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Escapes Things To Do Wellness & Nature

This Beautiful Hike In Oakland Is Home To Hidden Labyrinths And An Extinct Volcano

By Jamie Ferrell

This Beautiful Hike In Oakland Is Home To Hidden Labyrinths And An Extinct Volcano

See how this lesser-known Bay Area park was formed by volcanic activity over 10 million years ago!

Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is a popular hiking destination in Oakland, but it might have flown under the radar for those living in other parts of the Bay. The stunning landscape was born from volcanic activity in the region, and you can hike right to the center of where the volcano use to be. Over the years, visitors have also made large labyrinths using rocks from the surrounding landscape, similar to the famous one at Lands End. Clearly, this is not your average hike!

The park is especially famous for Round Top, which is the peak remaining from the extinct volcano. It reaches 1,763 feet above sea level, so you can see some amazing panoramic views at the top overlooking the Berkeley Hills.

An unstaffed visitor center can be found at the Skyline Boulevard entrance, and it’s a good place to start your self-guided tour. Notable trails include the Round Top Loop Trail, which takes you around the volcanic peak, and the Volcanic Trail, which takes you on a self-guided volcanic tour. You’ll find labyrinths in a quarry pit off of Round Top Loop Trail, but keep an eye out and be ready to explore, because they are dotted around the Volcanic Trail too. The Mazzariello Labyrinths are the most well-known.

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East Bay Regional Park District
Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve was established by East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) in 1936, later named after Robert Sibley, one of EBRPD’s founders and board members. Parts of the area were heavily quarried in the 1940s, leaving cross sections of the natural geology that has occurred for 10 million years. You’ll also see a great deal of wildflowers, for which EBRPD has published helpful guides on their website.

A good place to park is Huckleberry Parking, which is just a 10 minute walk from the Sibley Staging Area and visitor center. Bring water and snacks, be safe, and have fun!

 

Featured image: @asia_sarych via Instagram