Hike Red Hill in Coyote Hills Regional Park

Red Hill Coyote Hills Regional Park


From the issue Shake Your Trail Feathers

Red Hill Ramble

Even those who are trypt out on turkey will want to gobble up the East Bay's Coyote Hills Regional Park, where a 2.3-mile (round-trip) easy-as-pie hike traverses bay-hugging hills surrounded by wetlands. Embark north from the visitors center through Main Marsh along the paved Bayview Trail. In about half a mile, take the turn-off that goes up Red Hill Trail. This slinking dirt path dips and surges for the next mile, ascending open hills overlooking nearly 1,000 acres of marshlands stretching to the Dumbarton and San Mateo bridges. When you peak at 270-foot Red Hill, climb a nearby boulder for a view of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Return via the Soaproot and Quail trails, which lead gently downhill through golden grasslands that are beginning to tinge green as the rainy season approaches. Nearing the visitors center, keep an eye out for migratory geese and hawks overhead while minding your step for ground squirrels and jackrabbits scampering across the grounds. Excellent turkey-topper.

TIP: Add 3 miles to your trek by tacking on the remainder of the Bayview Trail, which circumscribes Red Hill.

The park charges $5/vehicle for parking and $2/dog for non-service animals. When you enter, drive all the way down the main road until you spot the visitors center (open 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Wednesday–Sunday). There you can park, start, and finish your journey. Check Coyote Hills Regional Park Web site for park hours, directions, and trail maps. Dog-friendly!

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