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Here are my favorite spots in Joaquin Miller Park (some seasonal, some year-round, and all more spectacular after a day or two of rain):
Palos Colorados Trail – Palo Seco Creek runs the length of lower Palos Colorados Trail. It’s a year-round creek, but with any rain it swells quickly, funneling all the smaller creeks in Joaquin Miller Park before joining Sausal Creek. The site and sound of water rushing through this deep, wooded canyon makes for a unique and awesome Oakland experience. The middle section, as pointed to on the map above, offers the best view of waterfalls. *Sections of this trail are steep and narrow, and can be slippery in all conditions. Only experienced hikers should use this trail.
Fern Ravine Trail (seasonal waterfall) – Whether you make your way up from Sunset Loop Trail, or reach the top via Sequoia-Bayview Trail, you’ll get a great view of a long, cascading waterfall from the upper third of this trail section. *This trail is steep and narrow, and requires intermediate to advanced hiking skills.
Cinderella Creek from Sunset Trail – This creek is easily viewed from Sunset Trail, a wide and relatively flat trail that traverses the mid section of the park. Once you reach the creek intersection, a few steps up along the wide banks will treat you to a natural section of creek under a wooded canopy.
Sinawik Trail (semi-seasonal creek) – This is an easy to moderate hiking trail that bends through mixed redwood forest along Palo Seco Creek. Loop back on the middle section of Palos Colorados Trail. You’ll get close to the creek while using these trails.