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Ohlone Wilderness Trail

HARD 62 reviews
#3 of 16 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. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

29.1 miles
7,358 feet
Point to Point

dog friendly





horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running






wild flowers



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.

19 days 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.

28 days 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.

5 months ago

Did this trail in 3 days 2 nights starting at Mission Peak and ending at Del Valle.


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

6 months ago

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

7 months ago

nice trail

9 months ago

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!

9 months ago

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.


9 months ago

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

10 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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

Saturday, December 23, 2017

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

mountain biking
Sunday, May 17, 2015

I consider this trail to have moderate use. Lots of hikers, very few MTB on the trails. Wide, fire trails without much area for single track trails. As one user commented, mostly rolling hills with infrequent flat trail intervals. I didn't complete the entire trail, but ended up meandering around the park (went up Hayfield road that is next to Indian Joe trail). Very few trails that are MTB friendly.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Most beautiful hike I've ever been on, took a shorter route that was only 3 miles. Looked almost like the Lord of the Rings.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

I did this hike about the middle of august. I started at the Del Valle side and went to the Sunol visitor center. My GPS said I went 21 miles in 13 hours. I think I could have gone faster had I not brought so much with me, but being as this was my first time on this trail, I had no idea what to expect, if I could make it out before nightfall or not so I came prepared to camp. Turns out you can do it in a day  I will not be bringing so much stuff with me next time.
They have shut the water off at every point along the way except for Stewart’s Camp and Boyd Camp. I chose to refill at Stewart’s because it was on a loop and I wouldn’t have to backtrack at all. It does take you off the trail on the permit map, but at least you can keep pushing forward. I HAD to refill at Stewart’s because just that slug up from Del Valle took so much. But my refill lasted to Sunol. The water needs to be purified even though the map marks it as drinking water so bring iodine tabs with you (4 per gallon).
I initially brought a 2 quart bladder, my 1 quart bottle for electrolyte mixing and an extra gallon jug of water. I think next time I’ll bring two bladders, one for water and one for electrolytes and straight up nix the bottle. I also found this cool trick… I put a basic soft side lunch bag into my pack and kept a frozen water bottle, my PB&J sandwiches, Powerbars and bladder in it with the hose coming out through the zipper. My bladder water stayed cool the whole time because the lunch bag was insulated and kept the sun out.
I will definitely be doing this hike again. It was a great challenge!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Ohlone trail connect into Indian Joe trail. It's also the back end of the Mission Peak area. Pretty much Ohlone , Indian Joe, Little Yosemite, and Canyon Road trails will connect at one point. Very confusing with the signs.

Friday, April 26, 2013

This was an overnight, solo backpacking trip for me. I started at 8:30am on Del Valle side and ended at 6:30pm at Backpackers' Camp on the Sunol Side. I started my hike out the next day at 9am and reached Sunol entrance at 10:45am. You will need a permit. It has an excellent map on it with great details on elevation and mileage gain. It's only $2-$5. Make sure you bring a water filter or water tablets on this hike. The Del Valle side is steeper to start then the Sunol side. There are rattlesnakes on this trail, I almost stepped on one. Pay attention. This hike is definitely doable in one day and worth it. The beginning and ending of this trail gets a lot of traffic on the weekends and early mornings. It's just too good!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Very strenuous but worthwhile. Out of the 20-miles walked, maybe a mile is flat ground, at least it seemed that way. The trail is well marked. The one downside is that it's mostly fire roads and not much single track trail. Amazing views from the top of Rose Peak, and it was a crystal clear day when I was there.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

My boyfriend and I have birthdays a day apart, so we decided on an epic b-day 3-day vacation. This trail was AMAZING. Great views, lots of wildlife, and a great sense of peace. The only drawback was the time of year; which is usual for our birthdays, but neither of us were prepared for the 102 degree weather! There are a few spots along the way to fill up water bottles and camel backs, but be sure to bring plenty of water as they are much further in on the trail than they seem. We took a few detours which added a bit to the length and time, but we didn't see another person besides each other for 14 of the 16 hours.

All in all it was a great trip. Prepare for the weather and you'll be great!

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