|County||Contra Costa / Alameda|
|• Assembly||Nancy Skinner (D)|
|Elevation||1,138 ft (347 m)|
Canyon,formerly known as Sequoya, is an unincorporated community located near the border of Contra Costa and Alameda counties, in the U.S. state of California. It is situated between Oakland and Moraga in the San Francisco Bay Area. The community is named for its location in the upper canyon of San Leandro Creek along the eastern slope of the Berkeley Hills. Canyon lies at an elevation of 1138 feet (347 m).
The community is mainly traversed by Pinehurst Road and Canyon Road. The homes of the community are nestled amongst the steep, narrow private roads and footpaths that extend from the redwood groves and ferns along the creek, through the mixed live oak, bay, and madrone forests on the steep hillsides, up to the chaparral and knobcone pines that grow along the ridge.
Canyon has a colorful history. Logging camps and notorious saloons helped establish a local reputation for rowdiness in the nineteenth century. A vast forest known as the Moraga Redwoods once covered the valley that is now Canyon. An extant fire trail west of the spot where Pinehurst Road makes a sharp hairpin turn near Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve was previously known as Winding Way on some maps, and was originally an old 19th century logging road built by Hiram Thorn. In the 1850s, Thorn operated a mill on the site. Thorn built the road to bring redwood logs out of the forest and to his mill, and then over the mountain into Oakland via the Temescal Creek route on the northwest edge of Montclair Village. The Oakland part of the route is now known as Thornhill Road.
In the first half of the 20th century, the local water company, East Bay Municipal Utilities District, purchased much land south of town. They constructed the Upper San Leandro Reservoir, which slowly as it filled up, flooded the former towns of Valle Vista and Redwood. The reservoir also flooded several neighborhoods of Canyon itself. In fact, the only reason Canyon is not the size of neighboring Moraga is because of a lack of a viable water resource. The few people that do live there are mostly commuters and retired people who like the town's seclusion, with close proximity to San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.
Earlier in the 20th century, the Sacramento Northern Railway ran through the canyon for which the community is named. The rails ran on a bench (still present) above Pinehurst Road, upon exiting a long tunnel from Oakland at the site of Thorn's road. The eastern portal (called Eastport by the railroad) just north of Canyon was buried by a landslide in 1980 and is no longer visible, but was located on the inside of the hairpin turn on Pinehurst Road.
In the late 1960s, Canyon became a center of political and social protest and creative alternative lifestyles. Canyon Cinema of San Francisco was founded by neighbors here in the 1960s. In the summer of 1967 Country Joe and the Fish with the Youngbloods played a benefit for the Canyon School.
Today's residents still work together to maintain their own roads and water systems, and Canyon Community Association volunteers provide mediation services, emergency planning, and interface with county and state agencies. Much of the land beyond the community is owned by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD).
The only public services in the community are the local post office (ZIP Code 94516) where all mail is picked up and the Canyon School, a 68-student K-8 public school, located on Pinehurst Road on the banks of the Upper San Leandro Creek. A notion of the community's unconventionality may be gleaned from the fact that the school lunch menu features organic milk and produce, Niman Ranch beef, and hormone and antibiotic free chicken. The community is in area code 925.
As John van der Zee wrote in his book about the town, Canyon (1972):
A small assemblage of mostly unconventional dwellings, mostly built by the nonconformists who live in them, it is a consciously ecological community that recycles everything it can. In Canyon, the mutual respect and the cohesion of neighbors revive the vital satisfactions once intrinsic in human communities, and its 'civil agencies' are functions of the inhabitants.
Between 2011 and 2013, a Carmelite monastery was located on a ranch in the western area of the town. The nuns moved in 2014 to a building in the nearby town of Kensington, California.
Canyon enjoys a cool summer Mediterranean climate (Koppen classification csb) similar to that of the nearby city of Oakland, California, though slightly warmer. Fog maintains the cool summer weather.
John van der Zee, Canyon: The Story of the Last Rustic Community in Metropolitan America, 1972. ( ISBN 0151154007)
Castro Valley is a census-designated place (CDP) in Alameda County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, it is the fifth most populous unincorporated area in California and the twenty-third most populous in the United States. The population was 66,441 at the 2020 census.
Moraga is a town in Contra Costa County, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The town is named in honor of Joaquín Moraga, member of the famed Californio family, son of Gabriel Moraga, and grandson of José Joaquín Moraga, famous 18th-century expeditionaries of Alta California. As of 2020, Moraga had a total population of 16,870 people. Moraga is the home of Saint Mary's College of California.
The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is a special district operating in Alameda County and Contra Costa County, California, within the East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay Area. It maintains and operates a system of regional parks which is the largest urban regional park district in the United States. The administrative office is located in Oakland.
Montclair is a neighborhood in Oakland, California, United States. Montclair is located along the western slope of the Oakland Hills from a valley formed by the Hayward Fault to the upper ridge of the hills.
