Hiker up! The hubs and I heard this several times on our hike at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland! Our hike was filled with dodging mountain bikers and getting lost all while enjoying a very lush and beautiful hike through the redwoods. Not a bad day at all!
We started from the neighborhood trail head at Joaquin Miller Court and wandered through the overgrown plants along the Palos Colorados Trail. It was a narrow and mountain biker free trail as we followed the Palo Seco Creek below us. The ivy climbing the second growth redwoods made it feel like we were in a jungle in the middle of nowhere. Love that you can be so close to the city yet feel so far away! The trail for mountain bikers was on the other side of the gorge which was good so we could avoid the traffic jam that happened! A group going up hill ran into a group going downhill. Thankfully everyone was ok!
The hubs and I kept going on our peaceful side of the gorge until the main intersection. Here you will hang a left and head up the stairs to the cabin ruins. Not sure if this was one of the old buildings Joaquin Miller had built for his artist retreat but it gave wonderful views of the redwoods below. From here hop onto the wide, well traveled, fire road to the Cinderella Trail.
The Cinderella trail took us through a small grove of eucalyptus trees where we had peek-a-boo views of the city in the distance. Other than those views the trail isn’t as pretty but it is wide enough to stay out of the way of the mountain bikers flying down the hill. As we reached the top of the hill we found you can actually drive up there to the picnic area. We kind of liked our scenic route! 🙂
This is about where I think we got a little lost from the trail description. Google Maps to the rescue! We followed the route suggested back to our car. Did you know you could do that with Google Maps? Not on more remote trails but definitely ones near the city. Fern Ravine Trail starts in the middle of the picnic area and has good signage. Follow along the hiker only trail and enjoy being back in the redwoods!
The Fern Ravine Trail took us down to the Sunset Trail which is what we should have ended up on and followed this to another picnic area. Sunset Trail met up with Palos Colorados Trail and we made our way back to the car from here. As we got closer to the car we ran into more people and happy dogs!
Check out our short video of the hike on YouTube!
Parking is free, there’s not many spots so get there early, pit toilet at the picnic areas, 75% shade, 4.7 miles, 960 ft elevation gain, dogs on leash. Nearest food area was the cute town of Montclair. We used the Redwood Hikes trail description until we got lost (because we are super good at that). 🙂
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