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Ohlone Wilderness Trail

HARD 76 reviews
#3 of 17 trails in

Ohlone Wilderness Trail is a 29.1 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Livermore, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 29.1 miles Elevation Gain: 7,358 feet Route Type: Point to Point

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

Rugged but rewarding trek is best way to see East Bay backcountry Ohlone Wilderness Trail is one wicked walk: 28 miles in two days with over 7,600 feet of elevation gain. But it's worth the strain as you soak up amazing vistas, scout for wildlife and marvel at being in such a remote locale so close to a huge metropolis. (Large raptors like eagles and hawks can often be spotted swooping down on their doomed prey). Parks form the trailheads at both ends of the trail: Mission Peak Regional Preserve in Fremont on the west and Del Valle Regional Park in Livermore on the east. The trail passes Rose Peak, the highest accessible point in Alameda County, and traverses Sunol Regional Wilderness, one of the East BAy's premiere hiking destinations. Trails can get crowded on weekends at Mission Peak and Sunol, but the rest of time you'll have the trails largely to yourself (and a few grazing cattle.) Late winter and early spring are the best times to go because the temperatures are cool, the hills are green and the wildflowers are in bloom.

hiking
7 days ago

If you like a challenge and lots of ups and down this is the trail for you. It’s great for trail run but beware there not much water source. If you’re looking for scenery this trail is not for you. It does have its own beauty but not much to see. I don’t recommend summer due to its pretty dry, hot, and exposed. From end to end it’s 29 miles or so. I recommend if you don’t want to hike back and repeat to a total of 60 miles park your car on one end and Uber to the other. A backpacker said it’s a 45 minute drive.

27 days ago

This is a great trail and is close enough to the Bay Area to make it accessible without driving all the way to the Sierras. We took a Boy Scout troop over the Memorial Day weekend and completed the trail west to east. Plenty of water in streams and cisterns this early in the year and were able to cut down on weight by hauling less water. One word of caution, weather reports for the wilderness area tend to be for lower elevations. We encountered far more severe weather on our last night at Maggie's Half Acre than was predicted by NWS forecast. If the report at lower elevations is for rain, prepare for a storm at the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

I have not hiked this trail, so I don’t want to downgrade the stars. After calling the reservation line, they advised that dogs are not allowed in the backpacking area. This wasn’t clear from their website.

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacking the incredible wildflower covered Ohlone Wilderness-see my pics. Amazing experience right here in the Bay Area. First day out of Lake Del Valle is straight up for miles. Be prepared. Replenish water at Murietta Falls a couple of miles off the Ohlone Trail. Very beautiful falls and not a sole around. However, the last day on Mission Peak is another story. Literally hundreds of people scrambling up the well worn trail. If your looking for solitude remember the first day of the hike. Very challenging, but an enjoyable local adventure. Tons of beautiful scenery and met very nice people along the way. Highly recommended for a local backpacking adventure.

