Stones and Bones Ohlone Wilderness links page
Ohlone Wilderness large map
|Entrance from parking|
|Kirk and I at the entrance, with rain gear.|
- Backpack covers (Kirk's cover didn't end up with us, so we improvised with a garbage bag)
- Waterproof jackets, water repellent pants.
- Waterproof hiking boots
You can never stay completely dry while camping or even hiking in the rain, but if you do things correctly, you can minimize the rain's impact.
I had heard about the Ohlone Regional Wilderness trail online. After seeing Mission Peak from Hwy 680 and discovering that it is hike-able and adjacent to the rest of the Ohlone Regional Wilderness Trail, I pieced together a potential two day backpack trip. The trip is still on our list.
|Afternoon, Mission peak|
|Sunset, Mission Peak|
We parked at Sunol/Ohlone trail marker 41 (You can see it on the map) where McCorkle Trail and Camp Ohlone Road first meet. From here, we hiked Camp Ohlone Road to the later connection with McCorkle Trail. This road follows the Alameda Creek. This time of year, with the heavy recent rains (flood warnings just Thursday), the creek was a torrent. Areas that rarely see water were underwater, and old Oaks were popping out of the middle of the creek. All of the grass in the park was green, and when the sun broke the clouds occasionally, patches of grass would light up - it was a very beautiful. This is why I focus on hiking in the San Diablo Mountain parks during winter, rainy months. (These mountains also include Alum Rock, Joseph D. Grant, Henry W. Coe parks and several other good ones as well as the San Antonio Valley).
After reaching McCorkle Trail, we began our climb to the ridge via Cerro Este Road. This trail, along 1 mile climbs from an area called "Little Yosemite" at around 700 feet up to the junction with McCorkle Trail at 1161. Along this point, we began sighting turkeys, a few newts, and plenty of free ranging cattle. Even though Spring began just a few days ago, various wildflowers were beginning to show, and there was a decent showing from the birds.
After a third of a mile on McCorkle Trail/Cerro Este Road, the two split off at a mountain pond. We broke right, and hiked the 1.28 miles East towards the Sunol Backpack Camp. The views from this point were excellent. One can see the back side of Mission Peak, the dam and most of Calaveras Reservoir and other great views of some familiar Diablo Range landscape.
Our main big challenge of the day we met along the trail to camp - where McCorkle Trail crosses Rock Scramble. The creek going down Rock Scramble was pouring full blast, and it left only a few boulders popping out or just barely submerged. This proved difficult and risky to cross with 30+ pound packs on, but we were able to take our time and make it. Using hiking poles definitely helped here, when compared to crossing creeks back at Pinnacles under similar circumstances!
|Camp at Sunol Backpack Camp|
Had another great dinner of Campbell's stew, Idahoan potatoes and canned veggies! Sunset over Mission Peak was an awesome view, and shortly after we headed to bed. Unfortunately, no campfires at the backpack camp.
|Kirk, with our big rock in the background|
Headed out via the shortest route - BackpackRoad down to Camp Ohlone Road along the Alameda Creek trail. We saw wild turkeys, and more newts, and only three people over the several miles back to the car. Overall a successful trip in which we prepared more for the total 28 mile Ohlone Trail!