1895 Geary Road
Parking: $5/seasonal, weekends and holidays. $4 per trailered vehicle. Buses: $25/per bus.
Dogs: $2 per dog. Guide/service dogs free
Nov 1 - Mar 7
8am - 5pm
Mar 8 - Apr 5
8am - 7pm
Apr 6 - May 17
8am - 8pm
May 18 - Sep 8
8am - 9pm
Sep. 9 – Sep 30.
8am - 8pm
Oct 1 - Oct 31
8am - 7pm
> Sunol Main Entrance
> Sunol Visitor Center
Toll Free: 1-888-EBPARKS (888-327-2757), option 3, extension 4559
Sunol Visitor Center
Open Saturday, Sunday, and most holidays, 8:30am to 4pm, Closed all other days including Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
> Trail Map
> Park Map [PDF]
> Google Map
> Transit & Trails
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 Wildereness Regional Preserve was used almost exclusively as ranch land. Under the East Bay Regional Park District's multi-use land management policy, cattle continue to graze in the 6,859-acre wilderness. Today, camping, picnicking, hiking and back-packing attract thousands of park visitors a year. Visitors should bring drinking water because there is no drinking water in the park.
The Sunol naturalist staff provides additional opportunities to enjoy the park by leading nature hikes and coordinating special events. They also teach about natural and cultural history to children that meet current State Science and Social Science Curriculum Standards during the school year.
Visit the Sunol Visitor Center for information about Naturalist-led programs and the self guiding Indian Joe Nature Trail. A selection of replicate Indian artifacts, cultural and natural history books, nature study items, wildflower seed packet, trail permits and topographical maps and other items are for sale at the sales counter. The Sunol Visitor Center is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Exploration will reveal sandstone outcrops with fossils deposited in what was once ancient seabed. Great boulders of greenstone, schist and metachert indicate a turbulent past. The massive basalt outcrop at Indian Joe Cave Rocks provides sport and challenge to rock climbers.
Alameda Creek, Alameda County's largest stream, harbors an inviting creekside community of alder, willow and sycamore. Coast live oaks abound along with valley and blue oak, elderberry, madrone and gray pine. Spring brings wildflowers, including California poppies, mustard, goldfields and lupines, which carpet vast areas in yellow, orange and blue. A wildflower identification kit may be checked out at the Visitor Center.
Ground squirrels, yellow-billed magpies and red-tailed hawks share this wilderness with raccoons, skunks and black-tailed deer. Mountain lions are uncommon, but are occasionally sighted. Birding is superb along Alameda Creek with acorn woodpecker, black phoebe, titmouse, turkey vulture, and golden eagle commonly sighted. As many as 20 to 40 bird species are often seen in a single morning.
Camping is by advance reservation only (5 business days); phone 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757 press option 2, or visit the Camping page for details. The backpack area is open year round. An Ohlone Wilderness Permit is required for each person age 12 years or older. Hikers who cross into the San Francisco Water Department lands that connect Mission Peak Regional Preserve, Sunol-Ohlone Regional Wilderness and Del Valle Regional Park, must carry the Ohlone Wilderness Trail map/permit. Each person age 12 years or older is required to have their own permit. Hikers must sign in at trailheads as they enter these lands. Fee for in-person purchase is $2/person/year; by mail/phone/online $4/person/year for first five permits and $3/person/year for each additional permit after five. The permit covers foot and equestrian use of the trail only. Camping at designated campsites along the Ohlone Wilderness Trail is allowed by advance reservation only (5 business days), and separate arrangements should be made by phoning 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2. For general information about the Ohlone Wilderness, phone 1-888-EBPARKS option 3 x4559. Separate arrangements may be made for overnight camping at Del Valle Regional Park (outside the Ohlone Wilderness and at the north end of the Ohlone Trail) by calling 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2. Little Yosemite is a scenic gorge on Alameda Creek about two miles upstream from the Visitor Center. It 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 onto Water Department lands that are not part of the lease arrangement.
Notice: Swimming is NOT allowed in Alameda Creek in the Little Yosemite area.
Naturalist-led activities include walks, hikes, camping, backpack and horseback programs and various other adventures. Visit the Sunol Visitor Center for information about these programs and the self guiding Indian Joe Nature Trail. To browse naturalist-led programs online visit, EBParksOnline.org. Please do not short cut trails in steep areas, or slide in the grass on hillsides or banks. Erosion is ugly and expensive to control. See Mileage for a description of selected hikes. There are picnic sites and barbecue pits available on a first-come, first served basis. Alameda Grove picnic area is available for reservation Saturday and Sunday only; Leyden Flats picnic area is closed to reservations until further notice.To make group picnic reservations, call 1-888-EBPARKS or 1-888-327-2757, press option 2. Sunol campground is closed until further notice. For information about campsites in other parks, please visit the Camping Page. Sunol campground is closed until further notice. For information about campsites in other parks, please visit the Camping Page.
|TRAIL||ONE-WAY MILEAGE||TERRAIN||NOTABLE FEATURES AND VIEWS|
|Flag Hill Trail||1.26||Steep slope; switchbacks.||View of the park, Alameda Creek watershed and Calaveras Reservoir. Oak woodland and grassland communities; fossiliferous sandstone outcrops.|
|Indian Joe Creek Trail||1.41||Gentle rise in elevation.||Wooded canyon. Indian Joe Cave Rocks. One-mile loop, self-guided nature trail - get booklet at Visitor Center.|
|Canyon View Trail||1.39||Gentle rise in elevation.||Gentle rise in elevation. Leads through Jacob's Valley to Little Yosemite. Weathered serpentine and sandstone outcrops. Grassland, oak woodland.|
|Eagles' View Trail||1.5||Level to steep slope.||Chaparral, oak woodland, grassland communities. Leads through "Valley of the Giants." Excellent views of the park, Calaveras Reservoir and south bay area.|
|Maguire Peaks Loop Trail||3.9||Medium slope.||Excellent views of San Antonio Reservoir and Mt. Diablo. Bay Area plants found along this trail are rare in rest of park. Parking permit required on Welch Creek Road (Sat & Sun $5.00 fee; Mon-Fri, no fee). Inquire at entry kiosk or visitor center.|
|McCorkle Trail||2.84 from park headquarters.||Medium slope.||
Streamside, oak woodland, grassland communities. Good view of Calaveras Reservoir.
There is no drinking water in the park. From Fremont, drive north on I-680 and exit at Calaveras Road (near the town of Sunol.) Turn right at the exit onto Calaveras Road and proceed about four miles to a left turn onto Geary Road, which leads directly into the park. (If you find yourself driving uphill on a narrow winding road you’ve missed the Geary Road turnoff.) To reach the Old Green Barn take the first left after the park entrance.
From the Oakland-Berkeley area, drive east on I-580 to the junction with I-680. Take I-680 south and exit at Calaveras Road/Highway 84 just south of the Sunol exit. At the bottom of the exit turn left onto Calaveras Road and proceed as noted above.
From the Walnut Creek - Danville area, drive south on I-680 and exit at Calaveras Road/Highway 84 just south of the Sunol exit. Proceed as noted above.
There is no public transit to Sunol Regional Park. Transit & Trails: Sunol Regional Wilderness (transit, biking, and walking directions)
Click the map image below to see an enlarged version.
Maps are available at most of the bulletin boards at trailheads in the park, or you can print your own.