Regional Wilderness, Sunol,CA
Little Yosemite is a scenic gorge on Alameda Creek
about two miles upstream from park headquarters. It is an
especially attractive portion of this creek. Its gorgeous
waterfalls and pools seem to attract cub scouts like a
The Canyon View Trail is an excellent hike for Cub Scouts
and a great way to get to Little Yosemite. The trail begins
near the Visitor Center, at the bridge that crosses the
creek. After crossing the bridge, turn right and head
upstream. The Canyon View trail is well marked.
The trail goes up a ridge (or two) and proceeds along the
hillsides that border the creek. Along the way, you'll see
some nice views of the creek and canyon. About halfway, the
trail drops down into Jacobs valley. Stay on the trail until
you get to Cerro Este Road and turn right (toward the creek)
and follow the road to Little Yosemite. When you get to the
outhouse on Camp Ohlone Road, cross the road where you will
find a path that will take you down the very steep sides of
the creek's banks, to the ancient piles of boulders called
This is a perfect place for boys to study rocks and have
lunch. Remember collecting specimens is not allowed. Watch
for poison oak.
Hikes can return the same way they came, or via the
Ohlone Road for a different view of the park. To return via
Ohlone Road simple climb back up the bank to the road (stay
on the trail), downhill. Notice how different the vegetation
is here by Alameda Creek, compared to the Canyon View Trail.
Eventually you will cross a bridge, pass a gate and find
yourself in a remote parking area. Stay on the paved road
all the way back to the Visitor Center.)
Historical and Natural
The original inhabitants in the Sunol Valley were the Ohlone
Indians and reminders of them can be seen in the acorn
pounding bedrock mortars found in the park. For the past
half century, the land known today as Sunol Regional
Wilderness was used almost exclusively as ranch land.
Alameda Creek is the county's largest stream and hosts an
attractive community of trees including alder, willow,
sycamore and bay laurel. The nearby valley abound with
coastal live oak, blue and valley oak, elderberry, madrone,
and California buckeye. During spring, the hills come alive
with a variety of colorful wildflowers. A wildflower
identification kit may be checked out at the visitor
Little Yosemite is a scenic gorge on Alameda Creek about
two miles upstream from park headquarters. It features giant
heaps of metamorphic boulders, the results of ancient rock
slide (see "Guided Tour Through Parts of Sunol Regional
Wilderness" available at Headquarters for a dollar). The
gorgeous waterfalls and pools here seem to attract cub
scouts like a magnet. It is important to know that there is
no swimming allowed in Alameda Creek in the Little Yosemite
For more information, see this heading under the Flag
East Bay Regional Park District
2950 Peralta Oaks Ct.
PO Box 5381
Oakland, CA 94605-5369
(510) 635-0135 (General Info)
(510) 862-2244 (Sunol Regional Wilderness Headquarters) Call
this number to reserve the "School Camp" for your group.
Distance: 4.5 miles
Time: Allow about 3 hours for the hike and activities.
Grade: Gentle rise in elevation. A few moderate slopes for
AAA "Alameda-Contra Costa Counties," "Fremont Newark and
EBRPD folder "Sunol Regional Wilderness" is available at the
By Car: From Fremont area drive north on Highway 680 to
Calaveras Road. Turn right on Calaveras go about 4 miles to
Geary Road, which leads directly into the park. After
passing the kiosk at the park entrance, turn left and park
near the headquarters.
Old Green Barn Visitor center contains many nature
Picnic Areas (tables, grills, water, portable rest
Naturalist-led weekend programs include walks, slide shows,
panel talks and occasional long hikes. See notices at
Visitor Center for details.
Overnight camping sites are available on a reservation basis
by calling (510) 636-1684. There is a fee per night. "School
Camp" can be reserved by calling Sunol Headquarters (510)
There is a fee for parking and a fee for dogs.
There is poison oak in the park.
Watch for ticks and snakes.
The hillsides are sometimes steep, the boys must stay on the
Little Yosemite is open to the public through a lease
agreement with the San Francisco Water Department, which
owns the property. Please abide by the boundary signs and do
not trespass into Water Department lands that are not part
of the lease.
Swimming is not allowed in Alameda Creek in the Little
Mountain lions make their homes in this Wilderness Area, so
be sure not to leave little ones unattended.
Activity suggestions and other
Before starting your hike, be sure to check out the nature
exhibits at the Visitor Center. Here you can find free
brochures to help with bird and tree identification, and
"Guided Tour Through parts of Sunol Regional Wilderness,"
Which has lots of information on local geology and is
available for a dollar.
You might want to have the boys pack a picnic lunch -
Little Yosemite would make a great "lunch stop."
Discover Nature and Energy
Achievements: 7a, 8e, 10b, and Electives 13a, 13d, 18a, 18b,
Acheivements: 5d, 10a, 12b, 12c, 12e, and Electives 11a,
11b, 12a, 12c, 12f, 23e
Forester, Naturalist, Traveler, Family Member
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