Canyon View Trail to Little Yosemite
A great way to see the East Bay hills; nature abounds just minutes from civilization
Sunol Regional Wilderness will make you forget you're just five miles from the nearest Interstate highway. The 6,858-acre park in the East Bay hills north of Silicon Valley has rolling hills, heart-healthy trails, remarkable rocks and abundant wildlife. To go there is to see what this part of California looked like hundreds of years ago.
Sunol is best suited for hikers, birders and naturalists, though the large corral near the park HQ attracts a fair number of equestrians. There are no easy paths to the tall hills surrounding the HQ, but if you've got the legs and heart for a good work-out, you'll find astounding vistas when your climbing is done.
Winter and spring are the best times to go. It gets a bit too hot in July and August, but early autumn is a great time to see randy tarantulas on the hunt for mates (oddly enough, a spider the size of your fist in the wilderness is not nearly as frightful as the one the size of a dime in your bathroom).