backpacking
2 months ago

Very Intense Trail! I did it in 2 days, 1 night and I was exhausted! Make sure to train for this hike! I trained, but should have trained more! Make sure to be as prepared as you can, but still pack light! I started at Stanford Staging Area and ended at Del Valle in Livermore. I recommend doing it this way, because the Del Valle section is pretty steep, and although my knees were killing me, I preferred to do the "Big Burn" section downhill. I stayed at Hawk's Nest at Sunol backpacking camp. It's got a great view! But the tent clearing was right next to an opening that allowed strong winds to attack my tent. So think about that. There were salamanders galore after dark! Watch out while walking around at night, don't wanna step on one of those little guys! The most beautiful parts of the trail were between Mission Peak and Sunol Backpacking area, as well as the Del Valle Area. For this reason, I most likely will not do the trail in its entirety again, since my favorite parts are close to parking areas, and everything in between is hilly pastures with oaks- still pretty, but not my favorite part. In both of these areas I saw red-tailed hawks and groups of beautiful deer. Also, turkeys! I am pretty sure I heard a golden eagle, too! But I didn't see it. Watch out for raccoons trying to steal your food at Sunol Headquarters! That's where I had lunch the first day. There's a lovely stretch close to the Murrietta Falls trail where the path is glittering with quartz. Beautiful shining rocks- some white, some pink! Please be a friendly hiker and leave the rocks for future hikers to see. It was so special to come upon the glitter trail after a long grumpy day of hiking up and down over and over again. I know it sounds silly, but just imagine if each hiker took just one rock, it would make a big impact in a negative way. (For those of you who have been to Glass Beach recently, you know what I'm talking about. It's not even Glass Beach anymore. It's like, Rocks And Just a Few of Them Are Clear Beach.) I'd like to come back some day and just do a small section from Del Valle, up to Boyd's Camp or maybe even Murrietta Falls. It would've been flowing strong after this rainy winter, but I just could not muster the strength to do that side trail on top of my 15 miles for the day. I hear the waterfalls are worth it, though, so I recommend spending the night at Stuart's Camp and doing the 1 mile side trip to see it (if it's been raining, of course- the falls are usually dried up)! March is the time to go- I saw so many wildflowers in Sunol!!! I have a "Wildflowers of Mount Diablo" booklet that is great for identifying the flowers. If you're into that, I recommend bringing a booklet like that. Even though it's not Mount Diablo, this area shares similar ecosystems because it's all part of the Diablo Range.

4 months ago

I did this hike almost a year ago on February 18,2018. We had two teams, one started from Ohline College, and another team was from Del Valle. From Del Valle, we started climbing constantly until reaching Rose Peak. After ate lunch,we descended slowly onto Sunol. We ate our dinner in Sunol, then we had the last push under the darkness till finished at Ohlone college. it was a tough hike, we encountered driving rain in the morning, but it's dry out in the afternoon. it really made the hike a little bit pleasant than exposed to the sun.Because there aren't much shade along the trail, to make hike more challenging during the summer time.

backpacking
muddy
5 months ago

The trail is honestly pretty difficult, if done in a backpacking trip. My girlfriend and I went from Del Valle to Mission Peak in three days/two nights. We camped first night at Maggie's Half Acre and second night at Eagle Spring. The hike from Del Valle to Maggie's Half Acre was quite intense with elevation. Lucky for us this time of year is not too hot. Maggie's Half Acre has an outhouse and water, although the water needs to be treated before use. It also has a garbage can for you to unload some trash. The campsites were nice, and a short hike will get you to the top of Rose Peak. The second day was way worse because it rained nearly the entire way to Eagle Spring. The hike between Maggie's Half Acre and Eagle Spring starts out rather easy, going down most of the way until Sunol visitor's center. After that, though, the climbing is again quite intense. Particularly the section immediately after the Sunol visitor's center is quite steep, although it is a nice gravel trail surface. We were able to get to Eagle Spring (~15 miles) with a couple hours to spare before it got dark. This portion of the trip has some great views of both backcountry and the East Bay towns (Sunol, Livermore, etc.). The Eagle Spring camp is again rather high up. Because it was raining for us all night, it was like hell up there. Freezing, extremely windy, and raining beyond belief. If you know it's gonna rain, I would recommend avoiding this campsite as it is very exposed. But we endured the night, getting very wet in the process. In the morning we went out at Mission Peak Stanford Staging Area. The hike down from Mission Peak was extremely muddy from the previous night's rain! It took us probably twice as long as it should have to get down. But this section had some great views of the South Bay. The parking lot at Stanford Staging Area seems to always be incredibly crowded! So if you plan to park there, as we did, expect to wait 15 minutes for a spot to open up.

hiking
5 months ago

A day’s trip from Sunol to Rose Peak and back. It was a great hike, although I wouldn’t recommend doing this one in summer. The whole trail is really exposed with no shade whatsoever. On the other hand, when you go in winter (and like to take in the views like me) bring a head lamp. The gate opens at 8am; be there ready already. I got back at about 5.30 or 6 and it was complete dark already.

