Outdoor Activities

  • Image of a California Poppy
    From Wildlife to Plants

    Learn more about the nature experience in our park. From wildlife to native plants.

  • Close up of a bobcat gazing out through tall grass.

    John Muir National Historic Site acts as a haven of natural habitat for many species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

  • Bright orange poppy blooms among beige grasses.

    Explore unique plant communities, native and rare plants, and invasive plants found at John Muir National Historic Site.

A trail winds through hills lined with grass. Trees are in the background.
A trail winds through the Mount Wanda landscape.

NPS photo/Luther Bailey

Hiking and Exploring Mount Wanda

Experience: Recreational, Natural, Historical.

Just looking for a nice hike or saunter along a beautiful nature trail?
Named after his eldest daughter, Mount Wanda is 326 acres of oak woods and grasslands. The Muir family never used it for fruit production, but as an escape for the daughters to take nature walks with “Papa”.

Explore the hills where John Muir hiked with his two daughters, Wanda and Helen. Mount Wanda is open daily sunrise to sunset. Please come prepared, as no water or toilet facilities are available. Pets are permitted on a leash. Bicycles and horses are allowed on fire roads only. To access Mount Wanda, travel ¼ mile south from the visitor center on Alhambra Avenue to the trail head parking lot next to Franklin Canyon Road.

What do I need to know?

Mount Wanda is not really a mountain, but a set of hills. While it is generally not a streneous hike, there is a lengthy incline at the beginning of the trail. The initial hike to the upper trails of Mount Wanda is an average grade of 13% for about 1 mile. There are a few path options as you get to the upper area, which you can see on the entrance kiosk sign. A nice hike from start to finish can last around 1-2.5 hours and make you feel like you've had a good workout. However, many folks enjoy a nice, relaxed saunter, if that is your speed.

The trail entrance is not at the main park grounds but about a block down the street. Please check out our map section for directions. Due to traffic and safety, you should not attempt to walk to the trail entrance from the park visitor center.

Tips for Hiking on Mount Wanda
1. Take bottled water with you on your hike.
2. Do not leave any trash behind.
3. There are no restrooms on the trails, so go before you hike.
4. Wear Sunscreen.
5. Keep pets on a leash!
6. Take you cell phone for emergencies (and maybe a few good photos!).

Picnic basket sits on a blanket. Grass and trees in the background.
Picnic basket sits on a blanket. Grass and trees in the background.

Archive image.


Enjoy a picnic atop Mt. Wanda or beneath the shade of redwood and pecan trees in John Muir's historic orchards.

Helping to keep your park clean and safe, means packing up all your leftover supplies and trash and taking them with you. Please reach out to park staff if you have any questions about ideal locations for a picnic.

Last updated: April 30, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

4202 Alhambra Ave
Martinez, CA 94553


925 228-8860

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