Wanda-ful Hike

Hike Mount Wanda in the East Bay

Hike Mount Wanda Nature Preserve in Martinez

{March 16, 2023 Update: Given the recent weather, please check ahead before visiting sites to check on any trail closures, and be mindful that mud and debris hazards are possible if visiting after storms. Exercise good judgement and caution for safety.}

When John Muir wasn’t trekking the Sierra, he could usually be found hiking near his home in Martinez, at Mount Wanda, named for his daughter. The 325-acre Mount Wanda Nature Preserve gently rises to a high point, 660 feet, with views at almost every turn. {SEASONAL TIP: Spring wildflowers can come on strong here—shooting star, buttercup, purple owl’s clover, mule’s ear—you get the colorful picture.}

The preserve is open from sunrise to sunset, so go later in the day (when the heat is subsiding; there's not a lot of shade here beyond some truly beautiful oaks) and soak in some great Bay scenery.

At the start of the trail you may hear some traffic noise but it quickly dissipates the farther back you get into the park. Relax under one of the large oaks along the hillsides or at a viewpoint bench. As the sun settles across the horizon, it's purely sublime.

Muir fans should visit his home next door to the preserve, a National Historic Site. The Victorian mansion sits on 9 acres of land with fruit orchards.

BONUS GUIDED HIKES: Check out the calendar to find upcoming guided wildflower and birding hikes.

The trailhead to Mount Wanda is at the park-and-ride lot on Franklin Canyon Rd. and Alhambra Ave. in Martinez. Pick up a map at the kiosk in the park and follow the Nature Trail with a stop at the top of Mount Wanda. John Muir’s home is just on the other side of Hwy. 4 on Alhambra Ave. Mount Wanda is dog-friendly!

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