Redwood Regional Park, East Ridge Trail Loop - Hiking

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Summary

Tucked into the hills above Oakland, the trails of Redwood Regional Park weave through groves of coast redwoods and grassy meadows, tracing ridgelines and steep slopes. A gem of the East Bay Regional Park district, Redwood Regional Park offers hiking, running, and biking opportunities in close proximity to the city.

Written by

Charlotte Dohrn

Distance

6.2 miles

This loop—descending on the East Ridge trail and connecting to the Stream trail via the Canyon trail—is 6.2 miles. You will have many opportunities to shorten or extend your hike by taking one of the myriad side trails.

Destination Distance From Downtown

13.4 miles

Difficulty

2 of 5 diamonds

Wide, even, and gentle, the East Ridge trail is accessible to all park-goers. The Canyon trail winds steeply down to the valley floor and can be slippery after rain. The Stream trail follows Redwood Creek over level ground carpeted with soft needles and leaves until climbing steeply for the last half mile back to the trailhead.

Time To Complete

2 hours

Hiking at a relaxed pace, the average hiker will complete this loop in 2-3 hours. If speed is your thing, trails are equally ideal for running.

Seasonality

All Seasons

Redwood Regional Park is accessible year round. The East Ridge trail is exposed and can be hot and dusty in the summer. The redwoods lining the Stream trail provide cool shade, even on the hottest summer days. Trails can be slippery and muddy after rain.

Dog Friendly

Yes

There is a $2 seasonal fee for dogs at the Redwood Gate.

Fees Permits

Yes

There is a $5 seasonal parking fee per vehicle to access the park at the Redwood Gate on weekends and holidays between April and October. All other access gates and staging areas are free.

Review

Intro

Gracing the ridgeline of the Oakland hills, 1,830 acre Redwood Regional Park boasts nearly 40 miles of trails to run, hike, or bike. The park is named for the 150-foot coast redwoods that have grown back—and are now some of the only remaining stands in the East Bay. Connect your pick of trails to create loops or out-and-back hikes that traverse varied topography, diverse vegetation, and overlook scenic views. Introduce yourself to the expansive beauty of Redwood Regional Park by hiking a 6.2 mile loop along the park’s eastern ridge, circling back to the trailhead by following Redwood Creek as it meanders through the valley. Trees and hills surround you—making the urban centers of Oakland and San Francisco feel worlds away. 

What Makes It Great

Begin your hike on the East Ridge trail on the edge of the parking lot. For the first 3 miles, the wide, hard-packed dirt trail rolls under your feet with the contours of the ridgeline. Side trails split off and descend abruptly to the valley floor below. Peer through the oak trees lining the trail to look out over the rolling hills of the east bay spread out beneath you. On the west side of the trail, view points and well-positioned benches look out over the canopy of the redwoods growing along the stream below.

After about three miles, follow the Canyon trail as it winds steeply to the valley floor. Reach the Canyon Meadow picnic area, and bear right toward the beckoning shade cast by towering redwoods lining Redwood Creek. The Creek provides critical habitat for rainbow trout and other salmonids. As you follow the Stream trail, side trails fork left towards the park’s west ridge, and to the high point at Redwood Peak. After about a mile, cross the stream at the wooden bridge. The trail follows the stream until Girl’s Camp, when it climbs steeply through eucalyptus groves to attain the ridge. As you return to the trailhead, congratulate yourself for choosing a hike with beautiful scenery and an uphill finish.

Who is Going to Love It

The subtle beauty of the trails and surrounding landscape will appeal to everyone who enjoys the outdoors. Trail runners will enjoy experiencing the whole range of the park--steep climbs through chaparral, long stretches beneath the lofty tree cover along the stream, and open trails along the ridges. Families will enjoy casual strolls through the groves of giant trees. Hikers of all abilities will enjoy winding through redwoods, oaks, and eucalyptus, stopping to take in sweeping views from both sides of the park. 

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Access this loop hike from the Skyline staging area, a small parking lot with free parking and no permit required. Other access gates and trailheads are scattered around the perimeter of the park throughout the Oakland hills. The main entrance, Redwood Gate, charges a $5 parking fee during peak season. The park is open from 5 am-10 pm, so crack-of-dawn runners and after-work walkers can enjoy the trails and facilities. 

Location

Redwood Regional Park, East Ridge to Stream Trail Loop

7867 Redwood Rd
Oakland, CA, 94619
37.831838, -122.185038

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