With an ever-changing shoreline, Lake Anza in the Berkeley Hills can make you feel like you’re hiking around a lake in the Sierra: narrow paths, giant boulders, dense forest, and fewer people now that school’s back in session.
Quaint and quieter in the shoulder season, the Lake Anza Trail offers hikers a short loop (0.7 mile). Enjoy lunch at one of the picnic tables overlooking the water, or go a little longer by taking one of the multiple trails leading out from the loop, including Wildcat Gorge, Mineral Springs, and Selby Trails. All of these paths allow you to experience Tilden Regional Park’s creeks, wooded valleys, and panoramic views.
At Lake Anza, there’s a sand beach and swimming area that’s seasonal, typically open through the end of October. The beach section is hidden from coastal winds and has great views of the lake and surrounding landscape.
The trail, picnic areas, and beach facilities are easily accessible from the Lake Anza parking lot (free). Swimming from the beach is typically open through the end of October with lifeguards on duty through September 16. The beach requires a fee when lifeguards are present: $2.50 for children and seniors and $3.50 for adults. The beach is closed during the winter months, which will be listed on the East Bay Regional Park District website. All trails and picnic areas are dog-friendly. No dogs, alcohol, or glass containers are allowed inside the beach area.