As a UC Berkeley student, you’ll never run out of reasons to be in the great outdoors.
Maybe you need some time to yourself after GBO. Maybe your 2022 resolution was to exercise more and rolling down 4.0 Hill just isn’t cutting it anymore. Or maybe you’re in a weeder course and need to recover from the revelation that tears are the primary export of UC Berkeley.
Regardless, you’ll want a destination for your fresh air exploits. And we’ve got you covered — here are four of the best outdoor activities to do around campus.
Big C hike
A Berkeley classic, this trail is a short but sweet trip starting in the Foothill parking lot. It’s named after the giant, yellow, concrete C you’ll see at the summit of the hike.
Despite coming in at just under a mile, the path has steep sections that may make it more challenging than expected. It’s a good kind of difficult, though, and the hike boasts a great view of the city and Bay Area, regardless of whether you visit during the day or at night. All of this makes for a perfect post-exam stress reliever (or a pre-exam stress reliever if you’re brave enough).
Located right next to Clark Kerr Campus, the Stonewall-Panoramic Trail was the first Berkeley hike I was dragged to.
The trail features a mix of tree-enclosed spaces and open hillside, with the latter becoming more prevalent as you ascend. Like the Big C, this trail is pretty steep, with one particularly monstrous slope. Also like the Big C: The view might be one of the best in the Bay Area.
You don’t have to limit yourself to the Panoramic trail. There are lots of other fire trails. Maybe too many. But if “too many trails” sounds like your jam …
Cal Hiking and Outdoor Society
If you want to find others to explore the outdoors with, check out the Cal Hiking and Outdoor Society, or CHAOS.
CHAOS is an outdoors club that organizes trips of various types and difficulties year-round. In addition, weekly meetings provide an opportunity to meet like-minded people.
The club accepts members of any background and asks for a one-time $10 membership fee, which gets you access to its (free!) rental gear shed and email list. Alternatively, it offers a fee waiver form.
To the east of campus lies UC Berkeley’s botanical garden, home to plants from all over the world.
The botanical garden arranges its 10,000+ types of plants based on their natural habitats, letting visitors observe plants more or less as they would in nature. With free admission for UC Berkeley students, staff and faculty, the garden is a fantastic place for exploration.
One of its highlights is a redwood grove that dwarfs you with towering trees and lush shrubbery. The enchanting nature of the grove, as well as the cool air and abundance of green, offers an easy escape from the busy city of Berkeley.
No matter where you end up, being out and about is sure to relieve some stress. Get out there, get your vitamin D and enjoy all Berkeley has to offer!