Hiking at the Sunol Regional Wilderness

The Sunol Regional Wilderness is located in Alameda County. It was established in 1962 and is owned by the San Francisco Water Dept. It is home to Little Yosemite, a scenic gorge on Alameda Creek. At the link above, you can get directions to the park.

We went to Sunol in May of last year. It was a drizzly day, but cool and nice. We began our hike at the visitor’s center, taking Flag Hill Trail over to Little Yosemite and came back via the fire road. Flag Hill Road is only 1.26 miles, but it’s quite strenuous. One can hike in and out via the fire road with minimal stress.

The easier part of the trail
The easier part of the trail

The hills offer a nice contrast to redwood forests
The hills offer a nice contrast to redwood forests

In the spring, the hills are full of blooms. You can find mustard, poppies, and lupines.

California Poppy
California Poppy


The hills were green and beautiful. The land is mixed use, so you are quite likely to come across cattle on the trail. Be sure to close any gates behind you because of this.



Along the trail you can see coast live oaks, elderberry, gray pine, and madrone.


Along the way, pay attention to the rocky outcroppings. They are both beautiful and interesting. Once a part of an ancient seabed, there are huge boulders of greenstone, metachert and schist. Many are covered in moss.




This is from atop the Flag Hill Trail looking down at the fire road.


Again, from atop Flag Hill Trail looking down at Little Yosemite.


The route back was much easier. We took the fire road and it took us across this pretty little bridge over the Alameda Creek.


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