reservoir, SF Bay, the East Bay Hills & ridges and Mt Diablo.

Begin the Nimitz Way walk from trail gate entrance at Inspiration Point.

Enjoy the meadow canyon and SF Bay views from the vista overlook near the half mile post.

Continue past the Redwood Grove of planted giant sequoias by the Berkeley Hiking Club in the 1960’s to the beautiful shaded woodland of eucalyptus and bays to the 1 mile post.

The trail travels through stands of Monterey pines to the Laurel Canyon Trail junction into Tilden Nature Area near the next 1/2 mile post.

Nimitz Way winds through the shade of the large eucalyptus grove to the 3/4 mile post and Wildcat Peak Trail junction.

The trail exits Tilden Regional Park into Wildcat Canyon Park at the cattle guard crossing.

Enjoy glorious views of San Pablo Reservoir and Mt Diablo!

Nimitz Way continues along the open ridge past the 2 mile post to Conlon Trail junction.

The trail stays along the ridge across another cattle guard to EBMUD’s Eagle’s Nest Trail junction and mile point 3.

Enjoy the wonderful panoramic views!


Stay along the ridge from mile post 3 to the next 1/2 mile post.

The trail heads further westward to the 4 mile post with views of the surrounding rolling grasslands and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Nimitz Way Trail comes to an end at the junction with San Pablo Ridge.

Follow the faint trail uphill to the concrete base of an old Nike Missile site.

Enjoy the panoramic ridge top views of San Pablo Bay and north Contra Costa county!



Turn around and reverse your way back on Nimitz Way trail to Inspiration Point.

Enjoy the views from the vista bench at Inspiration Point.

Nimitz Way is a popular paved trail for walking, hiking, cycling and running. There are plenty of strategically placed rest benches to take full advantage of the magnificent views of Mt Tam and Mt Diablo and its surrounding ridges. I stopped at the various vista points along the trail for photo ops and walked at a very leisurely pace for 1.5 hours each way. Bring plenty of snacks and water for this wonderful walk along the open San Pablo Ridge; it’s a splendid alternative to riding a bicycle!

*1 http://www.ebparks.org/parks/tilden.htm

8.3 Miles with 598′ of elevation gain
Time: 3 hours with a stop
Hike: Easy-moderate
Parking: No fee at Inspiration Point on Wildcat Canyon in Berkeley
Pit toilets available inside gate on Nimitz Way-NO WATER
Dog Friendly-ON LEASH ONLY (NO DOGS allowed in Tilden Nature Area)

Weather: Partly sunny. Temps ranged from the mid 40’s to the low 50’s with NW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile


Nimitz Way



Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s