Ohlone Wildnerness Trail: Del Valle Regional Park - Sunol Regional Wilderness

#2 of 6 trails in Lake Del Valle State Recreation Area

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28 miles of hiking trail through the Diablo Range hills, broken into two segments and includes two parks and three regional wilderness areas.

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Steph Houk (50)

3 Completed1 Reviews

I did this hike about the middle of august. I started at the Del Valle side and went to the Sunol visitor center. My GPS said I went 21 miles in 13 hours. I think I could have gone faster had I not brought so much with me, but being as this was my first time on this trail, I had no idea what to expect, if I could make it out before nightfall or not so I came prepared to camp. Turns out you can do it in a day  I will not be bringing so much stuff with me next time.
They have shut the water off at every point along the way except for Stewart’s Camp and Boyd Camp. I chose to refill at Stewart’s because it was on a loop and I wouldn’t have to backtrack at all. It does take you off the trail on the permit map, but at least you can keep pushing forward. I HAD to refill at Stewart’s because just that slug up from Del Valle took so much. But my refill lasted to Sunol. The water needs to be purified even though the map marks it as drinking water so bring iodine tabs with you (4 per gallon).
I initially brought a 2 quart bladder, my 1 quart bottle for electrolyte mixing and an extra gallon jug of water. I think next time I’ll bring two bladders, one for water and one for electrolytes and straight up nix the bottle. I also found this cool trick… I put a basic soft side lunch bag into my pack and kept a frozen water bottle, my PB&J sandwiches, Powerbars and bladder in it with the hose coming out through the zipper. My bladder water stayed cool the whole time because the lunch bag was insulated and kept the sun out.
I will definitely be doing this hike again. It was a great challenge!!

Elizabeth Sanchez Chadwick (96)

1 Completed1 Reviews

This was an overnight, solo backpacking trip for me. I started at 8:30am on Del Valle side and ended at 6:30pm at Backpackers' Camp on the Sunol Side. I started my hike out the next day at 9am and reached Sunol entrance at 10:45am. You will need a permit. It has an excellent map on it with great details on elevation and mileage gain. It's only $2-$5. Make sure you bring a water filter or water tablets on this hike. The Del Valle side is steeper to start then the Sunol side. There are rattlesnakes on this trail, I almost stepped on one. Pay attention. This hike is definitely doable in one day and worth it. The beginning and ending of this trail gets a lot of traffic on the weekends and early mornings. It's just too good!

Bekki Maggi (95)

9 Completed1 Reviews

My boyfriend and I have birthdays a day apart, so we decided on an epic b-day 3-day vacation. This trail was AMAZING. Great views, lots of wildlife, and a great sense of peace. The only drawback was the time of year; which is usual for our birthdays, but neither of us were prepared for the 102 degree weather! There are a few spots along the way to fill up water bottles and camel backs, but be sure to bring plenty of water as they are much further in on the trail than they seem. We took a few detours which added a bit to the length and time, but we didn't see another person besides each other for 14 of the 16 hours.

All in all it was a great trip. Prepare for the weather and you'll be great!

Chuck Sellers (641)

6 Completed5 Reviews

In preparation for an upcoming 4 day excursion along the Na Pali coast in Kauai with my son in September, I struck out to do an overnight hike and I started the hike from Lake Del Valle last Saturday, July 28th 2012 and got a late start around 11:30am. It was a pretty hot day and I am thankful that I had a full 100 ounces of H2O in the camelback. There are a few places to get water but you must use a water filtration kit AND purification tablets or filter it and boil it to kill micro-organisms. I carry a Katadyne Hiker Pro which filters "the nasties" up to 1 micron in size and gives you clear water. There are horse troughs with flowing water in them that you can filter water from as long as you filter and boil.

I am 54 and in decent shape and I 'd have to say that this trail is properly rated "strenuous" which is above "difficult". It kicked my tail pretty good I must admit. I am not a frequent hiker by any means though but I have hiked The Pleasanton Ridge several times over the past several years and I have to say that it pales in difficulty by comparison. As I understand it, starting on the opposite side of The Ohlone Wilderness Trail (Fremont side) is a lot easier and a lot more popular.

I want to add that even though this was a Saturday (overnight) and Sunday hike, I passed less than a dozen people going either direction on BOTH days combined. Not sure if it is because of the challenging steepness up/down or whether the pickup place (Lake Del Valle) is so much more remote than the Fremont side. Do this hike, but bring trekking poles to help your knees and joints.

At night, it's kind of noisy with jet air traffic at night until midnight on Saturday as this is under the flight paths for air traffic bound for Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento airports.

Lynda Briggs (199)

13 Completed5 Reviews

Hiked in from Lake Del Valle to Sonul Regional Wilderness. Traveled 20 miles in 8hrs with a total accent of 5600ft. A permit is required. There are water sources along the way but a good H20 filter is recommended. Bring snacks to keep energy levels up. The 1st 6+ miles of the hike is mostly uphill and challenging but pretty much levels out at the halfway mark. Plan ahead by arranging some transportation as there is virtually no cell service out there. There is an emergency pay phone but bring some money or a credit card for it- a collect call to my friends cell phone was $21. This hike is most beautiful in the early spring when the falls are flowing, the grass is green and the wild flowers are blooming. Summer can be extremely hot so plan accordingly.

Philip Kinzli (87)

2 Completed2 Reviews

I've done two sections of this trail ...The hike to Mission Peak and back(once when it was snowing and I almost got lost in the whiteout) and the the other Sunol to Little Yosemite(this Spring and Last) ....Mission peak is all up hill going but has spectacular views (on a clear day ..Mt Tamalpais to the Northwest... Loma Prieta to the South and Mt Diablo to the Northeast.

...The Little Yosemite section is a beautiful easy walk along Alameda Creek and I took the higher route back that has views of the New Calaveras Dam under construction...It is best done in late Spring when there is a good stream flow and lots of wildflowers

Jay Altizer (170)

4 Completed4 Reviews

The Ohlone Wilderness Trail actually begins at the end of Stanford Ave in Fremont, CA, goes through the Mission Peak Regional Preserve, the Sunol Regional Preserve, the Ohlone Regional Wilderness and ends up in Dell Valle Regional Park near Livermore, CA; for a total trail length of 27+ miles.
The section over Mission Peak (8.5mi) is quite steep and often treated as a separate hike. From Sunol to Rose Peak (8.5mi) the hike would be considered moderate, although it is 17 mi round trip. From Rose Peak (the highest point in Alameda County) to Dell Valle (10+ mi) there are several steep areas both up and down and I consider this section demanding.
I have hiked Mission peak a couple of times and found the view from the top to be most rewarding. I hiked from Sunol to Dell Valle one time and the latter section, with it's steep climbs in and out of the ravines, got to be more than these old knees could handle. I ended up actually backing down some sections of the trail.
The Ohlone Wilderness area is open to hikers and horses only, no bikes. Camping is permitted in designated areas, Maggies Half Acre at Rose Peak being the most popular site. Camping and day use permit/maps are available for $2 at Sunol & Dell Valle.
If you are up to it, this is a most rewarding hike, especially in the spring when the weather is right and the landscape is abloom. And,if you're into it, there are geocaches along the trail.
More information and a map is available at ebparks.org.

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