Tilden Park

Tilden Regional Park is a sprawling 2,079-acre wonderland in the Berkeley hills above the San Francisco Bay’s eastern cusp.

As one of the East Bay Regional Park District’s “OG” parks, Tilden occupies a special place in the heart of many Berkeley residents, a symbol of the city’s accessibility to nature and commitment to environmental sustainability. Here’s a quick guide to exploring the Park:

How do I get to Tilden Park?

Tilden is most easily reached by car. It is just a few minutes from the city’s downtown district. The AC Transit #67 bus also provides park access on weekends and holidays and runs about every 45 minutes.

Detailed map of Tilden Regional Park showing different trails and amenities
Tilden Regional Park

When’s the best time to visit Tilden Park?

Dawn to dusk, there's really no "best" time to venture to Tilden Park. It will depend on your chosen activity. Early mornings are magical, just as the morning fog is lifting, an enchanting experience that makes Tilden’s woods feel like a fairy tale. If you enjoy golf, experience this spectacle from the links at the challenging Tilden Park Golf Course. By the time you hit the back nine, chances are the course will be bathed in sunshine.

Sunset is another magical time in the park. As the late afternoon sun hangs low in the sky, stake out a spot along Grizzly Peak Boulevard for one of the most spectacular sunset views in the entire Bay Area. Behold the famous Golden Gate Bridge as it shines in the dimming light.

What are the top things to do in the park?

There are hiking options for every age and fitness level. Many of these trails, which will guide you through forests of fragrant eucalyptus and grassy meadows that shift with the seasons, are accessible from the staging area at the aptly named Inspiration Point. Nimitz Way’s paved path is a particular favorite for families, bicyclists, and trail runners. Check out this Tilden Park map for an overview of the park’s many trails and recreational opportunities.

Trees reflect off of the lake at Tilden Jewel Lake in Berkeley, CA

Lake Anza

Head over to Lake Anza for an inspiring walk around a local favorite. The lake’s sandy beach and swimming area buzz with activity during the summer months. The lake is also open for fishing year-round to visitors aged 16 and up with a state fishing license.

Lake Anza
A tall evergreen surrounded by other lush, green trees at the Tilden Botanic Garden in Berkeley, CA

Tilden Park Botanic Gardens

Another option for the afternoon is the Tilden Park Botanic Gardens, where you can experience a teeming variety of native California plants, or simply sit and let your nose lead you on an aromatic journey.

Botanic Gardens
Benches Tree in Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley, CA

Tilden Nature Area

In the mid-afternoon, make your way north to the Tilden Nature Area and the picturesque Jewel Lake. If there's time for a hike, several trails spur off from this point.

Tilden Nature Area
Tilden Park Merry Go Round in Berkeley, CA

Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round

A visit to the park is not complete without a stop at the Tilden Park Merry-Go-Round, an antique carousel that spins with enchanting animals. Each December the merry-go-round and its adjacent grounds are decked out in festive garb to celebrate the holiday season.


Are there dining options available in the park?

Tilden Park has sparse food options but is a magnificent place for a picnic. Stop at one of Berkeley’s numerous farmers’ markets or independent grocery stores in the morning, and you’ll thank yourself when you settle into one of the park’s many picnic areas - just make sure to dispose of your trash when you’re done. Future picnickers, and Tilden’s thriving wildlife will thank you for it. The raccoons really don’t need that last bite of organic kale.

Is the park pet-friendly?

You can bring your dog with you to visit the park. Please do pick up after your pet and them on a leash.

Is it true that the area’s power lines run underground?

Yes, it is true! As you venture through the Berkeley Hills’ charming residential areas, you may notice something subtle that makes these winding streets feel different: many of these neighborhoods had their utility poles removed and their power lines put underground in the decade following the devastating 1991 Oakland Hills fire. Beyond its practical application, putting their power lines underground helps blur the line between these residential areas and the park at their doorstep.