Hiking the trails of Sunol Regional Wilderness Park in San Francisco Bay Area

 During my recent trip to San Francisco, one of my friends planned weekend hike in Sunol Regional Wilderness which is close to Fremont city of Bay area. I had not heard about Sunol hike earlier although I visited Fremont and surrounding areas many times. This time when I actually visited it, I found it a brilliant place nature lovers, hikers and people who would like to do something interesting over the weekends. This post shares more about the Sunol hiking experience, what to expect when you plan for this hike.

During my recent trip to San Francisco, one of my friends planned weekend hike in Sunol Regional Wilderness which is close to Fremont city of Bay area. I had not heard about Sunol hike earlier although I visited Fremont and surrounding areas many times. This time when I actually visited it, I found it a brilliant place nature lovers, hikers and people who would like to do something interesting over the weekends. This post shares more about the Sunol hiking experience, what to expect when you plan for this hike. 

Phone signals are not great around these hikes in San Francisco Bay area. That may sound unexpected because you expect everything everywhere in USA, but that's not the case. So if you plan to reach such places by Uber or Lyft, it would be hard to plan. Because while coming back you may not even have signal and certainly these places are away from any public transportation. Jacek had hired a car and he drove us to Sunol.

Phone signals are not great around these hikes in San Francisco Bay area. That may sound unexpected because you expect everything everywhere in USA, but that's not the case. So if you plan to reach such places by Uber or Lyft, it would be hard to plan. Because while coming back you may not even have signal and certainly these places are away from any public transportation. Jacek had hired a car and he drove us to Sunol. 

We were 3 and started from Redwood City / San Carlos at around 9am and reached Sunol base in 1 hour approximately. It was approximately 26 miles distance.

We were 3 and started from Redwood City / San Carlos at around 9am and reached Sunol base in 1 hour approximately. It was approximately 26 miles distance. 

 Sunol regional wilderness is a park in Alameda county in eastern San Francisco Bay area, North California. This is pretty close to Fremont. It’s approximately 28 square kilometers and 6800+ acres. The park is closed during June through October, so be informed if you are planning any hike in bay area. In fact, it’s always recommended to check online about the opening time on the day you are planning the hike and the situation of Parking.

Sunol regional wilderness is a park in Alameda county in eastern San Francisco Bay area, North California. This is pretty close to Fremont. It’s approximately 28 square kilometers and 6800+ acres. The park is closed during June through October, so be informed if you are planning any hike in bay area. In fact, it’s always recommended to check online about the opening time on the day you are planning the hike and the situation of Parking. 


There is enough parking but the inflow is increasing with every passing day. Usually $5 are charged as parking fees which is free at times. When we reached the age, the counter was closed, so we chose a slot close to the main gate from where hike starts. Beyond this gate no vehicle is allowed. There is a road inside Sunol park which connects with various hiking trails and at times you see official vehicle patrolling inside. That's the only vehicle allowed inside. At the gate, there is a map board telling about all hiking trails. Handy maps are also placed in the box here, so you can pick one for the day and put it back for others to re-use.

There is enough parking but the inflow is increasing with every passing day. Usually $5 are charged as parking fees which is free at times. When we reached the age, the counter was closed, so we chose a slot close to the main gate from where hike starts. Beyond this gate no vehicle is allowed. There is a road inside Sunol park which connects with various hiking trails and at times you see official vehicle patrolling inside. That's the only vehicle allowed inside. At the gate, there is a map board telling about all hiking trails. Handy maps are also placed in the box here, so you can pick one for the day and put it back for others to re-use. 

As we walking around the main road inside the park, Varun noticed this rock which looked liked a skull. Initially I couldn't make it out but Varun and Jacek were able to make out. Finally I was also convinced and clicked this photograph :). I would call it Skull rock in Sunol Regional Wilderness park.

As we walking around the main road inside the park, Varun noticed this rock which looked liked a skull. Initially I couldn't make it out but Varun and Jacek were able to make out. Finally I was also convinced and clicked this photograph :). I would call it Skull rock in Sunol Regional Wilderness park. 

Throughout you would see appropriate sign-stations like above in Sunol park and these were very helpful in locating the places on map we were carrying. We chose a trail which starts after a mile of a walk on the road and then comes down close to the entry gate. During the day, we walked around 15 kilomters & climbed up approximately 500 meters. Varun measured all these details in his device.

Throughout you would see appropriate sign-stations like above in Sunol park and these were very helpful in locating the places on map we were carrying. We chose a trail which starts after a mile of a walk on the road and then comes down close to the entry gate. During the day, we walked around 15 kilomters & climbed up approximately 500 meters. Varun measured all these details in his device. 

