Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Sunol Regional Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
16 days ago

I love this hike! but I tried at the wrong time of year (early september) so I'll have to give it 4 stars. Sunol is my fave spot, but it's just so hot in the summer, even in October it can be pretty hot.

Having said all that, it's still so beautiful! We did the loop clockwise, which I recommend. That way, you do all the steep inclines first, then Little Yosemite is the grand finale. McCorkle Trail is really great when you get further out. We were greeted by beautiful red bush and yellow wildflowers. And of course, a herd of mama cows with their calves.

Water is HUGE DEAL on this trail! PACK PLENTY OF WATER! And bring a water filter, too!!! Fill up at the Visitor Center if you can! the drinking fountain wasn't working when we got there, but at the end of the hike, we realized there were some big jugs of water at the little buildings in the center. You can't rely on that, though. sometimes the visitor center is deserted. We passed over a small river right at the beginning, and then there are no water sources until you reach the campground area. Actually, a creek techiniclly runs through McCorkle Trail right before you reach the backpacking area, but it was all dried out when we got there. So if you get to the McCorkle/Backpack Road junction, you can go past the gate and walk up a steep incline to the campsites. There's an outhouse, and then further up the hill there's a water spigot. Don't give up hope while looking for it, you'll find it, beyond a picnic table. I was SO grateful this water worked! But there was a sign that said "untreated water! unsafe to drink without filter, boiling, or treating with iodine." Luckily I brought my Life Straw with me. I was SO thirsty!

Backpack Road and beyond is such an easier hike! Since everything was so dry I was worried that Little Yosemite would be dry, too. But it wasn't! The water was pretty low, but that made for more opportunities to climb all over the rocks. I saw a frog in the water! and along Camp Ohlone Road we saw a bunch of red-headed woodpeckers. They were so cool!

If I had done this hike in March or April, I'm sure it would be my favorite hike in the Bay. But no matter the time of year, always bring plenty of water!!! And make sure everyone in your group brings plenty, as well!

Very nice hike. If you have knee issues, make sure you wear your braces before you start. The trail is not marked, it is a combo of all of the other trails. Will be back.

on Grand Sunol Loop

hiking
20 days ago

Had a great hike, will be returning in winter/spring to see when everything is green. Just an FYI it was $5 to get into the parking area, not sure if there are other free parking areas and the park didn't open until 0800, that put us a bit behind on time but still enjoyed the day

hiking
21 days ago

We went in Labor Day weekend, it was decent hike. A bit difficult at start but then you get to see beautiful views and it is downhill from the summit. It was dry in Sep, will try once more in Spring as well. It took us around 1.5 hrs to complete the loop.

This is a beautiful trail that gives you many chances to explore. Instead of taking the route shown, we followed the main trail that looks like a fire road all the way up to little Yosemite. There’s many small paths along this main trail that take you down to the creek which can be a refreshing break on hot days. My advice would be to start you journey early before it gets too hot - pack lots of sunscreen and water. The weather was forecasted to be 85 but it actually rose to over 100! Once you get to little Yosemite it’s fun to climb around and take a dip in one of the many pools. Definitely a treat on a hot day!

This is a beautiful trail specially in spring, the whole area transforms completely. Have done this both in summer and spring and lived it very much. The trail can be attempted via uphill route or a easier route passing a old barn. The distance is not much but it’s very rewarding and satisfying feeling if you use the uphill route.

Climb down any access path to the rocks and walk the creek. It’s beautiful down there!

hiking
2 months ago

Not as hard as I expected however there is about half a mile of rugged trail during the climb that challenges you. Good fun for a short day hike. Downhill is mostly cattle track so it gets a little bit monotonous. Also keep in mind that shades are very scarce so make sure you prepare yourself for that. A nice little shade is built near a shed while going downhill that is a great of spot to take a quick break. It also has a water fountain.

Easy to moderate hike, great for dogs!

hiking
3 months ago

This is a classic Bay Area foot hills trail. Grass lands, oak trees and steep trails. You need to get a $2 permit to enter this area. Let the person at the entrance know and he will give you the permit/map. The map is high quality and worth the $2. The trail is a long steady climb to rose peak. Mostly on fire roads that are a bit steep. Some on trails that are over grown. I did it on memorial day and saw another 20 people or so along the way. There is no shade on this trail. Doing it on anything other than a cool day will not be enjoyable. There are a lot of ticks so come prepared and don't wander off into the grass. Most of the grass is now dry. I think this trail is probably best from Nov to May. Great training hike to test fitness for hikes in the sierras.

Barely any shade on a very HOT day was a bad idea but having gone to Little Yosemite was worth it!

Make sure to go clockwise as I made that mistake and had to walk another 2 miles bk to Little Yosemite which made my trip a 9 mile hike!! Best to go on this trail in spring or fall or very early morning but best to go in summer to dip in the Little Yosemite waters! Bring a towel and swimsuit.

Some trails are not maintained so I suggest to wear hiking pants so you won’t feel the weeds on the path. Other that that it was a good workout!

With is a very beautiful park with an awesome view. We enjoy walking with our dog.

If you’re looking for the water feature Little Yosemite, it’s worth it. Beautiful but be careful because the rocks and path is hard to navigate without the right shoes. Suggest going earlier in the day and bring a great camera to capture the running stream and nature shots.

Spectacular views....

How to make this hike easier: go counter-clockwise to avoid the steep incline at the start of Canyon View Trail.

How to make this hike more difficult: add in McCorkle Trail to Cerro Este Road. Clockwise, this only adds a bit more elevation at a fairly gradual pace. Counter-clockwise, this adds a good amount of elevation that matches about the same incline as if you started Canyon View Trail clockwise (a.k.a. it's a decent challenge). This also adds about a mile to the hike.