backpacking
6 months ago

Completed Dec 17th. 3 days 2 nights. We started from the Del Mar side as was highly recommend by others. The Del Mar side packs all of the elevation gain into the first day including the dive into William's gulch. This climb is no joke, be prepared. After Rose peak you come into a very gradual downhill scenic trail heading into the sunol wilderness area. You will cover alot of ground soaking in the best views of this trail. Once you reach the sunol visitor center, you begin your ascent to mission hill. This is a steady climb but refreshingly easy compared to your first day. Temps hovered around the low 60s down to the low 30s at night in mid December. We did encounter heavy rain on the last day. This trail was great besides the constant sounds of jets from the bay area.

backpacking
11 months ago

Did this trail in 3 days 2 nights starting at Mission Peak and ending at Del Valle. Suggestions: When? We did this hike yesterday (mid July), it was extremely hot and taxing. Very dry. Mid spring would be a better option. Where? We started at Mission Peak which means we basically were climbing the entire way. When you start at Del Valle, the first ascent is extremely steep but you basically descend the rest of the way to MP. I would suggest starting from Del Valle. Who? I suggest this trail to all ages over 13. This is really difficult physically and mentally at some points. Anyone younger I might assume would struggle. It says dogs are ok on a leash, but I would say not ok to bring a dog during summer. The trails, especially in the back country, are poorly maintained. There will be many stickers getting into your socks and their paws/fur. Water? Bring an abundance or bring a stove. Although the map indicates potable water sources the three camps we stopped at to fill up did not have potable water. There was a relatively new sign on the water pipe saying it was untreated water and you must boil before drinking. Those campsites were School Camp in Sunol, Joes Horse Camp, and Maggie’s Half Acre. In addition to the misleading water sources also be advised that the water sources are not on the trail and are pretty far off. They are also down very steep hills. Electricity and cell service? You’ll lose service once you get out of the Mission Peak area going into the trail. You won’t have any service the entire way until you hit the Del Valle trail systems. But then you’ll most likely lose service again in Del Valle itself. My suggestion would be to coordinate your pick-up location and time as precise as possible. The only electricity I was able to find was in Sunol on the backside of the Visitors Center building. Wildlife? We encountered an abundance, especially in Sunol. Coyotes, raccoons, deer, vultures, Hawks, eagles, rabbits, rattle snakes, ground squirrels, free range cattle. Mosquitos and flies were especially abundant. Food? Pack in and pack out. There are some places to throw trash away, so don’t worry about having to carry it for too long, you’ll eventually run into a campsite or rest stop with a trash can. But there will be absolutely no where to get food unless you get an Uber Eats to the MP trailhead. We under packed in terms of calories, therefore we were pretty sluggish at some points. So make sure you pack more calories than you usually eat in a day. We brought freeze dried meals that we bought from REI, boiled water with out propane camp stove, and enjoyed. We failed to bring a variety of other snacks however. I would also suggest bringing packets of powder Gatorade or similar, you’ll need the electrolytes. Clothing? During mid July, I wore shorts the entire trip and was fine. My legs did get really dirty and I did get the occasional sticker but overall was ok. Next time I’ll bring pants for some of the deeper brush we went through. The nights get pretty cold even in the summer, so make sure to layer properly. We also brought lightweight hammocks, small sleeping bags, and roll up sleeping pads. Depending on where you decided to stop for the night there may or may not be trees convenient for putting up a hammock, or there may not be worthwhile ground for sleeping on. Smoker? Don’t F’ing do it. California has enough wildfires. It’s strictly prohibited in all the parks anyway. However, we are all human and I’m sure it will be done. If that’s the case wait until you get next to a creek, water source, or in a campsite bathroom. Unless there’s a trash or a toilet, take your butt or roach with you. I think this is all I can think of at the moment. I tried my best to record the trail as I did it, but like I mentioned the cellular signal was spotty and I was rationing battery life toward the middle of the hike. If there’s anything else you’d like to know please don’t hesitate to reach out. - Josh

