2501 Grizzly Peak Boulevard, Orinda, California 94563, United States
Tilden Park is situated mostly within unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County, though portions of the park are situated within Oakland and Berkeley. Its steep valleys and dense timber stands offer a rare experience of the wilderness so close to town. The high ridges and peaks offer large views to Mount Diablo across the San Francisco Bay and inland from other protected land.
The park's eastern boundary lies roughly on the San Pablo Ridge crest. The western limit almost follows the Berkeley Hills crest.
Previously areas of the park land had been cleared for farm use. Exotic trees such as eucalyptus, have been planted in many areas. There are also several giant sequoia stands which are fairly recently planted. Nevertheless, recent restoration efforts are aimed at preserving as much as possible of natural vegetation, and large parts of the park are covered in natural coastal scrub. The East Bay Regional Parks District uses grass as a weed management method, with a herd of goats grazing in Tilden every summer.
Over weekends, AC Transit bus line 67 operates into the park from the Berkeley BART station. The bus line stops in Tilden Nature Area / Little Farm, Lone Oak Road, Lake Anza / Merry-Go-Round and Brazilian Room / Botanic Garden before returning to Berkeley.
The lands which are now Tilden Park were ancestral lands of Ohlone Indians before becoming a public park. Spanish explorers and Mexican ranchos chased the Ohlone off the land as ranching became the dominant practice in Wildcat Canyon. In the late 1800s and early 1900s American ranchers included the Curran family ranch and the Sweet Briar Dairy. The eucalyptus plantations within the park were planted by Eucalyptus, Mahogany, & Land Company of Frank C. Havens around 1910.
On June 4, 1936 the East Bay Regional Park District bought the first parkland from the East Bay Public Utility Board. The acquired 2,162 acres included land for Tilden Park (then known as Upper Wildcat Canyon), Lake Temescal and Robert Sibley Regional Preserve (then known as "Roundtop").
On July 16, 1936, Upper Wildcat Canyon was officially designated "Charles Lee Tilden Regional Park."