El Cerrito Double Valley

After four Saturday hours in the chair working on the intranet for my son’s school, couldn’t stand watching the sunshine go by outside and threw myself into the hills.

Discovered a secret route a while ago, down to the bottom of Wildcat Canyon from El Cerrito. Decided to take it further and head back up the other side, along the ridge, and back down near Little Farm. Pushed it hard – six miles in two hours, 1300 feet of climbing total, moved through three totally different landscapes: Eucalyptus groves, summertime California chaparral, dense oak forest. Ended up at the stone circle lookout at the top before descending – religious moment. Took headphones but never used them – just needed time to be quiet in nature. On hikes like these, I like to be unencumbered if possible. That means loading up on water before I go and returning thirsty, so I don’t have to take a water bottle with. Something about not taking a backpack makes the trip more of a float, less of a lug.

There are so many amazing trails through the East Bay hills, you could spend a lifetime exploring them. Can see myself growing old as a Bay Area trail rat.

Elevation map:

Animated route, with stats:

View from the stone circle at peak:
El Cerrito hills

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