Wildcat Canyon double hike

For two weekends in a row we went for nice day hikes in Tilden regional park / Wildcat canyon. The area is very nice and the views of San Francisco and the bay area are awesome. We prepared both hikes by looking at the GeoCaching website and planning a couple of caches that we wanted to lift during our hike. Both hikes are fairly long day hikes with a length of roughly 10mi (15km).

Trail navigation

For the first hike we started off at Little Farm where we parked our car as well. The trail starts right next to the parking lot and is not clearly marked. Basically just turn straight left when from the parking lot and follow the sign to Jewel Lake.

For the second hike we started in Richmond. The trailhead is right at the parking lot and the trail continues right where the road ends. Both times we did not have any trouble finding a parking spot but we heard that it can get more crowded in the summer. At both spots there is overflow parking next to the main parking lots (it might add a couple of hundred feet to your overall journey). Please also watch out for the opening hours of the park as the gates will be closed off hours.

Hike description

Both hikes are fairly long but still fair day hikes which are at times a bit strenuous but overall not too exhausting. Especially on the north-eastern side the elevation is a bit higher and it can be a climb to get up there. As a reward you get awesome views of the bay, the different bridges, and San Francisco.

For the first hike we started from Little Farm, passed Jewel Lake and continued along Wildcat Creek (the little river) until we arrived at the Mezue Trail where we headed up to the ridge and returned in a loop back to Little Farm.

The second hike started at the opposite side of Tilden Park (which is called Wildcat Canyon). We started at the trailhead there and went straight up to the ridge to enjoy the views, walked past the Mezue trail and turned down to the Wildcat Creek where we walked back to the parking lot. View Map

Summary

All in all two very relaxing and enjoyable Sunday hikes; we brought our lunches and 1/2 gallon of water per person and had a great time. There were some people around (especially near the trailheads) but the further you wander into the park the less people you will see. One of the things that amazes me most with this park is that it is so close to the urban area while it is very quite when you are in the park. On one hand you see the skyline of San Francisco on the other hand you can see eagles soar for pray. And for the geocachers out there: there is an awesome trial of roughly 20 GeoCaches along the Wildcat Creek. Happy hunting ;)

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