Indian Rock Park is a 4,800 m2 (1,18 acre) public park located at 950 Indian Rock Avenue in Berkeley , California, on the slope of the Berkeley Hills. It is located in the city's northeast part, about two blocks north of the Arlington / Marin Circle, and the Indian Rock Avenue straddles. A broad rock outcropping on the western side of Indian Rock Ave is the main feature of the park. On the opposite side of the street the larger portion of the park has several much smaller rock outcroppings, grass fields, and a small barbecue and picnic area. The rock is composed of Northbrae rhyolite.
History and description:
Under Mason McDuffie's construction of the Northbrae neighborhood, Duncan McDuffie, a real estate developer, president of Sierra Club and mountaineer, donated the land for Indian Rock Park to the City of Berkeley. In 1917, it was dedicated to park uses. Indian Rock has long been used as a practice site for serious rock climbing, particularly bouldering.
Leaders of the Sierra Club started to climb there frequently at least as early as the 1950s, on weekends. Dick Leonard, the "father of modern rock climbing," and ecologist David Brower, Friends of the Earth's founder, practiced rock climbing and developed Indian Rock's mountain skills. Brower used this unique expertise to write training manuals during the Second World War, which proved crucial in creating the United States' 86th Regiment. Army to surprise the Germans at Riva Ridge in the Italian North Appennines, the major action that disrupts German lines in southern Europe.
The peak of the largest outcropping, Indian Rock, has views from downtown Oakland and the University of California, south of Berkeley campus; west of central Berkeley, San Francisco Bay, and San Francisco; and northwest and north of Marin County and Richmond, California. Through the rock you can see all three of the main bridges at the harbor. Originally volcanic, Indian Rock is the largest of a number of similar surrounding rhyolite rock formations, including the smaller rocks on the east side of Indian Rock Ave in the park section. For example, the 0.39-acre (1.600 m2) Mortar Rock Park, which has its own complex of granite outcroppings, is only one block further up the East side of Indian Rock Ave. Some remains of acorn-grinding pits cut into solid rock can be found in all these outcroppings, in particular the suitably called Mortar Rock. The local indigenous people, the Ohlones Huichin community, created those pits.
A public walkway, Indian Rock Path links the park to the intersection of Solano Avenue and The Alameda. Indian Rock's main portion itself has two sets of steps leading to its summit, which were cut into the rock during the Depression years.
Indian Rock Park was featured on at least two occasions in the New York Times in 2010 and 2018.
By Jeffreymendel Jeffrey Nash - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50308966
This amazing landmark is located near the following amazing must-see sites in Berkeley, California:
- Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
- Lawrence Hall of Science
- Tilden Regional Park
- Berkeley Rose Garden
- César E. Chávez Park
- The University of California Botanical Garden
- Adventure Playground
- Codornices Park
All of these wonderful points of interest are located just a short distance from our location, conveniently located just down the freeway at 1261 Locust St, Walnut Creek! Stop by for a visit anytime!