Many Oaklanders are probably more familiar with the middle stretch of Sausal Creek, where it passes through the Dimond and the topographically named Sausal Creek neighborhood, roughly parallel to Fruitvale Ave. The Dimond has some awesome wayfinding mosaics (featured on Oaktown Art) to point people towards it. But the upper part is fed by Shepherd Creek and Palo Seco Creek, then cuts the Dimond Canyon through Oakmore, draining a large section of the Oakland hills.
We headed to the western part of Joaquin Miller Park, just off highway 13, to one of the upper parts of the Sausal Creek watershed. Looking at some very helpful maps from the Friends of Sausal Creek, it turns out we're actually in the watershed at home. We're on the Shepherd Canyon side of a largish ridge, and Shepherd Creek feeds into Sausal Creek. (Also check out great info on the geology of the area on Oakland Geology.) We started with a short, steep hike up to Visionary Ridge, to a viewpoint favored by Joaquin Miller himself. We hung out there for a while, admiring the sweeping view of Oakland.
Eventually we reached highway 13, where the creek temporarily dives underground and under the freeway, and so did we -- there's a pedestrian underpass linking Mountain Blvd. and Monterey Blvd. A short walk took us back into redwoods and a trail following the creek. Near the Montclair Golf Course, Palo Seco Creek joins with Shepherd Creek to form Sausal Creek. From there it flows down Dimond Canyon. We ended our exploration at the Liemert Bridge over Dimond Canyon, but the creek continues through Oakmore, the Dimond and along Fruitvale Ave., with various parks providing access to it.
More pictures in my Sausal Creek watershed album:
|Sausal Creek watershed|