Grizzly Peak in the Berkeley Hills summit above Berkeley, California. The peak is located on the border between the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa, within the boundaries of Tilden Regional Park, and directly behind the University of California, Berkeley Campus.
The peak was named after the California grizzly bear that lived in the local area until the late 1800s. The last sighting in the area was a man who was reportedly killed by a grizzly man in Strawberry Canyon below Grizzly Peak in the 1860s. The first local killing of a grizzly by a European occurred in 1772, along Strawberry Creek just west of what is now UC Berkeley campus, in what is now downtown Berkeley. The shooting of the Spanish soldiers was recorded by Father Juan Crespi. The last grizzly bear in all of California was killed in the foothills of the Sierra east of Fresno in August 1922.
Grizzly Peak became more accessible in 1932 when Grizzly Peak Boulevard was built along the ridgeline of the Berkeley Hills. The name was extended to the previously constructed ridge line of Euclid Avenue to the north shortly thereafter. This portion was and remains a residential area of Berkeley, while the original portion is largely undeveloped. Grizzly Peak Boulevard is now extending from Kenyon Avenue in Kensington in the north, through Berkeley and Oakland to the intersection of Skyline Blvd. above Oakland in the south.
Before Grizzly Peak Boulevard was built, the location of its current intersection with Claremont (formerly known as Telegraph Road in 1892) and Fish Ranch Road was historically an important passage through the Berkeley Hills, before the tunnel that preceded the current Caldecott tunnel was built through the hills in 1903; the inn and stage stop called the Summit House was located here. Today, Grizzly Peak is a popular location for people to enjoy a unique view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the surrounding Bay Area. It's also common to see street lodge enthusiasts in this area and down the canyon to Berkeley from Skyline Boulevard and Claremont Avenue.
The climbing season varies from year to year depending on how much snow the area receives during the winter months. Hwy 108 closes during the winter, making access to winter more difficult. So the most popular time to climb the mountain is from June to October.
Reasonably good camping is available at nearby Grizzly Peak Lakes (1 mile away) or Grizzly Lake (1.2 miles away). There is also very good camping at Emigrant Meadow Lake (2.5 miles away) and excellent camping on the north and east shores of Snow Lake (2 miles away). Grizzly Peak Lakes and Grizzly Lake had been stocked with Rainbow trout a long time ago, but I don't think they 're currently holding any fish. There is excellent fishing for large Rainbows in both Snow Lake and Emigrant Meadow Lake. Note that fires in the Emigrant Wilderness Area are not allowed above 9,000 feet, which would make fires illegal in all but Snow Lake.
This amazing landmark in Orinda, California is located near some other must-see places of interest:
- Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve
- Tilden Regional Park
- Chabot Space & Science Center
- Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park
- Lafayette Reservoir
- Redwood Valley Railway
- Joaquin Miller Park
- Regional Parks Botanic Garden
All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location at 1261 Locust Street in Walnut Creek California! Stop by for a visit anytime!