Ken Dyleski helps Save Mount Diablo with mapping and on-the-ground stewardship work. He collaborated on producing the first edition of the Mt. Diablo map published by Save Mt. Diablo. His GPS enabled digital trail map of the Diablo Grand Loop was published on the National Geographic Topo site. He has a California State Certificate in Geographic Information Science from Diablo Valley College.
Mr. Dyleski's previous articles on the outdoors have been published in Sierra magazine, Northern California Explorer, and the Tahoe Daily Tribune.
Bay Area Ridge Trail
Using an overlay of several scenic and historic trails, this haute route of the East Bay skyline gives simultaneous eye popping views of the coast, interior valleys and urban icons. The Golden Gate and new Bay Bridges, Pacific Ocean, Alcatraz, Mt. Tam, San Pablo Bay, Mt. Diablo, Vollmer Peak, countless parks and cities are seen from a new and revealing perspective. If you’ve never walked any of the Bay Rim Trail this is a great introduction and will show you what the excitement is all about. Portions of the Seaview, Skyline, Ridge, Rim, American Discovery, Mokolumne Coast to Crest, and the 1200 mi. National Park Service Juan Bautista de Anza trails have adopted this crest hugging pathway. The final 3 trail miles descend from 1905 ft. Vollmer Peak and enter cooler shady woodlands following the Caldecott Wildlife Corridor, ending at the Sibley Volcanic Preserve Staging Area.
This one way hike needs a little advanced planning, with a car drop at Sibley Staging Area first, and a second car used to transport hikers to Inspiration Point in Tilden Regional Park. The Sibley and Tilden Regional Park maps are available at the parks or on line at ebparks.org and are necessary to navigate the route’s numerous junctions. Begin at the Curran Trail sign near the large rock Nimitz Way Trail pillars next to the Inspiration Point parking area. Take the Curran .13 mi. to the signed Seaview Trail junction, and take the Seaview left up to Wildcat Canyon Road. Carefully cross the road directly to the Seaview trail sign continuing up hill and left, now on a wide dirt fire road. Pace yourself on the steep climb as it passes junctions with the Quarry and Lower Big Springs trails. After passing through shady tree groves and possibly muddy trail sections even in summer, the route becomes high, dry, and rocky, and the best views begin. A high spot on the right contains a rock spiral, picnic table and two benches giving an amazing rest spot viewpoint. This is the perfect spot to contemplate our time in history, reflecting on the multicultural Anza expedition which founded San Francisco in 1776. Check out the fascinating link with a YouTube movie beforehand at : www.nps.gov/juba/index.htm
Continue on .46 mi. past the Upper Big Springs trail junction watching carefully on the right for a notch in the chest high vegetation for the trail sign marking the Arroyo Trail. You can take the Arroyo Trail which immediately splits, staying left on the Vollmer Peak trail down to the Tilden Steam Trains parking Area. Or, continue on the paved sevice road up to the Vollmer Peak summit. The summit is covered by communications towers.
From the Steam Trains parking area, cross the paved Lomas Cantadas street to the trail sign marking the Bay Ridge/Skyline Trail and enter EBMud land. This segment does not require a hiking permit. Hike carefully through a trimmed back thicket of poison oak, pass the Berkeley Hills Reservoir water storage tank, and reach the trail crossing over Fish Ranch Road. Soon enter Sibley Preserve, and then walk through the short paved Old Tunnel Road Staging Area. The trail becomes dirt again at an informational sign explaining the importance of the Caldecott Wildlife Corridor. Finish the hike by enjoying the interesting woodsy habitat while ascending alongside Round Top Creek .87 mi. to the Sibley parking area. Total elevation gain over the length of this hike is approximately 1400 ft.