Tuesday, July 18, 2017
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. Hiking, jogging, and horseback riding are popular in the park’s nearly 40 miles of trails. The East Bay Skyline National Trail and Bay Area Ridge Trail traverses Redwood for part of its 31-mile course.
This hike takes you SE along the ridge at Redwood Park on the West Ridge Trail into Redwood Canyon. It continues NW along Redwood Creek underneath the beautiful dense coast redwood forest on the Bridle and Stream Trails for the return to the Skyline Gate parking lot.
Begin the hike from the West Ridge Trail; the fire trail takes you southeast for 4.8 miles from Skyline Gate to Redwood Canyon. With a mixture of beautiful panoramic views and woods filled with Redwoods, this is a great trail to find some peace away from the hustle and bustle of the city.*1
West Ridge Trail to the French Trail junction:
West Ridge from French Trail junction to Tres Sendas Trail junction:
The trail kicks up with a gentle climb towards the thin eucalyptus stands off Skyline Blvd.
Stay on West Ridge, it continues behind the Chabot Space and Science Center 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.
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 leads 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. This is a beautiful scenic and shaded trail in Redwood Canyon. Most of the trail is paved, and the path is wide with mild grades. This is a great trail for a family stroll and can accommodate hikers at any ability level.*1
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 continues 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 Prince Trail junction.
Stream Trail from Prince junction to Tres Sendas junction:
Stream Trail from Tres Sendas junction to Eucalyptus junction:
Stream Trail from Eucalyptus junction to Girls Camp:
From Girls Camp, Stream Trail kicks up from the canyon for a moderate climb up to Skyline Gate Staging Area.
Redwoods in the middle of a city-but of course! Redwood Park offers different trails that you can loop together for a variety of hikes ranging from easy to moderate. You’ll enjoy this scenic jaunt along the ridge and the leisurely walk under the towering gorgeous redwood and bay forests! Come out and enjoy what the park has to offer!
7.71 Miles with 969′ of elevation gain
Max Elevation: 1503′
Time: 3.5 hrs with a lunch stop at Old Church picnic area
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! Temps ranged from the mid 60’s to the mid 70’s with SW winds.