Park Hours: Open between 5am and 10pm unless otherwise posted or permitted
Gate Hours: Nov.-Feb.: 8am-5pm, Mar.: 8am-6pm, Apr.: 8am-7pm, May-Aug.: 8am-8pm, Sep.: 8am-7pm, Oct.: 8am-6pm
Parking: None at staging areas | Dog: No Fee
Staging areas on Carquinez Scenic Drive in Martinez and Crockett, CA
Toll Free: 888-EBPARKS (888-327-2757), option 3, extension 4514
Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline comprises 1,568 acres of bluffs and shoreline along Carquinez Scenic Drive between the town of Crockett and the hillsides overlooking Martinez. This parkland provides a gateway to the river delta region along the northern edge of Contra Costa County. The coastal hills rise steeply up to 750 feet above Carquinez Strait. From the highest elevations, the view includes the marshland of Benicia State Recreation Area to the north across Carquinez Strait. From atop Franklin Ridge along the Franklin Ridge Loop Trail and the California Riding and Hiking Trail, the horizon is pierced by the peaks of Mt. Tamalpais to the west and Mt. Diablo to the east. Looking south from this high point are the ridges of Briones and Las Trampas regional parks.
The topography of this park consists of open, rolling grasslands, wooded ravines, eucalyptus-shaded meadows, and river shoreline. Multi-purpose trails provide access to canyon views and ridgetop vistas. At the northwestern edge of the shoreline park, the remnants of a former brickworks, grain wharf, and resort, dating back to the turn of the century, recall the historic character of the site. The sights and sounds of tugboats along this broad waterway are also part of the charm and excitement of Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline.
To Reach The Park
The major plant communities that occur in Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline include plant species typical of annual grassland, oak woodland, and coastal scrub vegetation. Localized wooded communities composed of oak and oak/bay woodland and buckeye can be found in protected east-facing slopes and ravines. Plantings of eucalyptus groves are also present at scattered locations.
The park grasslands provide habitat to western meadowlark, horned lark, house finch, western bluebird, and American goldfinch, which forage and nest in the area. Valley oaks offer perches and nest sites for the red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, golden eagle, northern harrier, great horned owl, and barn owl. Cooper's hawks depend on the riparian ravines for nesting and for providing cover for ambushing prey. Mammals include the gray fox, mule deer, raccoon, eastern fox squirrel, Botta's pocket gopher, and a variety of other species. Small rodents are prey to gopher snakes, sharp-tailed snakes, and western garter snakes.
Cows and calves are currently in the hills above Martinez along the California Riding and Hiking Trail. They will be removed in early June. Cattle were recently introduced to Park District land on either side of Port Costa. They will graze until late June.