Hike to Hidden Labyrinths in the Oakland Hills

Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Oakland, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    2.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1763 Feet

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Scenic
Wildflowers

Not only does this hike lead to multiple hidden labyrinths, but it is also at the site of an ancient ocean and volcano! A volcano existed here about 10 million years ago. It erupted and formed Round Top Peak, which you can now hike to. Also, years of quarrying have exposed ancient bedrock and a valley where one of the labyrinths exists.

From Skyline Blvd, pull into the staging area for Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, you'll see the sign. Parking here is usually easy to find. You'll find an unstaffed visitor center with a restroom, park maps and informational displays featuring the history and geology of the park.

Sibley is a 31-mile trail system, leading along the ridgeline between Wildcat Canyon and Anthony Chabot Park.

From the parking lot, head up the Skyline Trail to Round Top Loop trail. Proceed on Round Top Loop heading counter-clockwise (left) on the loop. From the Round Top Loop, head left on the Quarry Trail. The Quarry Trail will hit the Volcanic Trail shortly thereafter. Take the Volcanic Trail toward spot 6 on the Preserve Map. To return, head back the way you came.  

This is a short hike, only ~2.5 miles total, but there are no water fountains along the way, only at the visitor center.

Pack List

  • Preserve Map
  • Day Pack (snacks, first aid kit, compass, whistle, bug spray, flashlight)
  • Water
  • Trail Map (You can pick one up at the visitor center)
  • Comfortable Hiking Shoes
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Reviews

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The Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is a wonderful, dog-friendly park with beautiful views of the bay. A large portion of the park is off-leash for dogs as long as they respond to voice commands. The labyrinths, however, are underwhelming. That said, it seems like they have been rearranged or dismantled based on the pictures. The trip to the labyrinths is a little convoluted, but the hike is not that difficult. Take a look at the preserve map in the description and park at the Sibley Staging Area. You can take the trail on either side of the visitor's center because they meet back up. When the path splits up, take the middle trail—the left leads to the Sibley Backpack Camp and the right leads to the EBMUD water tank. Continue down the trail until it splits again and turn left—the right continues the Round Top Loop Trail. When the trail splits again, take the Volcanic Trail. Continue down the trail a bit until you see the self-guided tour stop #6 and keep your eye out on the right—the labyrinth is in a small valley.

11 months ago
11 months ago

This was an easy hike, as the description said, but it was very anticlimactic. The labyrinths were not to exciting when we finally found them. Also the directions to quarry trail listed above are VERY confusing. Taking skyline leads you to a different parking lot, you can still make it to the labyrinths this way, but not by taking quarry road and the volcanic trail. We ended up driving around till we found a small parking lot with a portapotty and a sign that said quarry road. We followed the paved road and then followed the volcanic trail all the way to the 6th geological stop. The labyrinths are just past this 6th geological stop. (I did not walk through a eucalyptus forest to get to the labyrinths, but I did see them across the way. I was very confused by this since the description said I'd walk through them but I was no where near them.)The labyrinths were cool to see for a one time deal but I would not go back just to see them again. But I will say that sibley is a beautiful hiking area and good for families and dogs!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Very green and fresh scenery in this hike. The directions were a little hard to follow from this site, but we eventually found the labyrinths. It was windy in the afternoon so dress warm!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Kim Suarez

Day job in fashion, outdoor explorer on the weekends. San Francisco-based but I try to leave the city and explore the surrounding areas every weekend.

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