Bay Area Sunrise from Wildcat Peak

Field Trip on Sunday, 17 March, 2013
With Caroline Lambert
- persons have RSVP - RSVP now!

View to southeast from Wildcat Peak


This field trip is about capturing a special photo of where we live. The Bay Area is a stunningly beautiful place, but its essence is difficult to record in a photo. There are a few places where the views are incomparable, and Wildcat Peak in Tilden Regional Park above Berkeley is one of them. We will get up early to be at Wildcat Peak in time for the sunrise. Wildcat Peak has almost 360 degree views, with San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and Mt Tamalpais to the west, and Mt Hamilton and Diablo to the east. Sunrise on March 17 is 7:17am. The drive to Tilden Regional Park is about an hour. We will park at Inspiration Point and walk to Wildcat Peak. The trail is 1.5 miles, but it is wide, paved, and nearly flat. The last 1/10 mile or so is a bit steep, but it's worth it. To allow time for the drive and the walk to the peak, we need to leave Palo Alto at 5am.

March can be one of the best months for sunrise shots, and not just because sunrise is so late after the time change! The low humidity and clear air needed for panoramic views occur often this month. On the other hand, the weather can work against us. If it's foggy or rainy, we'll take a rain check and re-schedule for the end of March (Easter weekend).

Optional: visit the Botanical Gardens after the sunrise. This Botanical Garden specializes in California native plants and is worth a visit if you've ever hiked outdoors anywhere in the state and wondered "what plant is that?". The garden is less than a mile downhill from Inspiration Point.

Bonus #1. There are restrooms at Inspiration Point

Bonus #2. We can listen for owls when it's still dark, and hear the 'dawn chorus' when it gets light - it'll be spring and birds will be in full song, heard best at dawn.

Special Instructions

Some photos from Wildcat Peak, taken in much less than optimal conditions (mid-day haze) on Feb 3, can be found here:

What to Bring

Wide angle or mid-range lenses
Extra batteries and memory cards
Water, snacks
Dress in layers, with a wind breaker on top
Gloves and warm hat, just in case
Sturdy boots
Sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses

[A] Carpool meeting location: Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Rd, Palo Alto, CA at 5:00 am
[B] Field Trip meeting location: 37.90548°N , 122.24432°W at 6:00 am

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