Today we’re supposed to hit 88 degrees, even in Oakland. Yes, we know more robust East Bayers from the other side of the Caldecott Tunnel can take triple digits, but these temps are plenty hot for us.
To honor and respect the heat, the Montclair Hiking Club called off their weekly hike which had been planned for a distant red-hot spot. That makes some sense, but you can always walk – even in the worst heat imaginable – in our local hills.
Assuming you aren’t getting out there by dawn, don’t give up hope on Spare The Air Days! The not-so-secret trees, and their fantastic shade, never disappoint the mid-day walkers. Here are our favorite, reliable paths even in summer doldrums:
- Huckleberry Relief – 90% shade – Take Huckleberry Path on the left (.05), turn right on Bay Area Ridge Trail (0.37) and saunter for a while in the woods (1.33). Then veer right to return on Huckleberry Path (2.39). See trail map and trail head.
- Huckleberry-Sibley Traverse – 65% shade – Take Huckleberry Path on the left (.05), turn left on Bay Area Ridge Trail (0.37) and take another left (0.49). Then zig right (1.30) and zag left (1.38) to land on a paved road (1.41). Proceed uphill to take in a Mt. Diablo view and finally reach Round Top (est 2.0). Retrace steps to Huckleberry (est 4.0). See trail map and trail head.
- Redwood Stream Trail – 90% shade – From Skyline, take the classic Stream Trail out and back, even when there’s zero running water. Stay in the shade by sticking to this valley floor until trail’s end (1.93), and return the same way (3.86). The walk can be shortened, since it’s an up-and-back route. See trail map and trail head.
- Redwood Classic – 75% shade – From Skyline, take West Ridge Trail and turn left on French Trail (0.59). Make a left on Tres Sendas (1.19), right on Star Flower (1.43), left on French (1.60) and left on Chown (3.28). At bottom, take a left on Stream Trail (3.82) and return back (5.75). See trail map and trail head.
- Redwood Peak – 95% shade – Park at Chabot Space & Science lot. Take West Ridge Trail through Redwood Bowl and follow signs to Redwood Peak, even though they feel like side trails. Yes this is all redwoods, all the time here (est 1 mile, round trip). See trail map and trail head.
- Joaquin Miller Park – 65% shade – Start at Sunset Loop and turn left on either Wild Rose or Fern Ravine. Make a right on Sequoia Bayview Trail, and then head down Sunset Trail to return (est 2 miles, round trip). An alternate route takes you left on Sunset Trail and Palos Colorados Trail along the stream, and then heads back (est 2 miles, round trip). See trail map and trail head.
- Leona Canyon Escape – 50% shade – From Canyon Oaks, take Leona Trail past the vestiges of a running stream. Take a left on Pyrite Trail (0.73) and head upwards until trail’s end (1.53). Return back to Canyon Oaks (3.06). See trail map and trail head.
Now we have removed all the excuses, as you can luxuriate in Madrones or Redwood trees which pretty much snuff out the sunlight all year. Feel free to suggest some of your own favorite escapes from the heated days too.
4 thoughts on “Where To Walk When It’s Too Hot”
Great article! You are right on the money – yesterday I drove around (as I am fairly new to the hood) in search of a shady place to walk my dogs. Somewhere new. Alas, I couldn’t find anything that was dog friendly.
At least Leona Canyon is a dog-friendly option. I have seen dogs off-leash there as well, happily running along the stream or what’s left of it.
All of the trails at Redwood are dog-friendly. Dogs are required to be leashed on the stream trail, but they can be legally off-leash on East and West Ridge trails, Tres Sendas, French, Graham, Dunn, etc., etc.
Dogs are not allowed at Huckleberry, but they are welcome (off-leash) at Sibley. For shady trails, Tres Sendas and French Trail at Redwood are often the best bet, since they leave the exposed ridges and descend into the densely forested valley. Most parts of Sibley are pretty exposed, and the Ridge Trails at Redwood can also be pretty hot.
Another option for dogs, walking from Montclair Village if someone wanted to, is the Sausal Creek/Diamond Canyon trail network, accessible from Monterey just past the entrance to the golf club. Dogs are supposed to be on-leash there, although many people seem to ignore the rule there.
I was also going to add Sausal Creek and then the Dimond trail next to Montclair golf. Just be wise, be quick to leash your dog when around non-dog folks. I would also add the cascade walkway right in the middle of Piedmont, all shaded and you can take dog off leash in it. Thanks for the recommendations.