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I love this trail I will come back to finish the trail

Saturday, May 26, 2018

nice trail

backpacking
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

I backpacked the trail from Mission Peak to Del Valle in three days/two nights, with overnights at Sunol Backpacking Camp (Sky Camp is absolutely magical) and Maggie’s Half Acre (site #1 is the most secluded). I went in late March and already it was a bit warmer than preferred, but I saw some great wildflowers and the hills were green from winter rains. I had no problem finding water to filter at this time of year. Sunol is not the prettiest park, but Ohlone Wilderness and Del Valle are absolute delights. I would recommend hiking from west to east to avoid hiking uphill in Del Valle — going downhill was brutal on my knees but I think the exertion on a hot day with full pack would have been worse! This trail is a great physical challenge and adventure given its proximity to the Bay Area — I even took BART/Lyft to the Mission Peak trailhead!

hiking
Sunday, April 15, 2018

This was my longest hike since I took up the hobby 2 years ago. I've actually never done a marathon, and this was a marathon with a 7500 ft climb, which is pretty insane. But I like a challenge, so wth. Most people will backpack the Ohlone Wilderness Trail and everyone I passed out in the backcountry was doing just that. That would be my suggestion to people who don't think they can do the hike in one day. I'm not a backpacker, so I just went for it, with an option to bail at the 20 mile mark when I reached Sunol. I got an early start from Del Valle around 6:30 because I wanted to have the sun at my back for as long as possible. I didn't see any other people until about 8 miles in where I passed 4 backpackers. By the time I hit Rose Peak I was feeling it and can understand why it's suggested to camp out overnight at nearby Maggie's Half Acre. But what comes up, must come down, and after Rose Peak, it's pretty much all downhill until you reach Sunol. There is a gulch you drop down into briefly, but it's not too bad. Along the way, I was greeted with beautiful orange poppies and assorted wildflowers. It was mid-April, so everything was blooming. I was hoping to fill up on water in Sunol, but the fountains along the trail weren't working. I probably should have searched around some more at the Sunol park headquarters, because I ran out of water about half-way up the back side of Mission Peak and there isn't any running water until you reach the Stanford Ave. staging area. So that was unfortunate and slowed me down near the end. I was hoping to finish in under 9 hours, but ran over a little. All in all, what a workout! I weighed in when I got home and lost 4 lbs during the hike. I would recommend doing it east to west and not the opposite because I didn't get too much sun on my face this way. It was a cool April day, so I wore a hoodie the whole time (especially at elevation). I wanted to get this hike in before it got hot and it worked out great! Plus as others have said, you want to get the hard part out of the way first. Believe it or not, Mission Peak is the easier part of the hike. https://www.relive.cc/view/1511244740

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Great hike in the Bay Area. Can be challenging at times, especially with the heat in the summertime, but an incredible hike in the spring and fall, and if it’s been a dry wintertime (can get very muddy after a rain) great balance of exposed ridges, shaded oak groves, beautiful view on Rose Peak, with some ups and downs guaranteed to work your legs. A phenomenal training hike for the Sierra Nevada

hiking
Saturday, March 10, 2018

Hiked from Sunol Wilderness to Del Valle as a day hike in preparation for summer hiking season on JMT and Colorado Trail. It's one of my favorite hikes in the Bay Area with great views, solitude and rolling unspoiled East Bay hills all the way through. Trail was in a beautiful condition. I was afraid of the mud, but there were none. The weather was perfect, too. I met just one other person in the entire day. I carried a full 30 lb backpack and finished in 11 hours and 15 min. The trail sure is hard - very hard. It's not only 20 miles long, but with a huge, relentless elevation change, about 6,500 ft up and down. Even after I reached the Rose Peak, the "descent" into Del Valle packed enough uphills to set my tired muscles on fire every step of the way. Descent down the "Big Burn" is nothing to sneeze at as well. Overall, a great 20-miler, for training or fun, if you are looking for that sort of thing.

