California Trail

A transformational project that furthers our commitments to animal care, education, and conservation, California Trail provides a chance to interpret one of the great stories of change in California and emphasizes the role of humans in shaping the ecology of the San Francisco Bay Area. Through live native animal and plant habitats, the Zoo highlights the delicate balance between plants, animals, and humans, and the impact of change on all three. From casual visitors to serious students and scientists, all can join in the effort to nurture and create a better California.

Make Your Mark on California Trail with a Personalized Tile

View Tiles

Meet Our Animals

Explore and Dine

Clorox Outdoor Overnight

Wilds! Playground

Ecological Recovery Zone


San Francisco Bay Overlook

Conservation Habitarium


Panoramic Views

San Francisco Bay Overlook

Pause to reflect on the breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay and seven Bay Area counties. See how the region has evolved since the California Trail animals ruled the land.

Five Play Zones

California Wilds! Playground

Children learn through play. In this expansive outdoor space, children can run, jump, slide, hide, spin, soar, and build in five play zones inspired by the different ecological zones that the California Trail animals call home.

Urban Camping

Clorox Outdoor Overnight Experience

(Currently closed) How would you like to visit the grizzly bears at night? The group campground offers an urban camping experience with after-dark activities, fun, and learning.

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Soaring Ride


Our ADA-accessible, all-electric, eight-passenger gondolas transport guests on a four-minute ride, from the main Zoo, up and over the rolling hills of Knowland Park to California Trail. There, at 650 feet above sea-level, the gondolas arrive at the 3-story Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center, which houses The Landing Café. (The gondola may need to close due to wind, lightning, or other weather.)

Interactive Learning

California Conservation Habitarium

Along the Trail you can learn how to carry your experience home. Interactive learning will encourage further understanding and inspire visitors to join conservation efforts here in California.

Habitat Preservation

Ecological Recovery Zone

The hillside between the lower Zoo and California Trail is a protected site preserving native plant habitats for local wildlife, including the endangered Alameda Striped Racer snake. Restoration work will continue here with help from community groups and companies. Volunteer to help care for Knowland Park and learn why native plants are vital to healthy ecosystems. For more information, email us.


Landing Café

The Landing Café offers chef-inspired cuisine and breathtaking views. The menu features hand-tossed pizzas, artisan burgers and sandwiches, and gourmet salads, and the observation deck provides panoramic views of six Bay Area counties. *Due to COVID-19, only outdoor dining is available at this time.

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Hours: 11:00am - 5:00pm

Oakland Zoo actively supports conservation programs in California.

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