The Ohlone Wilderness is located in the East Bay, roughly between Fremont
and Livermore. It connects Del Valle Park and Sunol Park, and extends beyond
both. The most popular attractions are the Murietta Falls and Rose Peak.
It is a rather barren place in the summer, when most of the vegetation is
dead (except the ubiquitous poison oak), and it is a rather muddy place in
the winter. But it is an excellent place to see wildflowers in the spring.
Del Valle Park to Sunol Park via Rose Peak and Murietta FallsThis hike is best done in the spring, to view the flowers. There is a view from Rose Peak of the nearby hills (called "mountains" out here, e.g. Mt Diablo). Murietta Falls are vastly overrated (unless you have never seen waterfalls in your life). Again, the main attraction for me were the spring colors.
The Ohlone trail between Sunol and DelValle Park is 29 kms long and passes by Rose Peak (1163 meters), the highest peak in the wilderness. Park one car at Sunol Park, at the end of the paved road (trailhead for McCorkle trail). Drive to Del Valle (about 30 minutes), turn right after the bridge and park at the end of the road (trailhead for the Ohlone trail). The trail has markers with numbers. You are basically hiking between number 39 and number 15.
There are two steep hills at the beginning, that take a toll on knees and time. Then the trail is over rolling hills until Rose Peak. After that the trail mostly descends. There is one last hill towards the end, but doesn't compare with the first two. When you reach marker 15, turn left on McCorkle trail (you will be already seeing the parking lot). Note: the Sunol rangers physically close the gates at dusk. If you left a car in Sunol, make sure you can get back to it by dusk.
These were the 2004 intermediate times:
April 2005 time from Sunol to DelValle (reverse route):
Pictures of these trails
Maps we used in 2006
Driving between the two trailheads:
Starting point in DelValle Park:
Del Valle to Murietta Falls (18kms 5.5 hrs)
Directions: From 580 at Livermore, take the North Livermore Avenue exit.
Turn south and travel on North/South Livermore Road to Tesla Road to Mines Road. Turn right into Mines Rd and drive about 5 kms south to Del Valle Road.
Turn right and continue for 5 kms to the entrance to Del Valle Regional Park.