The first Vallejo Flour Mill, in present-day Fremont, California, was built in 1853 by José de Jesús Vallejo (1798–1882), elder brother of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, on his Rancho Arroyo de la Alameda. The Flour Mill was located at the mouth of Niles Canyon, then called Alameda Cañon, which served as the major course of Alameda Creek. A second Flour Mill was built in 1856, the stone foundation of which may still be seen today.
Anthony Chabot Regional Park is a regional park in Oakland, Alameda County, California in the United States. It is part of the East Bay Regional Park District system, and covers 5,067 acres (2,051 ha) in the San Leandro Hills adjacent to Oakland, San Leandro and Castro Valley. Popular activities include hiking, cycling and horseback riding. A gun range operated by the Chabot Gun Club was shut down in 2016, following complaints about pollution.
Bayside is an unincorporated community 2.25 miles (3.6 km) south-southeast of Arcata, at an elevation of 33 feet in Humboldt County, California. The ZIP Code is 95524, the area code is 707. The relatively large area was originally covered by large, ancient Coast Redwood trees down to what was the edge of a significantly larger Humboldt Bay at high tide. Later, the mammoth redwoods made it the natural placement of some of the area's earliest redwood lumber operations. A rock quarry was located in the area's hills, which form the beginning of the Coast Ranges, the source of water for an early public water system for the City of Arcata. Today, Bayside provides Arcata a buffer from Eureka's northward expansion along US Route 101 and the area, with the exception of some business and public buildings, is largely rural, with homes and small ranches dotting the landscape. Second growth forests exist mostly apart from cleared lands, which show some evidence of the extensive redwood forest that once existed in the form of large stumps. Some of the area's older Victorian era houses, are still present on the Old Arcata Road, the original main road connecting Arcata to Eureka. Jacoby Creek runs alongside a road of the same name from the hills in the direction of the Bay.
Area code 925 is a California telephone area code that was split from area code 510 on March 14, 1998. It covers the inland portions of the East Bay counties of Alameda and Contra Costa in the northern area of California.
The Berkeley Hills are a range of the Pacific Coast Ranges that overlook the northeast side of the valley that encompasses San Francisco Bay. They were previously called the "Contra Costa Range/Hills", but with the establishment of Berkeley and the University of California, the current usage was applied by geographers and gazetteers.
The Sacramento Northern Railway was a 183-mile (295 km) electric interurban railway that connected Chico in northern California with Oakland via the California capital, Sacramento. In its operation it ran directly on the streets of Oakland, Sacramento, Yuba City, Chico, and Woodland and ran interurban passenger service until 1941 and freight service into the 1960s.
Middleton Tract is a rural community in the coastal Redwoods of San Mateo County, California. Unattributed press reports say the name Middleton Tract may have been applied to this area as early as 1925. In the present day, the name is official at the county government level. It appears on County Assessor's maps including County of San Mateo, Master Index Map, Revision 2, June, 1985,, page 40–41.
Dr. Aurelia Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park is a part of the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is located in the hills east of Oakland. The park contains the largest remaining natural stand of coast redwood found in the East Bay. The park is part of a historical belt of coast redwood extending south to Leona Canyon Regional Open Space Preserve and east to Moraga.
San Leandro Creek is a 21.7-mile-long (34.9 km) year-round natural stream in the hills above Oakland in Alameda County and Contra Costa County of the East Bay in northern California.
Redwood Creek is a 9.5-mile-long (15.3 km) perennial stream located in San Mateo County, California, United States which discharges into South San Francisco Bay. The Port of Redwood City, the largest deepwater port in South San Francisco Bay, is situated on the east bank of Redwood Creek near its mouth, where the creek becomes a natural deepwater channel.
Sausal Creek, 3.1 miles (5.0 km) long, is one of the principal creeks in Oakland, California.
Roberts Landing was a settlement in Alameda County, California, now incorporated into the town of San Leandro. It is located at the mouth of San Lorenzo Creek on San Francisco Bay just west of the community of San Lorenzo. In the 19th century, it had warehouses and a wharf, and was used by farmers to ship their produce to the city of San Francisco. From 1906 to 1964, it was the site of an explosives manufacturing plant operated by the Trojan Powder Company. Following the plant's closure, the site was decontaminated. After protracted discussions, part was made into a housing development while a larger part was made an open space that is now also called the San Leandro Shoreline Marshlands.
The Mulholland Formation is a Pliocene epoch geologic formation in the Berkeley Hills and San Leandro Hills of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. It is found within Alameda County and Contra Costa County.
Upper San Leandro Reservoir is an artificial lake in Alameda County and Contra Costa County, California which provides water for the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD). It is impounded by the earth-filled San Leandro Dam on San Leandro Creek, located at the southeast end of the lake.
Arroyo Viejo is a westward flowing 5.1 miles (8.2 km) creek that begins in the Oakland Hills in Alameda County, California, and joins Lion Creek just before entering San Leandro Bay, a part of eastern San Francisco Bay.
The Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail is a 7.65-mile (12.31 km) pedestrian, bicycle, and equestrian path which runs between the cities of Lafayette and Moraga in Contra Costa county, California. It was one of the first rail-trails to be built in California.