North from San Pablo Ridge
San Pablo Ridge is the northern part of the "Oakland Hills". This is a 20 mile Coast Range uplift which runs roughly from Castro Valley to the south to El Sobrante to the north. San Pablo Ridge is a series of mostly open grassy hills and is the main feature of Wildcat Canyon Regional Park
A good system of trails lead through some cattle country to the highpoint of 1,057'. The unobstructed 360 views of the northbay from this point are quite outstanding.
The hike to the peak can be done as part of a 6 mile loop or a hill climb over a few rollers from several trailheads.
Over San Pablo Reservoir to Mt. Diablo from San Pablo Ridge peakWildcat Canyon Staging Area
From Interstate 80 north
get off on San Pablo Dam Road. Go right .3 miles to San Pablo Ave. Turn left and go .4 miles to Mc Bryde Ave. Turn left and go .5 miles (back under the freeway) to the stop sign across from with the Alvarado Park stone pillars. Continue on Park Ave. another 1/4 mile to the Wildcat Canyon Staging Area (el. 180'). This parking lot packs out on popular days but there is additional parking along the road to the right.
From Interstate 80 south
get off on San Pablo Ave. and go north .7 miles to Mc Bryde Ave.. Turn right and go .5 miles to the stop sign across from Alvarado Park. Continue another 1/4 mile to the staging area parking lot.
The 6 mile loop
takes the Wildcat Creek Trail 2 miles along the base of the ridge on an utterly boring deserted asphalt road bordering a neighborhood with no views. Then it climbs to the left up the Mezue Trail for 1.2 miles to the San Pablo Ridge Trail and turns left .3 miles to the 1,057' peak with fine views opening up along the way. There is a bench at the top facing west to relax and enjoy the views.
From there the San Pablo Ridge Trail continues northwest down from the highpoint and over some rollers approximately 1 mile where it connects with the Belgum Trail. The Belgum Trail goes west about .8 mile back down to the Wildcat Creek Trail. Turn right .4 miles back to the parking lot.
The direct route to the top
takes the Wildcat Creek Trail .4 miles to the Belgum Trail. Go left up the Belgum Trail about .8 miles and continue to the southeast on the San Pablo Ridge over some steep little rollers to the 1,057' peak.
Other trailheads are:
Rifle Range Road
Go .5 miles to the Wildcat Canyon Road then left .3 miles to the Mezue Trail.
Go .7 miles up to the junction with the Belgum Trail.
The San Pablo Ridge peak is also accessible from the Conlon Trail and the Wildcat Creek Trail out of Tilden Natural Area to the southeast.
If you're lazy, have time constraints or want instant gratication you can drive along the top of the ridge on Nimitz Way to a highpoint of 1,040' and hike .8 miles along the top to the 1,057'.
Sunset over the Golden Gate from San Pablo Ridge
San Pablo Ridge from the northwest (from the Belgum Trail)
No fees or permits are required.
For details on rules and regulations go to Park Activities in Wildcat Regional Park
Sky over San Pablo Ridge
There is no camping in Wildcat Regional Park.
Current weather and 5 day forecast
Across the northbay to San Pablo Ridge from Marin County
For current weather and 5 day forecast for the Berkeley area click here.