Sunol Regional Wilderness



The large park, part of the East Bay park District, is located 40min drive from the valley when road are open, take why 680 east and turn left on Calaveras Rd. exit.

Google Map Link


Large park that start at the Alameda Creek lower section and climb up the east hills and mountains. The hills are mainly open grassland with large Oak trees.



The best time to visit this park is nice winter day or spring where all is green, at summer all is yellow and hot.

Due note 1: Because this park hills are with a lot of open space grassland it is not recommended to come at a rainy windy day where you do not have a lot of places to protected from the rain.


Due Note 2: Most of the park open space is being use as ranch land for cattle grazing so when encounters cows keep on going creating a safe distance between you and the cows.

My thoughts

I really like this park at spring when it is full of flowers and all is green. Many are hiking only in the main valley and along the river all the way to the little Yosemite section (that is nice) but my favorite part of the park is going up to the hills and enjoy the surrounding hills view.


The visit:

When you are getting to the park you can visit the small visitor center on your left, park nearby or go and park down the road.

The Alameda Creek with its running water, large trees and vegetation mark the south side of the park and the rest of the landscape is mainly open grassland hills and creeks with oak trees.

You have many hiking options to choose from based on your preferred trip length or difficult level. Most of the park trails are based on wide, well maintained dirt roads that enable a lot of hike options. Most of the trails cross the open landscape without any shade so during summertime it can be hot (not to mention all is dray and yellow), during windy and rainy winter day you will not find many places to be protected from the rain.


Below is a list of recommended trails, starting from short to longer one, for the longer loop trails you can also do them at the opposite direction.

Very short Shady Glen trail (Blue in the map):

Take Camp Ohlone Road along the Alameda Creek, you can take the single track near the water that has some shad or the exposed dirt road on the slope of the hill.

If you are coming with a hiking stroller the dirt road will be good.

Go all the way to the section of Little Yosemite boulders (small waterfalls).

Nice place to rest and enjoy the narrow river section, but do not expect Yosemite …

From Little Yosemite you have several options:

A: Go back to your car on the same trail

B: Take the Cerro Este trail going up - Recommended hike

C: Keep on going on Camp Ohlone Road till the end (take the Backpack trail up) 

If you took option B you will reach after 0.2 mile the Canyon View narrow trail;

You can turn left (west) and head back to the visitor center using this nice trail (dotted blue line in the map above).

Overall this will be a 3.3 mil hike.

Longer and the recommended option is to keep going up on Cerro Este Road (Orange on the above map).

You can take the McCorkle trail left & down or keep going all the way up to the junction with Cave Rocks Road ridge top.

For that option make sure you keep left and up when reaching the second junction, near the round small pound.

From the high viewpoint of Cave Rock Road and Cerro Este junction point there is excellent view on all surrounding hills and valleys.

From this point all is downhill; Take the Cave Rocks road going down all the way to the High Valley Camo old and large farmhouse (excellent resting point) or you can take the Indian Joe Creek trail directly to the visitor center.

If you decide to go through the farmhouse valley (orange trail in the map above) you will pass a small lake on your right. Usually there are many water-turtles doing sunbath over small floating trees (try not to scare them if you are approaching the pound).

From the farmhouse junction you have 2 options:

A: Go back to visitor center (Orange hike):

The Hayfield Trail is going down sharply and will reach Alameda Creek after 1.2 mils, if you do not want to wet your feet just turn right to the bridge crossing the river.


B: Additional hike to a viewing point (Purple hike):

Keep going west on High Valley Rd. for ~300m and at the huge dead tree bark turn left into Flag Hill Rd., Climb the ridge and get all the way to the Flag Hill viewing point.

This is a nice place viewing the creek below.

From there take the Flag Hill trail all the way to the creek, turn left and crossing the river using the bridge.

This park is connected to Mission Peak Regional Preserve on the west and Ohlone Wilderness Regional Preserve at the west by Ohlone Wilderness trail long hiking trail.