Cub Scout Pack 1776

January 30: Wildcat Peak Trail Trekkers Hike

Date/Time: Sunday, January 30, 2022, at 10am
LocationTilden Regional Park // 600 Canon Dr, Berkeley, CA 94708
Meeting Point: By the Tilden Nature Area Environmental Education Center (EEC) sign
Fee: None
Distance / elevation: 2.5 miles / 669 ft
Difficulty: Moderate Mostly gentle with steep grades near the peak / Recommended for Bears to Webelos
Hike InfoHike info
Awards: Trail Trekkers Cub Scout Patch / Progressive Hike Award
Contact: Hiking Chair and Co-Chair Kushal Kaleshwari 925-639-5493, Nagabhushan Channabasappa 408-666-5931

RSVP: Evite

What to wear 

  • Class B and dress in layers, incl. windbreaker
  • Approved face covering
  • Sturdy closed toe shoes
  • Hat + sunscreen

What to bring

  • binoculars
  • camera
  • plenty of water and snacks
  • map — be sure to pick up a Tilden Nature Study map at the Environmental Education Center (EEC); it contains a legend of trail symbols to help you follow the right paths.


From Hwy 24: Exit at Fish Ranch Road. Take Fish Ranch Road to Grizzly Peak Blvd. and turn right. Continue on Grizzly Peak Blvd. until you come to the intersection of Spruce Street, Wildcat Canyon Road and Canon Drive. Turn right on Wildcat Canyon Rd., then immediately make a sharp left down Canon Drive. At the bottom of the hill, veer left onto Central Park Drive and follow into the parking lot for the Nature Area.

The hike

Wildcat Peak Tilden Nature Study Area, Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley, offers a view of Mount Tamalpais rising from San Francisco Bay, which will be the reward for hiking to the top of Wildcat Peak. This trail loops through eucalyptus and oak forests, up moderately steep hills, then back to one of the best nature study areas in the Bay Area.

The trail

The trail begins at the edge of the eucalyptus forest directly behind the EEC. Look for the Jewel Lake Trail sign and the Sylvan Trail marker.

This trail affords an excellent opportunity to compare different biomes. The first part of the hike is a gentle climb through pungent eucalyptus, abruptly yielding to oak woodland as you near Peak Trail. Then hikers climb moderately steep switchbacks through grassy hills (covered with wildflowers in spring) and chaparral slopes to Wildcat Peak at the top of the loop.

Here there is a spur (.10 mile) which leads to the top of Wildcat Peak high above the tops of the eucalyptus trees. You will find a circular stone observation plaza at the top. On a clear day, hikers can view San Francisco Bay, with Mt.Tamalpais rising above the bridges in the west, and Mt. Diablo looming above rural Contra Costa County to the east.

To descend and complete the loop, retrace your steps on the spur back to Peak Trail. At this point continue on towards Nimitz Way. About 30 yards before the paved road the trail makes a right turn and begins to weave through a lush canyon.

When you come to the fire road (Laurel Canyon Road) follow it to the right until you come to the marker for Laurel Canyon Trail. Going left, you'll follow switch backs and cross tiny streams in the shade of large oaks and laurels. The trail continues on the other side of the next fire road, but about 10 yards to the left.

The last leg of your trek takes you out of the oaks, back into the eucalyptus grove, across one more fire road and finally deposits you back in the meadow behind the EEC.

The history

Tilden Nature Study Area has had a long history: first as a nature camp for Oakland school children in the 1930's, then as part of the East Bay Regional Park District. Since the 1960's, Tilden has operated a wonderful nature study program with professional naturalists. The Nature Study Area consists of many habitats: Eucalyptus and oak forests, grasslands and shrub areas.

Before it was a nature study area it was a cattle grazing area, and in the 1930's trees were planted in what was once open grasslands to preserve the watershed.

For all in-person pack or den events and activities, please adhere to the pack's COVID statement. If you or your Scout are sick, are experiencing COVID-like or flu symptoms, or may have been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home and stay safe.

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