We're thrilled to feature guest writer, Mishi B, owner and author of Hey Carter! Books. She's the East Bay mom of two little ones, a four-year old and a baby.
Little Yosemite in Sunol Wilderness Regional Preserve
Little Yosemite is a scenic gorge with waterfalls within an hour of Oakland. This kid-friendly hiking trail is a must see in the Bay Area. The entire trail is about two miles but the best part is that we don’t have to walk far to see the beauty that is Little Yosemite. Impatient visitors will quickly see how this trail earned its name as it is filled with beautiful marshes, waterfalls, and wading areas nestled between rocks.
Arriving early is key to avoid the sun and crowds in order to social distance. We try to arrive before 10 am especially on weekends. There are several waterfalls and some dry out on hot days.
Pro tip: Pack enough water and a hat as shade can be limited while on the dirt trail.
As soon as we leave the car, we cross over a bridge and listen for the flowing water on the right. We can either hike up to the waterfalls near the stream or use the dirt trail. (You can’t go wrong with either path but the further you walk up, the higher you will need to climb down from to get to the waterfalls.) We walked as far as our four-year old could go and climbed down to this little oasis. The rocks are big and can be tricky to navigate. Children under 8 will need help climbing and getting down to the water. Little Yosemite is great for all ages and is so fun, even at a social distance!
Plan your visit to Little Yosemite
Find out about parking, restrictions, and conditions on the Website >>
Be prepared to wear face-covering masks in the common areas and when you're within six feet of other hikers. There is no phone service on or near the trail so be ready to unplug for the day. Note that full-on “swimming” is NOT allowed in Alameda Creek in the Little Yosemite area.
Here is our packing list for a visit to Little Yosemite in Sunol
- Water shoes (water areas a slippery and rocks are sharp)
- Hiking shoes (not necessary but helpful)
- Cooler for snacks and drinks
- Lunch/ Water
- Small speaker
- Trash bags
- Stroller (it will need to be left off to the side to climb down)