BBL: Grizzly Peak – The Best Panoramic View of the Bay Area


If you have a car and a restless spirit, drive up to Grizzly Peak. On a clear day, the view from this summit is stunning. At night, the campus glitters like stars fallen on the ground, the water shimmers and San Francisco sparkles in the distance. Streets and bridges are like silver necklaces draped throughout. Yes, Grizzly Peak is the kind of place where you can capture the beauty of city from above, cap off an unforgettable a date night, or find a quiet place of reflection. Also, for the photography hobbyist, the panoramic view of the Bay Area from here is a must-see.

You’ll be well advised, though, to dress warmly if you come at night and, if on a sunny day, to bring sunglasses, as the light reflection from the water and buildings can be glaring.

The spot is near the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, along Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the Oakland Hills. On a regular day or night, parking is free and readily available near the viewing point. You should be mindful, though, that Grizzly Peak is not readily accessible to pedestrians, and cyclists should expect a torturous uphill climb.

Still, the next time you think “Yes” to Southwest Airlines’ “Wanna get away?” commercials, remember that you can get a delightful aerial view from Grizzly Peak, without the security checkpoints or the airfare.