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

Not a bad hike. I'd watch out though because:

1: Trails aren't very well mapped so we almost missed our turn a few times!
2: Part of this trail doesn't exist. It kept telling us to turn but there was no way we could have... Didn't matter because we got there eventually but! Just a warning, bring a map/download the trail!

hiking
25 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!

Good trail the last part is a bit steep buts it’s worth the effort u could see the whole of city from the height

hiking
2 months 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.

nice open trail with good views. we did it at sunrise and it was awesome!

trail running
3 months ago

I was expecting more single track through the woods etc. it's mostly just a dirt road except for the last last downhill section. no technical aspects. the views are great at the top but scenery on the trail itself is a little boring, oak trees and the dried up native grass. the best thing about the trail is that it is steep and provides a good uphill workout.

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.

hiking
4 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.

Great scenic workout!!

For an urban trail this is just great lots of woods to walk through as well as the usual open California chaparral

The pictures don’t do this trail justice! I’m from flat as can be Houston Texas. The hills (mountains in my eyes) are beautiful and rolling. A camera simply does not pick up there beauty as seeing it in person does. The views from the top are amazing!!

hiking
5 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.

My husband and I hike here with our dog very often. It’s really close to where we live so it makes it easy. It’s so beautiful, great views! Most of it is slightly uphill so it’s a good workout

mountain biking
6 months ago

south peak

hiking
6 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.

hiking
6 months ago

Gorgeous views

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.

hiking
7 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.

hiking
7 months ago

I did this hike in late March at the end of the rainy season. The hills were green and the Alameda Creek was flowing rapidly through Little Yosemite. The trail was a little muddy, but it was manageable. I would not suggest doing this hike during the summer months as there is little shade and it gets hot. I was fortunate to have a cool, cloudy day, so I was able to move at a good pace without getting too tired. I tried to clock in under 5 hours, but the mud slowed me down a bit. I pack really light and can cover a lot of ground in a short time, so for most people I would plan for 6-8 hours at a normal pace with breaks.

There is a $5 parking fee and a $2 permit to hike on the Ohlone Wilderness Trail. The permit is good for a year. You'll also need the permit if you want to hike from Sunol to Mission Peak. It appears you can avoid the parking fee it you want to hike to Rose Peak from Welch Creek Road, but then you miss out on Little Yosemite. Also, you don't need a permit to hike to Little Yosemite if that's what you want to do (but you're probably not reading this if you just want to do that 2 mile walk).

My hike distance was exactly 18 miles. The track shows 18.8, but I think it was not a very clean path that added a few slight detours that added some artificial distance.

There are claims that dispute Rose Peak as being the tallest peak in Alameda County. Neighboring "Discovery Peak" on the Valpe Ridge to the east of Rose Flat is slightly higher at 3840 ft, but that one is on private property. Some people still hike there because it is so remote and the property lines are not very well marked.

The waypoint on the track mentioned a log canister at the peak, but I didn't see anything. There was a metal anchor in the ground where it appeared something used to be, so maybe that was it? Also, the views from the peak aren't as spectacular as Mt. Diablo or Mt. Tam as it doesn't have the prominence and there isn't a tower at the summit that provides nice views for the tourists. You're on your own out here and there are some trees at the top of Rose Peak that will obscure the view.

https://www.relive.cc/view/1472119126

Not too far from home but offers tons of hiking, backpacking, and even camping options from this single staging park. Today we just did around 5 mike loop but it was perfect for our two families. Ran into many people up to Little Yosemite falls spot but then it thinned out a bit. Still you’re never alone long, especially in such a sunny day after a week of rains. I’m planning to do the section hike to Del Valle from here in the summer solo, but the lush green landscapes today were so nice.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike and less traffic!

Decided to do this as a dayhike to train for Whitney later this year. Definitely found myself wishing I was overnighting it. Beautiful hike with plenty of solitude. Lots of up and down on the way up, which means there's still plenty of climbing to be done on the way back. Rose peak is not a high prominence peak, so the views at the top are less rewarding than the breeze at the top, but it's still a nice perspective. Last few miles were particularly tough just because of distance (closer to 20 miles). Took a short detour up to the water spigot at sunol backpack camp to refill on the way back (boiled my water as it is untreated), before cutting down the backpack road towards little yosemite to go around the last bit of uphill on the mcorkle trail. Exhausted and sore, but happy i made the hike.

great scenery, however, be careful of cows during calving season (spring). we got chased by a mother even though we were trying to walk around the calves who were on the trail.

on Pleasanton Ridge Trail

hiking
9 months ago

Awesome trail! :)

hiking
11 months ago

We hiked the the Eagle View trail at Sunol Regional Wilderness. Total distance was 7.2 miles with a elevation gain of 1,683 ft. The views were spectacular. There is few challenge ascents in the beginning but overall it was a pleasant hike.

Great for kids and dogs!

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