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" (from the original Spanish Sierra de la Contra Costa), but with the establishment of Berkeley and the University of California, the current usage was applied by geographers and gazetteers.
Tectonically the Berkeley Hills are bounded by the major Hayward Fault along their western base, and the minor Wildcat Fault on their eastern side. The highest peaks are Vollmer Peak (elevation 1,905 feet/581m), Grizzly Peak (elevation 1,754 feet/535 m) and Round Top (elevation 1,761 feet/537m), an extinct volcano, and William Rust Summit 1,004 feet. Vollmer Peak was named for the first police chief of the City of Berkeley, August Vollmer. It was formerly known as "Bald Peak".