HIKE DESCRIPTION: Mount Wanda is a small hill (500 feet) adjacent to the John Muir House (a National Historic Site) where Muir loved to picnic with his daughters, Wanda and Helen. Officially there’s only one entrance, but we will NOT be starting there. Our local Club members have introduced us to another trail head, so we will meet at the “Nancy Boyd Memorial Park” at the corner of Pleasant Hill Road East and Church Street in Martinez. This is a short 4.5 mile hike but with a steep, continuous, climb of 500 feet early on, then rolling trails and a gradual decent. The total elevation gain is approximately 700'.
We will start at the Park, walk through some neighborhoods (Church st., Tahoe Dr., Alhambra Way) and along Alhambra Avenue until we get to John Muir Memorial Park at the corner of Alhambra Valley road (0.7 mile). We then enter Mount Wanda Park and make a steep climb along the seldom used “Riparian Trail”. It is a single track trail and we will be hiking mostly in the shade for the climb. We will have great views of Mt. Diablo and Martinez at the top of Mount Wanda. We will meander, past Mount Helen, and back down the hill, using the Muir Nature Trail. From the bottom of the trail, we will cross Alhambra Avenue, take a short connector trail to Brackman Lane and work our way back to the Nancy Boyd Park along Pleasant Hill Road East (map attached). The trail will be good, rain or shine.
MEETING AT: Please meet at 8:15am at the old Phairs parking lot at 3 Camino Sobrante in Orinda (next to Starbucks). We will depart at 8:30 am sharp.
If you prefer to meet at the starting point of the hike meet opposite the Fire Station on Church Street at 8:50 am. For those using a GPS the address is: 251 Church Street, Martinez, CA. 94553
Driving Instructions to the trailhead:
Note Alternate route: For those on the I-680 corridor. Go North on I-680, then take Highway 4 West (Martinez, Hercules). Go 3.2 miles and get off at Alhambra Ave. Make a left at the bottom of the ramp, get in right lane, go through first lights and make a left at the next light (0.4 mile) Alhambra Way. Make a right at the first stop onto Tahoe Drive. Near end of street make a left onto Church Street. Go over a small hill and park as close as you may to the fire Station.
CARPOOL COST: The round trip distance from Orinda, with the above directions, is 28 miles. At the OHC recommended rate of $0.35/mile is $2.45 per person with four per car, including the driver.
BRING: water, snacks, sunscreen, hats, hiking poles and boots.
RESTROOMS: Restrooms are available at the Nancy Boyd Park, 50 yards from the meeting spot.
RETURN TIME: About noon