Explore the most popular walking 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.

With is a very beautiful park with an awesome view. We enjoy walking with our dog.

Spectacular views....

How to make this hike easier: go counter-clockwise to avoid the steep incline at the start of Canyon View Trail.

How to make this hike more difficult: add in McCorkle Trail to Cerro Este Road. Clockwise, this only adds a bit more elevation at a fairly gradual pace. Counter-clockwise, this adds a good amount of elevation that matches about the same incline as if you started Canyon View Trail clockwise (a.k.a. it's a decent challenge). This also adds about a mile to the hike.

What I Liked: The views on Cerro Este Road are really nice. I also like the trail portion of Canyon View Trail between Cerro Este and Geary Road; it's partly shaded and only lightly trafficked. It's also nice that there are several spots to get down into the water along Geary Road. Finally, if you take McCorkle Trail, that trail has some really nice views on the way to it's peak where you can see the lake in the distance.

What I Didn't Like: The Geary Road portion is a road where people drive. There weren't a lot of vehicles on this portion, but a couple did pass me.

Overall: It's a nice hike that's a bit strenuous. The trail goes from heavily trafficked in some parts to lightly trafficked in others. At some points, I would go half an hour and not see anyone. At others, I'd pass 5 or 6 whole families in the span of a few minutes.

I loved it here! There was some overgrowth on some of the trails but it wasn’t too bad. There are some shaded areas so the sun isn’t overwhelming

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

Beautiful hike. Take the little detours off the side of the trail that are dirt paved - worth it! Get there early cuz it gets pretty warm with little to no shade in the beginning and end of trail. Prepare to hang out around the little Yosemite area for an hour or so! So much to climb and cross over, a lot of picture worthy spots! 5 year old, 3 year old, little dog, husband and I did it in 3.5 hours as we were taking our time. Taking lots of photos and exploring near the river. Would do the hike again! Oh and plenty of parking!

Beautiful wildflowers on the Canyon View trail. No parking fee on a weekday. However, water trucks are doing dust control on Camp Ohlone road on weekdays, and they don't turn the water off for hikers on the road. We returned via McCorkle trail rather than using the road, it was longer but more interesting. Watch for poison oak, though.

Parking was not an issue. We left around 11 and there was plenty of parking towards the picnic area.

mountain biking
29 days ago

south peak

hiking
29 days 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.

Great hike with waterfall in the middle

Gorgeous views

hiking
1 month ago

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.

Easy hike. Did circle from visitor center around. Would’ve rather taken the hilly walk back then the dirt road. But that’s a great option for less experience hikers.

Great trail I did a.long time ago on a very hot day... interesting changes along.the way.

hiking
1 month 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.

We had a dog, and cows with calves didn’t want dog near and wouldn’t let us past. We had to make a couple wide detours to avoid them.

hiking
1 month 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

Seriously watch out for cows they are scary.

We went on this hike today and it was pleasant moderate hike. The hike is steeper in the beginning but becomes gradual later. Both way trip took around 2.5hrs. Would recommend going early since parking gets full.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

Fun trail along grassy hills to creek with waterfall.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike and less traffic!

Great place for hiking. One of the best in Bay area. Beautiful views especially during spring when everything is green.
I have done more than 20 hike in Bay area and this is one of the best

Very easy walk on the path to see the waterfalls. Next time I would love to go further into the hills into actual hiking trails. The main fire road was packed and people were everywhere on the falls. Many people don’t know how to respect nature. It was actually kind of sad. Beautiful place being ruined my uneducated people.

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.

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