Bay Area Foothills in Spring – Dry Creek Pioneer Park

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Lush green rolling hillsides overlook California’s East Bay Area, from Dry Creek Pioneer Park.

When spring rolls around, the California hills turn that intoxicating shade of emerald green. As soon this starts to happen, I try to hit every location I can think of. Usually top on my list are the Open Space Preserves in the Santa Cruz Mountains, along Skyline Boulevard. Russian Ridge, Windy Hill, those are usually the ones I visit first. But that’s simply out of convenience, living on the peninsula. Soon I remember that the rolling hillsides in the East Bay are just as beautiful. Mount Diablo stands out, but it’s a bit further, so usually warrants an extended trip or group outing. But on those days where I just want to get in my car and go, the Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Park combination cannot be beat. It’s high enough up in the foothills of the Diablo Range that it offers stunning views of the bay, but low enough that it’s a manageable and enjoyable afternoon jaunt. And the oak-studded chaparral hills rival those of anywhere else in California. It should be on everyone’s springtime checklist.

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