Rose Peak From Sunol

HARD 15 reviews
#5 of 11 trails in

Rose Peak From Sunol is a 18.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sunol, California 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.

18.8 miles
4317 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash





nature trips

trail running




wild flowers


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.

8 days ago

1 month ago

One of the hardest hikes I've ever done and I was not well prepared. It was a hot day and I didn't bring enough water or a filter (ended up drinking the untreated water). I also didn't know you needed a permit so I didn't have a map either (ended up using my phone to look things up). That said, it really is a challenge and I only saw 3 people on the trail (and 2 of them were just backpackers leaving). The solitude is creepy but kind of interesting if you're not used to it. Definitely have a hearty breakfast and research the area before you go. It was a spur of the moment decision for me but I'm glad I did it. Took about 9 hours.

2 months ago

Did this as a long day hike on 3/11/17, and came in at closer to 20 miles. Nice views! I did not take enough water, and the "potable" water as signed near Maggie's Half acre was not treated and I found worms in it. Either take enough water or filter. (I used my iodine tablets and wondered if they kill worms)

4 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

trail running
4 months ago

Fun and tough trail. Was a long ascent but the descent was way harder. My poor toes. Next time I will wear more sunscreen and bug spray. There are 2 places to get water, at the first camping area and on Maggie's Acre. Maggie's Acre is not obvious, there's a trough of water next to a spigot. You have to open the handle completely for water to pour out.

5 months ago

6 months ago

Very difficult trail. I absolutely would not try this unless you're very experienced backpacking. A very well experienced day hiker or trail runner could easily make it to the peak and back within a day, but for backpackers the story is a little different. It took my group of fairly experienced backpackers a full 7 hours to reach the peak - the trail is 90% uphill on the way there and the constant uphill can be quite exhausting. Our group was able to handle it though, but one thing I should mention is that we were snowed on. The camps at maggie's half acre are high enough up that a weather report of rain in Sunol means snow at Maggie's half acre. We got about 3 inches that day, very heavy winds as well. It was a great trip but extremely challenging as well.

Also, If it does rain, expect a lot of the trails to be washed out and muddy, and a small landslide covering the trail here and there. Again, would only recommend to experienced backpackers, very much a challenge.

6 months ago

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

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.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Saturday, June 06, 2015

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!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

There are a couple ways to do this, the official way would be to park just after the gate, and get right on the trail at the visitor center. I chose to go the same way the OP listed (at least for the way up). The advantage is a slightly more direct route, and almost no crowd.
Paid $5 for the access, $2 for the "permit" which is a map. There is currently bridge construction, which means the access described here is closed Mon-Fri (but open today being a Sunday).
I got there very late, 11:15AM, and gave myself a 2:30PM turnaround time to be sure to beat the 5PM gate closing. That meant speed hiking if I was going to make the peak. I managed to get tot he peak by 2:18PM, and gave myself a 12 minute break. I cut through the "no trespassing" area and down Bluff Road in order to be sure I was back by 5, and got to the car at 4:40PM.
Saw a few dog walkers early on the road, then only two different 3man groups of backpackers. One coyote and one deer, two huge eagles, oh and 54 cows ;)
Looking forward to going back with plenty of time to enjoy the area.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A great challenge if you like long hike.