Whole park was full of trees, water streams although water level was pretty low in the month of  Feb. California has been facing severe challenges in terms of water because of draught situation for last few years, but things have gone better. While I was there for 2 weeks, it was raining half the time and I found locals happy about it.

Whole park was full of trees, water streams although water level was pretty low in the month of  Feb. California has been facing severe challenges in terms of water because of draught situation for last few years, but things have gone better. While I was there for 2 weeks, it was raining half the time and I found locals happy about it. 

After a while we picked our trail and started climbing up. We loved seeing many of these hikers at distant hills and we also had to go through the same trail. Trails inside Sunol park are well defined like other hikes in California and they are also designed in a way that you don't feel tired too early. I didn't find any part as too steep.

After a while we picked our trail and started climbing up. We loved seeing many of these hikers at distant hills and we also had to go through the same trail. Trails inside Sunol park are well defined like other hikes in California and they are also designed in a way that you don't feel tired too early. I didn't find any part as too steep. 

On the way, I had enough opportunities to click photographs and while you are walking it's much convenient to take a pause & do your shooting the way you want to. That's one of the main reasons I love walking around the cities as well, even there is good transportation available. Walks expose you lot of stuff and you have enough time to soak in things.

On the way, I had enough opportunities to click photographs and while you are walking it's much convenient to take a pause & do your shooting the way you want to. That's one of the main reasons I love walking around the cities as well, even there is good transportation available. Walks expose you lot of stuff and you have enough time to soak in things. 

As we climbed up, landscapes were more camera friendly :)

As we climbed up, landscapes were more camera friendly :) 

Sunol Regional Wilderness Park has different kinds of Oak trees, Mexican Elderberry, Pacific Madrone & Gray pines etc. It seems, one can see plenty of wild flowers during springs in Sunol Regional Wilderness Park.

Sunol Regional Wilderness Park has different kinds of Oak trees, Mexican Elderberry, Pacific Madrone & Gray pines etc. It seems, one can see plenty of wild flowers during springs in Sunol Regional Wilderness Park. 

During our hike, we came across few water bodies and here is one where we were jumping on the rocks to cross this water stream. Sunol Regional Wilderness Park has good amount of water resources and we could see more in surrounding areas, in form of dam.

During our hike, we came across few water bodies and here is one where we were jumping on the rocks to cross this water stream. Sunol Regional Wilderness Park has good amount of water resources and we could see more in surrounding areas, in form of dam. 

Some of the birds that you see in Sunol Regional Wilderness Park are very colorful and apart from that you can find Californian ground squirrels, skunks and black tailed deer. We only was the squirrels :). Supposedly Sunol Regional Wilderness Park also has Californian red-legged frog, California newt, Coyotes & mountain lions.

Some of the birds that you see in Sunol Regional Wilderness Park are very colorful and apart from that you can find Californian ground squirrels, skunks and black tailed deer. We only was the squirrels :). Supposedly Sunol Regional Wilderness Park also has Californian red-legged frog, California newt, Coyotes & mountain lions. 

On the way, we took few breaks. We were carrying few quick munchies and fruits. Earlier plan was to carry lunch but i turned out that all of us packed snacks and that worked for us. After completing the hike, we directly went for lunch (late lunch :) ).

On the way, we took few breaks. We were carrying few quick munchies and fruits. Earlier plan was to carry lunch but i turned out that all of us packed snacks and that worked for us. After completing the hike, we directly went for lunch (late lunch :) ).

On the way, we took few breaks. We were carrying few quick munchies and fruits. Earlier plan was to carry lunch but i turned out that all of us packed snacks and that worked for us. After completing the hike, we directly went for lunch (late lunch :) ). 

After a long break at the top of a mountain Sunol Regional Wilderness Park, we planned to start descending. We soaked sun for 15-20 minutes, had quick snacks and planned to take left and not continue the up trail.

After a long break at the top of a mountain Sunol Regional Wilderness Park, we planned to start descending. We soaked sun for 15-20 minutes, had quick snacks and planned to take left and not continue the up trail. 

Clouds had also started coming together to have party in the evening, so it worked well for us. During the first half of the day, we kept climbing up and descended down.

Clouds had also started coming together to have party in the evening, so it worked well for us. During the first half of the day, we kept climbing up and descended down.

We could see a water dam on other side of Sunol Regional Wilderness. It was good time to start the hike and conclude it around 3pm. Weather was also very supportive.

We could see a water dam on other side of Sunol Regional Wilderness. It was good time to start the hike and conclude it around 3pm. Weather was also very supportive. 

