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Tolman Peak Trail

MODERATE 64 reviews

Tolman Peak Trail is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Union City, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,003 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

views

wild flowers

wildlife

The best hike in Dry Creek Pioneer Park provides great scenic views on the east bay and solitude you're looking for. Tolman Peak (997 ft. elevation) is located at the southeast side of Garin / Dry Creek Pioneer Park, which is part of East Bay Regional Park System. This site was also famous for a plane (MD DC-6B) crash in 1951. This hike takes you from the park's Tamarack entrance to the peak and back. It starts with easy uphill hike, several creek crossings until a moderate uphill climb to Tolman Peak. After the peak, it leads you into a well-shaded trail in the oak woods, completes the loop around the hill and then takes the same way back to the trailhead. This is a great hike for people looking for solitude and great scenic views on the east bay. The best season to hike is early summer.

hiking
27 days ago

I ended up enjoying this hike much more than I expected - I saw no other hikers after the Tolman Peak cut off and saw so many birds, deer, and even a tarantula! I didn’t see any cows oddly - maybe it’s a seasonal thing. I particularly enjoyed the laurel forest part of the loop, especially as it had a lot of colorful fallen leaves. There was a lot of poison oak though.

hiking
muddy
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Gate locked at just over a mile into hike

hiking
muddy
over grown
5 months ago

Interesting trail - very few people on the trail (especially on the way up). It seemed that most people were going counterclockwise around the loop while we were doing it clockwise - I’d recommend the clockwise way since the uphill path is less muddy than the way down. The uphill path is very overgrown while the way down can be muddy at some points. Overall, it was a decent 5.2 mile hike but it would be better if they kept the trail in better condition.

hiking
muddy
rocky
washed out
7 months ago

This was a great 5 mile hike. I walked it with my girlfriend and our French bulldog..Great scenic trail up a steep hill. Once you get to the top, the view is spectacular! We went on 2/16/19 around noon. It took us about 3.5 hours for a 5.3m hike. The terrain was very muddy! So wear good trail shoes or boots. I would recommend walking sticks if you have them. The stream crossing was washed out so we had to trek up the mountain to get to the trail. Warning! Lots of cow and horse poop along the trail. A mile in you will see a bench under a nice tree. Great place to check your gear.

hiking
Saturday, July 28, 2018

there are lots of ticks on the tail! Both my dog and I are bite.

hiking
Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Awesome views! Fairly intense once you get on to tolman trail, but eases up once you hit south trail. Lots of cows, a pond, and a creek side walk on the other side of the loop. We started at 7:30am and finished around 9:30, with a couple breaks. Glad we started early as when we got back to the parking lot it was almost full(it was Sunday). We picked up some empty water bottles and other misc garbage. I’d recommend it. Our record says it was 5 miles.

hiking
Sunday, May 06, 2018

Hiked 5/5/18. The hills are still green,grasses are tall and thick. Mustard on sections of the trail were up to about 8_9 feet tall. I'm sure this will all change in the next week or two. I was surprised to find a small grove of trees that included redwoods and Sequoias. Some owner at some point must have planted these. I was thinking I didn't see much wildlife then saw a bobcat near the top of Tolman. Beautiful bay laurel tree at the very top. Veins were great of the bay.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tough trail. But amazing view at the top.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Beautiful hike. Definitely do when it's still green but it's beautiful all year round.

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

A challenging trail that offers some shaded areas along the way. Wonderful views at the top!

hiking
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

light rain great hike!

Monday, February 06, 2017

pretty muddy, and lots of horse poop

hiking
Sunday, December 18, 2016

Gorgeous! A bit muddy. Not many people. Dogs enjoyed off leash.

hiking
Sunday, December 18, 2016

It was a good trail, not popular so not that crowded. Loved the view from top !! And little plane crash history was good to know.

walking
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Not crowded at all. Did this trail early morning around sunrise. Has beautiful views. Kid-friendly.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

It's a beautiful hike through meadows, riparian forest, shaded canyons, and a panoramic view of the bay. What a nice discovery.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Parking at Tamarack (and nearby) is now prohibited for non-residents. Park at the entrance on May Rd and join the trail from there. It was not a bad hike. Get there early in the summer before it gets too hot.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

This isn't 5 miles. It's at least 6. My GSP tracker said 6.5. And I would not call this easy for beginners. The first and last 1.5 miles or so are flat, but that middle few miles is pretty steep for newbs. 1-5 I'd give the whole thing a 3. 1 being totally flat. 2 being slight elevation gain. Nice views. Cool if you don't feel up to hiking Mission Peak.

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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