Northern California Nature January 05, 2019
The Incredible Rope Swing Hike In Northern California You’ll Want To Take This Year
Sometimes the shortest, most unassuming hikes are the ones that pay off the most. The brief hike featured below has long been a popular excursion for locals and every Northern Californian should accomplish it at some point. Not only is this hike super short and manageable by hikers of all skill levels, but it boasts some of the most stunning views that our state has to offer—and a charming little rope swing to view it from, as well. Take part in a beloved Northern California tradition and make plans to set off on this photogenic trail soon.
Ending a hike with a gorgeous view at the end is one of those things that just can't be beat. That is, unless the end of the hike also features a picture-perfect rope swing to enjoy the view from! That's just what you'll get when you hike the Big C in Berkeley.
The Big C is by far one of the most popular hikes in Berkeley, among college students that is. During peak hiking season, you'll likely see a gaggle of UC Berkeley students attempting the short hike up the hill. However, there's a reason this hike is so popular and you'll want to see it for yourself.
The trail is extremely simple to follow. It's almost a straight shot up the hill and takes most people just 15 minutes to complete. The trail does gain about 1,000-feet in elevation, so prepare accordingly with good footwear and plenty of water.
Your calves may start burning from the elevation gain, but the view of the surrounding Bay Area and Berkeley's campus below is a sight to behold. The view seems to just get better as you climb and you'll have several chances to stop and snap a picture.
However, those views are nothing compared to what waits for you at the top of the hill. Here you'll find the famous rope swing dangling from a tree. It's the perfect spot to stop and take in the view, along with capture that perfect Instagram-worthy shot.
If you continue walking about 200 feet, you'll arrive at the very thing that gives the hill its name: the giant "C". The student-made concrete structure is over 100 years old now, and it's well-worth a visit.
Simply put, this rope swing is far from the typical ones from your childhood. This precious spot is a unique location that anyone with an appreciation of breathtaking vistas will want to explore.
The trailhead for the Big C hike can be found at the Foothill Parking Lot off of Hearst Avenue. Be sure to check it out sometime this year!
Have you accomplished this rope swing hike before? What a charming little spot! For more lovely trails like this one, check out our list of
8 Short And Easy Hikes In Northern California With Amazing Payoffs.