Call this the cheater-pants way to get to the top of Redwood Peak: Instead of making a two-mile hike and several-hundred-foot climb from Moon Gate and French Trail in Redwood Regional Park, start at the Redwood Bowl Staging Area. From here, the peak is an easy half-hour round trip on shady, well-maintained trails.
From the staging area, take the paved access road to its end, then turn sharply left and uphill on a dirt trail. At the intersection of several trails and a “Redwood Bowl” sign, take a sharp right onto Roberts Ridge/West Ridge trail. You’ll pass the landscaped picnic meadow on your left and the boarded-up Rotary Day Camp cabins on your right. Stay on the Ridge Trail until it intersects with the Madrone Trail at a “No Bikes” sign, then look for the post pointing toward Redwood Peak, a sharp left turn uphill.
This short, narrow trail takes you through a stand of second-growth redwoods. After passing through a graceful alley decaying cypress, you will see a circle of boulders among a grove of young trees. The peak marker is in the center of the ring of boulders, which have been carved with initials and dates going back to the 1930’s. Your only view is of the surrounding forest.
Getting there: The Redwood Bowl Staging Area is between the main entrance to Roberts and the Chabot Space and Science Center.
More information: East Bay Regional Park District.