What I Liked: The views on Cerro Este Road are really nice. I also like the trail portion of Canyon View Trail between Cerro Este and Geary Road; it's partly shaded and only lightly trafficked. It's also nice that there are several spots to get down into the water along Geary Road. Finally, if you take McCorkle Trail, that trail has some really nice views on the way to it's peak where you can see the lake in the distance.

What I Didn't Like: The Geary Road portion is a road where people drive. There weren't a lot of vehicles on this portion, but a couple did pass me.

Overall: It's a nice hike that's a bit strenuous. The trail goes from heavily trafficked in some parts to lightly trafficked in others. At some points, I would go half an hour and not see anyone. At others, I'd pass 5 or 6 whole families in the span of a few minutes.

Lovely hiking and easy way trail back to the car!!

Beautiful hike. Take the little detours off the side of the trail that are dirt paved - worth it! Get there early cuz it gets pretty warm with little to no shade in the beginning and end of trail. Prepare to hang out around the little Yosemite area for an hour or so! So much to climb and cross over, a lot of picture worthy spots! 5 year old, 3 year old, little dog, husband and I did it in 3.5 hours as we were taking our time. Taking lots of photos and exploring near the river. Would do the hike again! Oh and plenty of parking!

Beautiful wildflowers on the Canyon View trail. No parking fee on a weekday. However, water trucks are doing dust control on Camp Ohlone road on weekdays, and they don't turn the water off for hikers on the road. We returned via McCorkle trail rather than using the road, it was longer but more interesting. Watch for poison oak, though.

Parking was not an issue. We left around 11 and there was plenty of parking towards the picnic area.

hiking
5 months ago

Did this trail April 21st on Saturday for training purpose.
The Relive is here: https://www.relive.cc/view/1523553876
Below are details:
We started on 9:45 am from the parking lot at the bridge. The first about 2 miles are flat and shaded with Little Yosemite on your side. We were very lucky that there was plenty of water in Little Yosemite, This part of the trail is wide and passible by cars, very easy to walk.
About half mile passed Little Yosemite there is the left turn to backpacker trail to backpackers campground. Here comes the ascent, sharply to a little over mile 3, then flat out a little bit until you reached a wide road. This part at this time of year has plenty of wildflowers, very pretty. Also, we saw a sign here saying "Rattle Snake 30 feet ahead" by some nice hiker on our way back. So there is such animal activity.
When you reach the wide road (and there is a trail post), turn left and keep ascending about 0.3 miles, you see another trial post, need to turn right here. We got lost last time by following the wide road, but that is not the actual trail, the trail is not very obvious compared to the wide road, but you need to make a right turn here to the trail.
From there it is another section of rolling hills but mostly ascending, climb up the final slope, you'll reach a branch where the right trail leads to a gate, passing which there is a pond, that is the right way to go. Not far from the pond there is a big tree with some shades, that is a good spot for taking a breath.
A little over that, there came another folk trail, take left (There should be a marker build by pebbles on the ground), the trail descends sharply to a small creek, which, surprisingly has crystal clear water, shades, and a rock.
Descending before final summit means more ascending, crossed the creek, here came the final effort to rose peak about 2.5 miles, but the climb was mild until the final 50 feet to the peak. Great view on the summit and lots of flowers.
This is an out and back route, the final mileage on my watch(including a detour to Maggie's for water) was 18.5 and 4295ft elevation gain.
Most of the trail was not covered, the sun was brutal, so do apply sunscreen often and keep hydrated. I think on average at least 4L water is needed. I brought with me 2L and 1L electrolytes but ended up having to fill water at Maggie's.
There were 2 places the trail offers tap water, one at backpacker's camp about 2.5 miles from the start, another is about half a mile from Rose Peak summit in Maggie's. Both are campgrounds, but they are both tap water and you might need to consider filtering before actually drink the water. There were signs saying "Untreated water".
On our way back, we tried to take another route which you can see on the map the trail divided and merged, but we encountered a lot of cows on the trail and there was no space for us to pass through them. So we had to return to the folk and took the route marked on the map.
We started at 9:45 am, summit Rose Peak about 2 pm-ish, spent about 15, 20 minutes on the summit and finally finished about 6:30 pm back at the parking lot.
Overall in spring, this hike offers a very vivid view, green hills rolling and rolling with abundant flowers. We saw thousands of California Poppies and other flowers. A ton of ground squirrels too! Some of them even got really close! I also came once last October and the trail was all golden grass, also spectacular.

Great hike with waterfall in the middle

hiking
5 months ago

I really enjoyed this trail. Lots of wildlife and cute cows that graze the fields. Little Yosemite is a lovely landmark along the way, although it tends to be pretty crowded with people sunbathing, wading and swimming. Not trying to be a party pooper, but this place does NOT allow swimming and wading...I wish people would respect this park rule since it's usually in place for a good reason... I'm removing an extra star from my review due to the fact none of the water faucets/fountains work.

Easy hike. Did circle from visitor center around. Would’ve rather taken the hilly walk back then the dirt road. But that’s a great option for less experience hikers.

Great trail I did a.long time ago on a very hot day... interesting changes along.the way.

hiking
5 months ago

Loved the hike. It is strenuous because of the distance and the constant uphills/downhill. Take water and pack snacks. I packed about 5L and was just about enough. The view from the top is beautiful. Definitely go with a partner.

We had a dog, and cows with calves didn’t want dog near and wouldn’t let us past. We had to make a couple wide detours to avoid them.

hiking
5 months ago

Very beautiful hike with lots of different terrain and scenery. You will pass Little Yosemite and another waterfall along the way. Highlight: we were lucky to come across a bobcat lounging around under a tree

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