hiking
Sunday, March 04, 2018

Great trail but watch the weather, we went up at the end of March and found ourselves in sow and hail storms and woke up under 2” of snow. Weather would change every 30 minutes from shining sun to torrential rain and everything in between. That said, waking from Stuart’s camp to then peak in forging snow with not another person in sight was magical. Don’t underestimate the route, especially if wearing a full pack for three days

backpacking
Saturday, December 23, 2017

Excellent views of east bay. Make sure to hit Rose peak and Murietta falls.

backpacking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Had an awesome time... beautiful hike, quite challenging - challenging enough that I found myself constantly setting goals instead of letting my mind drift. Broken up into two days, sunol to Maggie's 10 miles, 4000 ft ~6hrs. Day 2 down to the falls and finished at del valle... despite leaving from rose peak, still found a way to climb approx 2500 ft in the hike down. If you're hiking in the heat make sure to bring and treat water. Went through 4liters on the first day Video recapping from sunol to del valle - may 2017, temps ~85-95 degrees https://youtu.be/hXyTGmwYyx4

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Amazing gem in our Bay Area back yard! Lots of good Geocaching along the way and can't wait to return.

hiking
Sunday, March 05, 2017

Went here with my recently adopted dog on a spring Monday, with hopes of not running into other dogs and avoiding her triggers. We ran into about three dogs, not bad. But also ran into LOTS of cows. Found out she likes steak. Other than that, the main area was closed due to flooding, so we hiked along the perimeter. Overall it was quite nice. More of an amble than a hike. The rolling hills reminded me of England.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Excellent Workout...made it in only 3.5 miles in a total of 7 miles round trip

backpacking
Monday, January 16, 2017

Went backpacking here for New Years Weekend. It got very cold at night, which was to be expected, but still very much worth the trip. I started at Del Valle and went all the way to Mission Peak. Definitely get an early start if you want to finish the trail in 2 day/1 night. The hike was very dynamic and the terrain would change dramatically throughout the length of the trip. It was very strenuous, and I cannot wait to do this trail again. To get backpacking and parking permits, you have to call the park system at least 3 days in advance. However, we did not come across any rangers and were not checked for our permits.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

My third hike on the Ohlone Trail this year. For the first time made it to Rose Peak from Del Valle Trailhead. On way back hit Murrieta Falls which had pretty good volume. Rose Peak had good views and was worth the effort to do at least once. Hiked and ran over 25 miles today and that is a good day.

hiking
Sunday, April 24, 2016

This hike is great! If you need workout, this is where you want to be! Massive elevation gain right from the parking lot. The hike to the falls via the loop is around 14 miles and worth the time it take to get there.

Friday, April 15, 2016

This is a legit HARD trail.

hiking
Saturday, March 19, 2016

We went on an overcast and a rainy weekend with full packs. We spent the night at Maggie's half acre, it was pretty nice. Nothing out of the ordinary, water and a john. The overcast weather made it a beautiful hike because it wasn't warm out so we were sweating. But when it started raining for 18 hours straight, it made the trail even more challenging! The runoff started filling those little creeks to the point you almost couldn't cross them. The exit on the Del Valle side has a different kind of soil and it just made the mud stick and slippery. All in all it was a very challenging hike for my noob knees. But on a clear/warm day make sure you bring plenty of water. It is quite an experience. Watch out for poison oak everywhere especially on the Del Valley side.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Tough trail I took to Murrieta Falls, next goal is Rose Peak than eventually all the way to Sunol Wilderness Area.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

It was very challenging, but I'd do it again.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A few good lookouts and good climbs. No people so that was nice.

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