Dog-friendly Mount Wanda

Mount Wanda

Martinez, California
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Local Phone: (922) 228-5460
E-mail: info@jmlt.org

Mount Wanda logoWhen John Muir explored the terrain around his Martinez home, he often took his daughters Wanda and Helen with him. About one of their Contra Costa strolls he wrote: “Another lovely day, mostly solid sunshine. Took a fine fragrant walk… the babies delighted.” This beautiful land, named after his daughter, is now a public treasure!

Now, you can take your own “fine fragrant walk” on Mount Wanda as it is part of the John Muir Land Trust. Go for a full moon walk, seasonal wildflower walk or bird walk, each hosted by the National Park Service. Hike, bike, ride a horse or take your dog for a stroll through the property’s oak woodland and grassy hills, dotted with native wildflowers such as California buttercup, shooting stars, woodland star, lupines and fiddlenecks.

Take the Mount Wanda trail and enjoy views of the Carquinez Strait and surrounding hills. Coast live oak, blue oak and valley oak line the trail as it ascends the summit. Once at the top, Mount Diablo and the surrounding hills become visible. The more gradual John Muir Nature Trail provides views of Mount Diablo, the Carquinez Strait and Briones Park. On a clear day, you might also spot cows across the valley grazing in the sunshine.

JMLT has recently signed an agreement to purchase an additional 44-acre property adjacent to the southern border of Mount Wanda. This strategic acquisition will protect quality wildlife habitat that would otherwise have been developed as residential housing.

Getting to Mount Wanda:

From I-80: Head east on Highway 4. Exit at Alhambra Avenue and turn right. Make a sharp right onto Franklin Canyon Road. Park in the lot at the intersection of Alhambra Avenue and Franklin Canyon Road.

Dog hiking Acalanes Ridge
Axel hiking Acalanes Ridge. Photo Credit: Karen Booth, JMLT staff
Be grateful for the folks behind the John Muir Land Trust—and consider donating to the Saving Contra Costa campaign if you can. This 25-year-old organization devoted to outdoor recreation and preservation of open space manages 11 properties comprising more than 2,000 acres of classic East Bay hills, ranches, streams and shoreline saved from development and offering multi-use trails for hiking, cycling, horses and dogs.

If Daisy stays close and has a reliable recall, she’s welcome to accompany you off-leash as you take in an intoxicating dose of fresh air. Some JMLT properties are diminutive (Acalanes Ridge above Lafayette, for example, comprises just 23 acres), while the Franklin Canyon-Fernandez Ranch complex in the Martinez-Hercules areas sprawls over 1,185 acres of permanently protected open space. more »
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