Waterfall Hike: Little Yosemite in Sunol Wilderness Park
The winter rains have turned the Little Yosemite trail into an exciting gorge filled with climbable boulders and the sound of tumbling waterfalls accompanying you throughout the hike.
The hike is a easy, short 3 mile loop on a gravel lined, semi-paved road. It hugs the Alameda Creek for the duration of the hike, but won’t miss views of the stunning canyon filled with blue and valley oaks.
Once you enter the Sunol Wilderness Park, look for signs to Little Yosemite. There is plenty of parking there, along with three overflow parking lots. To start, turn right from the parking lot and cross the Alameda Creek on a picturesque wooden bridge. Perfect place for your first glimpse of the gushing water, and a great spot for some pictures.
Right after you cross the bridge, and if you want to be closer to the water, turn right on Camp Ohlone Road (a short distance away). Just before a cattle gate, you will see a trail leading down to the boulders. It’s great fun for kids to jump from boulder to boulder, or just sit and enjoy the water. There are some beautiful marshes, wading areas and the stunning canyon rising above you. Swimming is not permitted, so don’t fall in!
For a longer hike (8 miles), with stunning views of Mission Peak and the Calaveras Reservoir, follow the route below.
At the McCorkle/Little Yosemite junction, turn left onto McCorkle, which loops you back to the Ohlone Camp Road. The trail turns eastward on a slope as it winds around the hillsides across the expansive grassland. It has a gradual gradient, but can get strenuous at times. After the recent rains, the trail has lots of muddy spots, and you get to cross the waterfall in two areas.
All in all, a highly recommended, fantastic hike for the whole family.