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Tilden Park Inspiration Loop

Intermediate
 3.9 (24) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This short loop offers some of the best views with a challenging climb.


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Map Key

8.7

Miles

14.1

KM

0%

Singletrack

1,142' 348 m

High

449' 137 m

Low

828' 252 m

Up

848' 258 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

Expansive views in all directions, but especially over San Francisco Bay out to the Golden Gate Bridge on this short loop that can actually be ridden in about an hour. It includes a paved section, fire roads and narrow doubletrack with a short section of singletrack. The climb back to the start is steep and technical in spots.

Description

Starting from Inspiration Point, the loop can be ridden in either direction, but counterclockwise is recommended for first timers since it begins with an easy paved section with nice views. The Nimitz Way Trail starts at the gate and past the restrooms with a short climb to a viewpoint to the west over S.F. Bay. The first couple of miles is an easy roll and is popular with hikers, joggers, and dog walkers. You'll pass through a shady grove of eucalyptus trees just before reaching the boundary between Tilden and Wildcat Canyon Regional Parks.

The Conlon Trail will be a sharp left up a steep gravel road to a viewpoint looking east toward Mt. Diablo. It levels off fairly quickly, swinging around towards the northwest, and just before reaching a cattle gate; look for the viewpoint bench on the hill to the left (west). This is one of the best S.F. Bay panoramas in the area.

Continue past the gate, where the road isn't regularly maintained so it rides more like a singletrack but is rough and beat-up from grazing cattle. After a brief climb, the trail is a downhill run over an open ridge-top with views to the west and north. It gets steeper towards the bottom with some sharp turns and you'll need to watch your speed as there's another gate at the Wildcat Creek Trail junction.

Keep left on Wildcat Creek Trail, which joins the Loop Road back to Tilden Park. The Lone Oak Trail will be on the left and is the start of the Wildcat Gorge Trail. The Meadows Canyon Trail also starts here and is an easier option for returning to Inspiration Point.

The Wildcat Gorge Trail immediately crosses a creek. It is usually rideable with steep banks and a rooty section to get up the other side. This section of the trail is more singletrack, so watch for poison oak along edges. The trail widens to doubletrack once you're in the shaded canyon and there's a short rocky climb followed by another section with exposed roots. It's a shady creek ride all the way to the junction with the Curran Trail.

Continue up the Curran Trail, which is steep in places and a few roots and rocks makes for a challenging climb back to the start at Inspiration Point.

If doing this ride in the clockwise direction, use the Havey Canyon Trail for the connector between Wildcat Creek Trail and Nimitz Way Trail. The junction is just past the Conlon Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Bob Gardner

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 24 votes

#953

Overall
  3.9 from 24 votes
5 Star
21%
4 Star
58%
3 Star
17%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
4%
Recommended Route Rankings

#150

in California

#953

Overall
177 Views Last Month
7,899 Since Mar 21, 2016
Intermediate

4%
4%
84%
4%
4%
0%

Photos

If it's super muddy, don't pick the middle line!!
Feb 3, 2020 near Kensington, CA
San Francisco Bay from Wildcat Canyon Regional Park.
Mar 22, 2016 near Kensington, CA
Wildcat Gorge Trail creek crossing.
Mar 22, 2016 near Kensington, CA
Conlon Trail overlooking Wildcat Canyon.
Mar 22, 2016 near Kensington, CA

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Check-Ins

Jun 12, 2021
Jesse Mitchell
8.7mi — 2h 00m
Mar 13, 2021
Jeremy Bernstein
10.5mi — 1h 30m
Mar 1, 2021
Duncan Moore
Oct 29, 2020
Jimmy Jiang
Oct 20, 2020
Boom Caca
substituted Havey Canyon in place of Conlon Trail 10mi — 1h 12m
Oct 18, 2020
Boom Caca
9.2mi — 1h 11m
Jul 30, 2020
Jay Herwitz
Jun 14, 2020
Marcus W
Great ride! Definitely take counter-clockwise: much easier climb, much more fun descents. 8.2mi — 1h 11m