Sausal Creek and Palos Colorados Trail
5.5 miles     800 ft
17 Dec 2011
Summary

Wonderful walk next to Sausal Creek, followed by Palos Colorados Trail, which meanders along a cool redwood canyon.

Location: Dimond Canyon ParkJoaquin Miller Park

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Official Trail Map by SausalCreek.org: Great contoured map showing major trails on shaded relief. Mileage information of trail segments is missing. The map is also missing some unnamed trails that we encountered during our hike in Dec 2011. Still, the map is pretty good - we never felt lost.

» Official Trail Map by City of Oakland: Great map. However, contours are missing. Sausal Creek map is better.

» Trail Map from the book Guide to East Bay Creeks: Nice description of various landmarks along Sausal Creek and Dimond Park.

Route

To Palos Colorados Trail:

0.0 miles: We started at the restrooms in Dimond Canyon Park and followed Dimond Canyon Trail toward El Centro Ave.

0.5 miles: We turned left onto a trail that connects Dimond Canyon Trail with Old Canyon Trail.

0.7 miles: We reached the intersection of "Toe Trail" and Dimond Canyon Trail. This is where we had earlier followed Dimond Canyon Trail going south, through Sausal Creek which is unpassable in high water. Dimond Canyon Trail then becomes a series of switchbacks going uphill.

1.4 miles: Intersection of Dimond Canyon Trail and Brideview Trail

2.0 miles: Intersection of Brideview Trail and Monterey Blvd.

2.2 miles: Entrance to tunnel below Highway 13.

2.3 miles: Trailhead for Palos Colorados Trail, which runs along a canyon next to Palo Seco Creek. It is well maintained, green and cool.

3.0 miles: Five-way intersection between Palos Colorados Trail, Sinawik Trail and Sunset Trail. At this point, we turned back along Palos Colorados Trail.

To Dimond Canyon Park:

3.7 miles: Palos Colorados Trail ended in a small parking lot close to "JM Court" (see trail map). We walked along J M Court, crossed Mountain Road, went through a tunnel underneath Highway 13 to reach Monterey Blvd. We turned right on Monterey Blvd and walked 0.25 miles to reach the trailhead for Dimond Canyon / Bridgeview Trails.

4.5 miles: We reached a clearly marked intersection between Bridgeview Trail and Dimond Canyon. We followed Dimond Canyon Trail as it descended down to Sausal Creek via a series of switchbacks.

4.7 miles: We reached a clearly marked intersection of Dimond Canyon Trail and Toe Trail (not marked on map). We followed the sign for Dimond Canyon Trail. Very quickly, we reached a storm drain. Beyond the storm drain, we had to walk through the creek, hopping over stones and by the edge of the creek for about 0.1 miles before we could hop onto a trail on the left of the creek. At this junction, we met a couple of women with small kids. This section of Dimond Canyon Trail is unpassable when the water is high. During such times, you may choose to take the "Toe Trail" which connects to Old Canyon Trail (shown on map) and continue the hike.

5.0 miles: We reached an intersection with Old Canyon Trail. The trail map does not show clearly that Old Canyon Trail and Dimond Canyon Trail area actually connected.

5.3 miles: We reached the end of Dimond Canyon Trail, to emerge on El Centro Ave.

5.5 miles: We reached the restrooms in Dimond Canyon Park.

Trailhead

Location: Intersection of Wellington Street & Canon Ave, Oakland, CA 94602 . Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: Dec 2011)

Capacity: Street parking for several cars near the intersection.

Latitude: 37.805391     Longitude: -122.216185

Dimond Canyon Trail

This trail is all along Sausal Creek. For the first 0.1 miles, we had to walk carefully along and inside the creek. The trail map correctly notes that this section is impassable after heavy rains when water level is high.

Full photo album — 17 December 2011

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Joaquin Miller and Dimond Canyon Loop.
Palos Colorados Trail

A gorgeous trail next to a redwood canyon. This was the most pleasant section of the entire hike.

Full photo album — 17 December 2011

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Joaquin Miller and Dimond Canyon Loop.
Nature

Full photo album — 17 December 2011

Photos are from a different hike with similar landscape: Joaquin Miller and Dimond Canyon Loop.
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