Wanda-ful Hike

When John Muir wasn’t trekking the Sierra, he could usually be found hiking near his home in Martinez,…

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When John Muir wasn’t trekking the Sierra, he could usually be found hiking near his home in Martinez, at Mount Wanda, named for his daughter.

The 325-acre Mount Wanda Nature Preserve gently rises to a high point, 660 feet, with views at almost every turn. Spring wildflowers can come on strong here—shooting star, buttercup, purple owl’s clover, mule’s ear—you get the colorful picture.

At the start of the trail you may hear some traffic noise but it quickly dissipates the farther back you get into the park. Relax under one of the large oaks along the hillsides or at a viewpoint bench.

TIP: Muir fans should visit his home next door to the preserve, now a National Historic Site. The Victorian mansion sits on 9 acres of land with fruit orchards.

The trailhead to Mount Wanda is at the park-and-ride lot on Franklin Canyon Rd. and Alhambra Ave. in Martinez. Pick up a map at the kiosk in the park and follow the Nature Trail with a stop at the top of Mount Wanda. John Muir’s home is just on the other side of Hwy. 4 on Alhambra Ave. Mount Wanda is dog-friendly!

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