Tilden: Meadows Canyon-Wildcat Gorge-Lake Anza-Curran Trail Hike

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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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 a variety to delight everyone. There are 39.41 miles of trails in Tilden Park, through many different kinds of terrain. 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

This hike drops down from San Pablo Ridge on Meadows Canyon Trail for a wonderful leisurely jaunt along Wildcat Creek on Wildcat Gorge Trail. It includes a scenic clockwise loop around Lake Anza.

Begin this hike from Nimitz Gate at Inspiration Point in Berkeley. At the Curran Trail junction: turn left for the gentle descent through eucalyptus and pine to the next trail junction at Meadows Canyon.

At  Meadows Canyon Trail junction: turn right-the broad trail drops down underneath the eucalyptus groves to the open grassland with ridge top views of the Berkeley Hills.

Wildflowers!

The trail continues downhill through the woodland to a trail gate at Lone Oak Picnic Area.

Turn left onto Wildcat Gorge Trail, it takes you through dense brush out to the open meadow.

Wildcat Gorge Trail cuts back into the woodland along Wildcat Creek.

The trail gently follows along the scenic flowing creek through the beautifully shaded oak and bay woodland.

The trail continues meandering along the creek beneath the magnificent redwoods.

It cuts through the dense woodlands to the Curran Trail junction.

Go straight to stay on Wildcat Gorge Trail, it continues through the beautiful shaded oak/bay woodland canyon along Wildcat Creek.

Check out the old pump house and watch for banana slugs!

The short climb out of the canyon leads up to the shoreline at Lake Anza.

At the Lake Anza Trail post, turn left for a scenic leisurely clockwise loop around Lake Anza.

Enjoy the lakeside views!

Follow the trail along the rocky shoreline to the next trail post.

Cross the wooden bridge over Wildcat Creek to stay on Lake Anza Trail.

The trail continues around the lake through the lush riparian habitat and old thick oak/bay trees.

Lake Anza Trail leads you out to the concession stand and parking lot area.

Cross the bridge to complete the loop around the lake.

Turn left at Wildcat Gorge Trail junction and retrace your steps back through the canyon.

At the Curran Trail Junction, turn right onto Curran for the gentle uphill climb through the eucalyptus stands.

The trail continues upwards to the Meadows Canyon junction.

Stay straight on Curran for the return to Nimitz Way and Inspiration Point.

This scenic hike is a great getaway from the hot inland temperatures! You’ll enjoy the beautiful jaunt along Wildcat Creek beneath the dappled sunlit redwoods and scented bay woodlands!

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

Stats:
4.41 Miles with 588′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1068′
Time: 2.5 hours with a stop
Hike: Easy
Parking: No fee at Inspiration Point on Wildcat Canyon Rd in Berkeley
Pit toilets available inside gate on Nimitz Way-NO WATER
Dog Friendly
Food, water, and restrooms at Lake Anza

Weather: Sunny and warm with clear blue skies. Temps ranged from the high 60’s to the high 70’s with NW winds.

Directions: Inspiration Point > Nimitz Trail > L-Curran Trail > R-Meadows Canyon Tr > L-Wildcat Gorge > S-stay on Wildcat Gorge > L-Lake Anza Tr > S-stay on Lake Anza Tr > cross bridge > L-Wildcat Gorge Tr > R-Curran Tr > Inspiration Point

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Print Trail Map

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