Emerald Hills Easter Cross

Words by Gabby Occhipinti

Photos by Robb Most

Driving north on I-280 between Alpine Road and Farm Hill Boulevard, getting off the Bayshore Freeway in Redwood Shores or cruising through the Jefferson Avenue and Alameda de las Pulgas intersection in Redwood City—these spots all share a view of the 94-foot Emerald Hills Easter Cross. Back in the ’20s, Redwood City was developed as a San Francisco getaway, and in 1929, an outdoor amphitheater called the “Easter Bowl” and accompanying cross were built at the summit of California Way. The original cross was 82 feet tall but after being struck by vandalism, it was eventually rebuilt to its current, more impressive height. Although you might expect the cross to be surrounded by fields of flowers and wildlife, quite the opposite is true. Barbed wire fencing, water tanks and trespassing warnings blanket the area—not to mention that the cross is nearly tucked into someone’s backyard. However, the vantage point just below the cross is public, and if you walk down the hill, there’s a secret tire swing under a canopy of oak trees. California Way is the perfect spot to capture a sunrise photo or a clear shot with the stars at night.