Tilden Regional Park,
East Bay Regional Park District,
Contra Costa County
|Distance, category, and difficulty:
This easy 3.7 mile hike on paved Nimitz Way hosts walkers from very young to very old, and every age in between.
Dirt trail and paved fire road.
1 1/2 hours.
Nice all year, best in spring or autumn.
From Interstate 580 in Alameda County, exit CA 24 (exit 19b). Drive northeast and exit Claremont (exit 3). At the foot of the exit ramp, turn left, and drive about 1.5 miles on Claremont to the junction with Ashby. Continue straight on Claremont, to the junction with Grizzly Peak Boulevard, about 2 miles. Turn left and drive north about 1.4 miles to the junction with South Park Drive. Turn right and drive about 1.5 miles to the junction with Wildcat Canyon Road. Turn right and drive about 1.2 mile, to the Inspiration Point Trailhead on the left side of the road. Note: South Park Drive is closed during the salamander migration season, approximately October-April. If it's closed, continue on Grizzly Peak, turn right on Shasta, then turn right on Wildcat Canyon Road.
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead:
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)
Gas, food, and lodging:
Gas, restaurants, and stores are plentiful around Claremont and College. Tilden has group and equestrian campsites only -- no individual sites. The nearest campground is in Anthony Chabot Park.
No parking or entrance fees. Forty parking spots in a paved lot, with 2 designated handicapped parking spaces. Nimitz Way is suitable to wheelchairs. Maps available at the information kiosk. Portable toilets just inside the Nimitz Gate. There's a water fountain at the junction lower end of Meadows Canyon Trail. Public transit website.
Park is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Some trails are multi-use, others are open to hikers and horses only, and the trails in the nature area are hiking only. Dogs are permitted in Tilden, but not in the nature area (they are allowed on this hike).
The Official Story:
EBRPD's Tilden page.
EBRPD headquarters 510-562-PARK
This hike is described and mapped in 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: San Francisco, by Jane Huber (yup, that's me, the creator of this website). Order this book from Amazon.com.
Map from EBRPD (Tilden north)
Lower Tilden (Nature Area) map (pdf)
A Rambler's Guide to the Trails of the East Bay Hills: Northern Section, published by The Olmsted & Bros. Map Co., is very good, particularly if you're interested in seeing how all the east bay parks along San Pablo Ridge string together (order this map from Amazon.com).
The Bay Area Ridge Trail, by Jean Rusmore (order this book from Amazon.com) has a good map and descriptions of Tilden's segment of the Ridge Trail.
Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page
Park is a recreation paradise in the backyard of East Bay communities
Berkeley and Kensington. In addition to miles of
trails that connect to adjacent parks, enabling long rambles, Tilden provides exceptional
opportunities for family fun, with a merry-go-round,
swimming lake, pony rides, steam trains, and picnic areas that can be