Above photograph shows the view of road from where we started and now we were descending from other side. I loved the colorful trees on the hills across the road.

Above photograph shows the view of road from where we started and now we were descending from other side. I loved the colorful trees on the hills across the road.

Above photograph shows the view of road from where we started and now we were descending from other side. I loved the colorful trees on the hills across the road. 

There are plenty of Squirrels around the Sunol Hiking park and they can be digging into the ground or jumping around the trees.

There are plenty of Squirrels around the Sunol Hiking park and they can be digging into the ground or jumping around the trees. 

I was missing a telephoto zoom lens at Sunol Hiking park, because the place was full of birds and they kept me engaged throughout the hike with their beautiful sounds. I was also missing Vibha and her Binoculars during this hike. Vibha would have loved to take frequent breaks to watch these wild wings all around the Sunol Regional Wilderness Park in Bay area.

I was missing a telephoto zoom lens at Sunol Hiking park, because the place was full of birds and they kept me engaged throughout the hike with their beautiful sounds. I was also missing Vibha and her Binoculars during this hike. Vibha would have loved to take frequent breaks to watch these wild wings all around the Sunol Regional Wilderness Park in Bay area. 

This was pretty interesting. There is a this huge tree lying dry on one of the hills in Sunol Park and it was full of holes in it and almost every whole had some sort of seeds. All of them were tightly hold by the tree and it was impossible to take them out. Not sure what tree was this and if these seeds were part of the branches and how it happens. If you know about this tree, please drop us a comment with some pointers to find more about it.

This was pretty interesting. There is a this huge tree lying dry on one of the hills in Sunol Park and it was full of holes in it and almost every whole had some sort of seeds. All of them were tightly hold by the tree and it was impossible to take them out. Not sure what tree was this and if these seeds were part of the branches and how it happens. If you know about this tree, please drop us a comment with some pointers to find more about it. 

Weather was brilliant and that's why you see such a beautiful sky reflection in above water pond in Sunol Hiking Park. Notice 2 cows drinking water around the water pond.

Weather was brilliant and that's why you see such a beautiful sky reflection in above water pond in Sunol Hiking Park. Notice 2 cows drinking water around the water pond. 

We came across various groups of healthy cows on Sunol hiking trail and it seemed like there are some ranches around the place. All of these cows were tagged, so certainly they belonged to some ranch. Above photograph was clicked when we were almost close to the gate, while descending.

We came across various groups of healthy cows on Sunol hiking trail and it seemed like there are some ranches around the place. All of these cows were tagged, so certainly they belonged to some ranch. Above photograph was clicked when we were almost close to the gate, while descending. 

It was great time around Sunol Regional Wilderness Park and after the hike, we drove back to Redwood City Downtown to have lunch at 'The Old Spaghetti Factory'. Food was pretty good, specially their breaks. We were back in our hotels by 5pm and now it was time to relax.

It was great time around Sunol Regional Wilderness Park and after the hike, we drove back to Redwood City Downtown to have lunch at 'The Old Spaghetti Factory'. Food was pretty good, specially their breaks. We were back in our hotels by 5pm and now it was time to relax. 


Please leave comments below, if you have visited Sunol and want to share your experience or anything else you would like to know about Sunol Regional Wilderness Park.

Please leave comments below, if you have visited Sunol and want to share your experience or anything else you would like to know about Sunol Regional Wilderness Park. 

Comments

Kalpana said…
Lovely photos. The cow's ear rings are very cool.
fantastic beautiful amazing post
dNambiar said…
That tree-- fascinating!
Could that be nests of some insect?
Unknown said…
One of my favourite park in SF Bay Area.

Trending Post Today !

Travel & Music || Enchanting Himachal and its Charming Songs

Moment when I felt that I will die and will not able to talk to my family - A lifetime experience from Shrikhand Mahadev Trek in Himachal Pradesh

A failed attempt to reach Spiti Valley on new KTM Bike - Opportunity to make random plans to explore even more special places in Shimla region of Himachal Pradesh

Road Trip from Delhi to Kashmir Valley through stunning & lush green Old Mughal Road - Srinagar, Sinthan Pass, Kishtwar, Daksum, Anantnag, Buffliaz, Behramgalla, Chandimarh, Poshana, Chattapani, Peer Ki Gali, Aliabad, Zaznar, Dubjan, Heerpora and Shopian

Travel Guide for San Diego - Sea World, Balboa Park, World's best zoo, Balboa Park, USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, some of the most stunning beaches like La Jolla, Coronado & a lot more