The hidden town of Canyon provides a simpler way of life

It sits on the eastern slope of the Oakland Hills and just a few miles east of Moraga. It is draped in a massive redwood forrest and features some of the best views in the Bay Area.

The town of Canyon is thriving.

This 1850s logging town is now home to over 300 people who enjoy a more simpler way of life.

"Any community with trees is special and beautiful. So, you’re in a fabulous and fairly unusual forest, and you have this tradition of this tiny town, which jokingly has been called a tight knit community of rugged individualist," said Esperanza Pratt. 

Pratt would know. She and her eight siblings moved to Canyon in the 1970s. She is a graduate of the Canyon School which teaches K-8th grade.

The former teacher and current vice president of the school board said their mantra is simple: "One school, 72 students and 10,000 redwoods."

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It's the perfect place to learn and grow in a natural setting.

"The children have a little bit more voice, and a little bit more choice. The state guideline is our foundation, but we are committed to using the creek as a natural living lab. So, you have an emphasis on outdoor education and science learning education," said Pratt.

Canyon is only three miles from Moraga, but a lot of people have never stepped foot in the redwood town. And the folks in Canyon said they're fine with that. They enjoy their privacy.

Over 80 homes dot the hillsides and are easy to miss. The residential roads are private and quaint.

The real world is right over the ridge, but Pratt said you would never know.

"Because we are unincorporated you don’t see a city limits. You do see a sign for Canyon, but you could drive past the school and the post office and not know what they are," said Pratt.