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Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park

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Re: OT: Hetch Hetchy Trail to Little Yosemite

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OT: Hetch Hetchy Trail to Little Yosemite
October 01, 2014 08:13PM
With a cold storm forecast for the mountains, we decided to go with plan B instead: the Ohlone Wilderness Trail from Del Valle to Sunol. (And yes, there is a Hetch Hetchy trail near Del Valle and a place called Little Yosemite on Alameda Creek near Sunol...)

The morning started off well: it was cool and clear, perfect for the long slog up Rocky Ridge.

We gained elevation quickly and were treated to views of Del Valle and more distant hills.

Eventually we reached the top of the ridge, only to have to drop into a creek to climb the next ridge.

Once at the dry creek, our road narrowed to a single-track, which at least had switchbacks.

The sky was still summer blue...

...but the leaves were starting to hint of fall.

A bit after Schlieper Rock the grade eased, the path now a road wandering up and down over smaller hills.

As previously, the forecast had been for zero percent chance of rain, but the sky and clouds didn't seem to be aware of this.

Eventually we reached Rose Peak, where we stopped for lunch as we watched the sky darken.

Since we had not staged a car at Sunol, we went our separate ways after lunch. The girls continued on to Sunol while the birds returned to Del Valle.

We had little direct sunlight on the return trip, but we stayed mostly dry.

We had passed one runner--the only person outside our party we would see that day--near the small pine forest east of Rose. We would eventually encounter three tarantulas, however.

On Rocky Ridge we were hit with a few light sprinkles...

... and avoided stepping on the last two tarantulas.

We took an alternate single-track route back to the car, one that seemed to receive a lot of use despite not being official.

Overall we did about 20 miles with quite a bit of elevation gain and loss. And, despite the very good conditions for an East Bay hike and being an hour's drive from millions of people, we saw more spiders than people.

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Re: OT: Hetch Hetchy Trail to Little Yosemite
October 01, 2014 09:24PM
M and I logged a legitimate 20 miles going into Sunol, encountering a total of four tarantulas on our journey...

Neither of us had done this bit of trail before and it was quite pleasant. Just after leaving Rose Peak,we met a couple of guys who had started at Mission Peak the day before. They were the only people we ran into until we dropped to the dirt road in Sunol. We passed Little Yosemite as some drops of rain fell, but it ended quickly....

Though our overall elevation was lower than I'm used to, we actually racked up some elevation gain and loss, however: +5200'/-5600'

We'll try the entire trail to Mission Peak in a day maybe next year... My back is still a bit tweaky right now...

But I can't wait to get back to the real Yosemite!
Re: OT: Hetch Hetchy Trail to Little Yosemite
October 02, 2014 06:39PM
If u make it back, a lesser traveled path is to go up Mission Peak and to continue following the Bay Ridge Trail to Allison and Monument peaks down to Ed Levin Park. Great hike.
Re: OT: Hetch Hetchy Trail to Little Yosemite
October 01, 2014 09:27PM
I did an overnighter there several years ago and have been meaning to make it back. The "Big Burn" is what I've heard people call that portion of the hike where u gain the ridge only to drop all the way back down, just to go up again. There really is some great hiking in the Sunol Regional Wilderness environs.
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