I decided to go on this backpacking trip by myself. I left at around 8:00 from the Sunol trailhead which is at the far end of the parking lot. This was going to be around a 20 mile one way trip so I had arranged to be dropped off and picked up the following day at Del Valle. Maggie's Half Acre is the closest camp near the halfway point and is a nice spot to camp under the summit of Mt Rose. There are a lot of ups and downs on both days of travel so make sure you are ready for that before you tackle this trip.
The trail is a little hard to show as the map gives some good detail and it is 20 miles worth of trail on the Ohlone Wilderness Trail. I divided the map into 3 sections so you get some idea of what the course looks like. This first picture is of the trail to the Backpackers Camp area. The blue line is the course I took through this part and then onto the red line off this map and onto the next.
This picture shows the next 7 miles of trail to Maggie's Half Acre. If you look on the right of the map you will see the trail split and then come back together again. Maggie's Half Acre is the little yellow dot. It sits at almost 3600 feet and you start at around 400 feet. (Yes, up is the general direction you go.) I stayed on the red line until the junction for Maggie's Half Acre and then on the green line to my site.
This is the sign you see after you get off the road and make your way to the left up the hill to the backpacking camping area in Sunol. Once you get up to the ridge above the backpacking area you enter Ohlone Wilderness and you do need a permit. You can obtain your permit at the ranger station in Sunol. (Your permit is also your map and is valid for 1 year for 1 buck.)
There are plenty of cows to encounter. Most of them friendly. Do be careful not to sneak up on a mother cow with calf. They don't like that.
There are plenty of wide open spaces on this trip. It is amazing to think that Pleasanton, Livermore and Fremont are all around such a beautiful open space. This picture is looking back towards the ridge above the backpacking camping area of Sunol. You can see the trail as it winds over the hills.
It was nice to have everything green and blooming. It was a little hot but the slight breeze made it bearable.
There are a few spots that I always take a picture at and this is one of them. This tree with the pond in front seems to always beg to have a picture taken.
The trail is really well marked and the map is accurate. It is not a bad trail but does use a lot of fire roads that are often on the steep side. You know you are getting close to the halfway point when you cross this stream. You have to lose some elevation fast and then make it back up the other side.
You are really close when you see this view of Mt Diablo. You can tell how high you are when you can look horizontally instead of up at this Bay Area landmark.
This picture show you the junction that you take a left at to get to Maggie's Half Acre and straight would take you up to Mt Rose (Rose Peak 3817). I took a left here and made it over to camp. I got to camp about noon.
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