Sunol Regional Wilderness

  • Visitor center
  • Picnic
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking

Features

  • Visitor center
  • Picnic
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Hiking

Information

Website:
visit link
Address:
1895 Geary Road, Sunol, CA,
Region:
San Francisco Bay Area
Phone:
Info: (510) 544-3249
Hours:
8 am to dusk
Visitor Center: Saturday & Sunday, 8:30am to 4:00pm (check for holiday closures)
Dogs:
In restricted areas
Dogs must be leash around the visitor center and picnic areas; on the trails off-leash is permitted. A dog fee applies on the weekends.
Last Visited:
September 2022
Bedrock mortars used by Native Americans for pounding acorns that were found in the area are reminders of Sunol's first inhabitants. For the past century, however, the land known today as Sunol Wilderness Regional Preserve was used almost exclusively as ranch land. Cattle continue to graze in the 6,859-acre wilderness but visitors can enjoy camping, picnicking, and hiking. The park is most popular in the spring when Alameda Creek is flowing, and the hills are green with wildflowers.

Several trails offer some accessibility with Camp Ohlone Rd being the longest (2+ miles rt) and most accessible, albeit with continuous grades.

Trails and Pathways

Trail:
Camp Ohlone Road Trail
Trail Length:
1-2 total miles
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Steep
Typical Terrain:
Firm
Trail Overview: This 2-mile out and back, hilly hike follows Alameda Creek (not always visible or running) past oak woodlands and weathered serpentine and sandstone outcrops. Alder, willow, and sycamore are seen creekside. It’s best to complete this hike on a cooler day as the route is fully exposed and the elevation gain can be very challenging in hot weather.

Start by crossing a paved bridge over Alameda Creek but shortly after the trail turns to hard packed dirt and gravel. Just beyond the first gate, adjacent to the first of three cattle guard crossings, a mostly level, dirt spur trail goes off to the right and gets you closer to the creek. On a spring visit we saw lots of wildflowers (California poppies, mustard, goldfields, and lupines) on this short detour, and elsewhere. After less than .2 miles you'll need to backtrack to reconnect to the main trail.

For the first .3 miles the grade is 8% or less but afterwards sections can be greater than 11%. The inclines and declines are mostly continuous so be prepared for a good workout. Acorn woodpeckers, butterflies and damselflies were plentiful along the route.

At 1.1 miles you will reach the third and final cattle gate, continue another .1 mile to reach “Alameda Creek Overlook” (formerly known as Little Yosemite). The overlook is best in the wetter months when there’s more water. At this point we turned back however, according to an elevation chart if you continue for another .8 mile the grade is less than 8%, thereafter it increases.

More Info: There are some level stretches but for the most part continually ascends and descends. The grade for the initial .3 miles is 8% or less but afterwards sections can be greater than 11% Very wide service rd. except for the spur trail which is less than 4ft. wide

Accessibility Features

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%;

Accessible parking is located by the visitor center and nearby dirt picnic area, by the 2 lots closest to the Alameda Creek Overlook trailhead, and by the vaulted toilet in the Alameda Grove picnic area.


Accessible Restroom:
Yes – Accessible restrooms are located throughout the park and are typically located near the accessible parking. A 3-4 inch threshold at the visitor center restroom and a degraded threshold at the restroom across from Ohlone Wilderness Trailhead, may impede access for some.

Accessible Picnic Table:
firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance; Several tables are in Alameda Grove nearby to the Camp Ohlone Rd. trailhead. All have access at each end of the table and the path of travel to them is thick with plant debris and bumpy in places but, should be manageable for most individuals. Other tables are by the visitor center and only have access at each end.

Accessible Visitor Center:
Yes – Visit this small, accessible visitor center to learn about recent animal sightings and to meet some animal ambassadors: a gopher snake, rattle snake, western toad, western pond turtle, and a tarantula. You can also view samples of over 600 plant specimens found in the park.

Good to Know:
No cell reception

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