Rose Peak From Sunol is a 18.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sunol, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Rose Peak (3,817 ft.), the highest peak in Alameda county, is remotely located in Ohlone Wilderness and can only be accessed by foot for the public. This 18 miles round-trip hike, gaining almost 4,000 feet in elevation change, takes you there and back from Sunol Regioanl Park in one day. The trail is well marked with trail posts along the way. Each post has an unique number assigned to it. Just follow the numbers and you can get to the peak easily. This trip is also a perfect training for the famous Half Dome hike in Yosemite for their similarity in distance and elevation gain.
1. strenuous trail but the slopes are not very steep., so only the distance will be killing.
2. pl note there is not much shade and so you would get a lot of afternoon sun if you are day hiking;
3. water is available at the visitor center; there is a tap with untreated water but its untreated, so you need to be preapared for that; Other detours to go for potable water may add to the already long distance, so we didn't try that.
We clocked in at 20.9 miles following the wilderness trailing from Del Valle and back, with our only detour being taking the loop at Rose Peak down to Maggie's Half Acre for a picnic and to get water. Maggie's Half Acre was a good place to refill as there was a spout coming out of the ground with fresh well water (that still needs to be treated). This was my longest day mileage to date, and the frequent changes in elevation made the hike much more difficult than anticipated. It breaks the pattern of the mellower ridge-line / canyon hiking commonly found in Northern California. Only try to cram this into one day if you can be sure you'll have daylight for the full 8-10 hours that it requires. Don't forget to sign the geocache notebook on Rose Peak!
A great challenge if you like long hike.