Panoramic Ridge Trail: The most popular trail in Claremont Canyon is the Stonewall-Panoramic Ridge Trail, also referred to as the East/West Trail at its upper end. The trail starts at the Stonewall Road entrance to the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve and climbs steeply up the northern ridge of Claremont Canyon for about a half-mile, enabling hikers to enjoy spectacular vistas of almost the entire San Francisco Bay Region. The trail then levels out as it runs easterly for a half mile along the crest of ridge before beginning to climb steeply once again. Around this point, property ownership changes from the East Bay Regional Park District to UC Berkeley's Hill Campus. An unmarked, narrow trail called the Side Hill Trail angles off to the right through a small stand of French broom then transverses to a relatively undisturbed south-facing slope that features a wonderful array of spring and early summer wildflowers as it climbs gently to reach Grizzly Peak Boulevard at about 1,600 feet elevation. The Side Hill Trail intersects Grizzly Peak Boulevard about .8 miles north of Four Corners intersection with Claremont Avenue/Fish Ranch Road.
Derby Creek/Clark Kerr Trail: The Stonewall-Panoramic Ridge can also be reached via a small canyon, called Derby Creek Canyon, or sometimes referred to as Dwight Canyon, just to the north of Claremont Canyon's watershed. Derby Creek Canyon has a steep, rocky, exposed trail that is accessible from the back side of UC's Clark Kerr Campus. This path is currently being upgraded by volunteers from Take to the Hills who have installed over 200 stairs from locally milled eucalyptus.
Gwin Canyon Trail: Equally interesting, but less traveled, is the trail that begins at the end of Norfolk Road (very limited parking) on the south side of Claremont Canyon and continues down its side canyon, called Gwin Canyon, on Park District land. At present, this trail dead-ends on the slope above Claremont Creek, though we hope to see it connect someday to a network of fire roads on UC land.
Summit House Trail and Willow Trail, Signpost 29: UC's network of fire trails on the south side of Claremont Canyon includes the Summit House Trail and the Willow Trail—one more of a road and the other a winding riparian path with wooden plank crossings over springtime rivulets. Both trails veer off from Claremont Avenue at UC’s Signpost 29 directly across from the dramatic, orange-hued, vertical layers of a geological formation known as the Claremont Chert (about .5 miles above Gelston Road). The two trails run somewhat parallel to each other up to Grizzly Peak Boulevard terminating near Four Corners.
Connection to Upper Jordan Trail, Signpost 28: Farther up Claremont Avenue another UC-maintained fire road climbs up a steep slope from Signpost 28 to the top of Panoramic Ridge, where it’s easy to cross over into Strawberry Canyon and connect with the Upper Jordan Trail. Or, if staying in Claremont Canyon, you can go either east or west along Panoramic Ridge.
Garber Park Loop Trail: Back down the canyon, a loop trail runs through John Garber Park in the western-most corner of Claremont Canyon (not far from the Claremont Hotel). You can enter this rustic, heavily wooded, 14-acre City of Oakland park from Claremont Avenue or Alvarado Road. Connector trails were reconstructed in 2016 by the Garber Park Stewards for easy access to parking on those two streets. You can also enter the park from the end of Evergreen Lane (off Alvarado Road) or from the end of Rispin Drive (off Claremont Avenue) but these entry points are in residential areas and have very limited parking.
A Work in Progress: The network of trails in Claremont Canyon is a work in progress—and we invite your ideas. The Conservancy’s long range plan calls for development of a walking trail right up the bottom of the canyon parallel to Claremont Avenue and Claremont Creek.