One of my favorite things about winter here in the Bay Area is the green hills filled with grazing cows. Sunol takes me back to my Midwest home, with its wide open spaces and wildlife, but adds an element of grandeur that only the beautify of California can.
Although not the 70-degree days of late, today was in the upper 50s, a bit windy with some clouds that spit about 30 seconds of rain in the morning and it was perfect for a hike to Little Yosemite in Sunol Regional Wilderness.
The Trail to Little Yosemite
We drove along Geary Road until it came to an end and parked in the lot right before the bridge over Alameda Creek. From there, the easy gravel path follows Alameda Creek and it was a quick 1.1 miles to the Little Yosemite Area. This trail is easily doable for little kids. It’s even potentially stroller-friendly (I saw several and know my BOB could handle it). However, it does not have any shade so just be sure to wear sunscreen, a sun hat, pack water and if you’re doing the hike in the summer you may want to go early.
Once we got to Little Yosemite, the kids enjoyed the challenge of climbing all the rocks to see the different layers of the falls and explore the pools of water at the base of each. My older children are 6 and 8 and could climb around without giving me much of a heart attack, but younger children would need some help.
When they were finished we sat at one of the picnic tables up above the falls and enjoyed some lunch before heading back along the Canyon View Trail.
Canyon View Trail
This was, to my pleasant surprise, by far the best part of this hike. The VIEWS, the cows, the steep hillside that at times give you a little thrill. This is California. The way back was 1.3 miles along the Cerro Estes, Canyon View and McCorkle trails. It is not great for strollers. My BOB could do it, but it is narrow, tight when you encounter a hiker coming from the opposite direction, and sometimes it’s not easy to step off the trail because it can be rather steep on one side.
You know that scene in The Princess Bride when Princess Buttercup pushes Wesley down the hill and he rolls down screaming, “As you wish!”, it could have been filmed here. Or you could also feel like a Von Trapp from The Sound of Music playing in the singing hills. At least these were what my family and I were imagining here.
In terms of incline and difficulty, this is definitely something youngsters can still do. However, if you haven’t ventured into the kids backpack carriers I highly recommend looking into getting one like this! The child is able to take in all the action and you will be a happy hiker having the weight distributed nicely so as it doesn’t kill your back!
I can’t wait to go back and explore the trails here more and maybe even do some camping in the area! Let me know if you have trails you love here!