Hike to Little Yosemite in the Sunol
San Francisco › Canyon View Trailhead
Added by Ed Francisco
Little Yosemite in Sunol is a scenic hike offering breathtaking oak lined canyon views and dramatic waterfalls. It's a short 2 miles upstream from the visitors center and is open 8am to dusk all year long. There are camping options available as well.
After entering the kiosk you’ll be able to pick up a brochure with a map at the trail head. A wooden bridge leads over Alameda Creek and to the right you’ll find Canyon View Trail, which will take you to the falls. The trail narrows after the McCorkle Trail junction and you’ll notice a steep drop off to the right where you can enjoy epic views of the oak canyon. After the canyon, the trail evens out and you’ll hear the falls from Little Yosemite. Here you’ll be able climb the boulders along the gorge with cascading waterfalls. If you’d like to take a direct trail back to the entrance, there’s a wide fire road along the creek.
A permit is required to camp overnight. Gates are locked at night so campers must arrive before dusk. Guided horse rides are also available through Western Trail Riding Services
- Light jacket (fall and winter)
- Hiking boots/walking shoes
- Flashlight for evening hikes
- Camera and tripod
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography
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ReviewsLeave a Review
waterfalls in sunol!
my friends and I went on a hike/adventure to the water falls and had a blast. we found the perfect place to swim and jump off small rocks & just explore. check out a YouTube video of it titled "Waterfalls in Sunol" on Marley Jean's YouTube channel :)
Definitely bring lots of water as it's mostly uncovered. The hike is gorgeous with its sweeping hillside. Speaking of which there's a quarry close enough to see and hear that's taken down a hill face. Unfortunate it's right on the border of the national park. The creek/falls itself are accessible by car and that means visitors that aren't accustomed to leave-no-trace ethics. I brought a garbage bag and carried out about 15 water bottles, trash, 6 pieces of clothing, a baby towel and a soccer ball out of the creek only within a hundred foot span. This is devastating to the environment. Other than that, this trail is lovely and may need to be closed to give it some time to recover human interference.
Great On A Summer Day
I'm sure there would be more water in the winter but we went in August and had a great time! Love that the park is dog friendly. We enjoyed the views on the canyon trail and found it to be a nice easy hike. The best part was definitely getting to the falls and climbing the boulders! Great fun quick trip!
June 22, 2016
The actual hike was cool; nothing but hills and dry grass during the summer but finding Little Yosemite was super nice! Water felt great after the hike b/c the sun was beaming. Definitely a chill spot. Climbed on the boulders all around and found more small, chill areas!
Crowded Winter hike
Little Yosemite is pretty underwhelming, and there were hundreds of people all trying to take nature selfies. You can't swim in the stream either, which is sad. However, there are a decent number of less crowded trails in the area with some decent elevation gain. Spend the day exploring the terrain instead of staying in the valley and you will be rewarded with green panoramas of the east bay hills.
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Hike the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve Loop
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This hike is best done in the late fall, winter, and spring so that the creek is running and the hills are green.
Hike Montgomery Woods State Nature Reserve Loop
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This is a great find. We saw it on the map it was on the way from Mendocino to our next stop, Napa Valley. So glad we took the time to visit.