Hiking in Grant Park

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Grant Park is best explored in the spring, because the wildflowers are its most interesting feature. There is little in the way of epic hiking, or epic views, or major attractions. All the trails are quite easy. The highest elevation is below 1,000m.

The main park entrance is located on Mt Hamilton Rd. Take the Alum Rock Ave exit off 280/680 and go east. Turn right into Mt Hamilton Rd. Continue up the hill until the road starts goind down. The park entrance is on your right. There is a $6 charge for parking inside the (colossal) visitor area. However, if you continue on the same road just one minute, you'll find a free parking lot on your left (50 meters from Grant Lake, that you cannot see from the road).

Warnings. Mountain lions have been sighted here but they are not vicious. On the other hand, wild pigs are vicious. If you see them, avoid them. You are much more likely to be hurt by a wild pig than a mountain lion. And, yes, they are carnivores. There are areas closed to hikers with barbed wire. Some of those areas have bulls who are even more vicious than wild pigs. Think twice before jumping barbed wire, unless you are a really fast runner.

Hotel trail and Grant Lake

This is a super-easy loop that in the spring has a good display of wildflowers. attraction, namely China Hole, and the highest point, namely Mt Sizer (recommended counterclockwise by everybody for reasons that are obscure to me, so of course i hiked it clockwise).

If you do the official thing and park inside the visitor area, the trailhead is at a gate by the ranger's houses. Signs are idiot-proof. When you reach the end of the trail, turn left towards the paved road. Cross the road and you'll find another trailhead. That trail is quite boring: it coasts the road all the way to Grant Lake. However, this side of the park does not have cattle, so you can go cross-country if you like. There are several hidden ponds and creeks.

Pictures of these trails