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Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
2,602.00 ft (793.09 m)
Trail type
?
Distance
6.19 mi (9.96 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Ohlone Wilderness Trail by way of Del Valle Regional Park can be compared to the notorious trail system of Henry Coe: steep, graveled, and remote. The reward at the end is Murietta Falls, the tallest waterfall in the Bay Area that is best seen after a heavy rainfall. The key months are March and April when the hills are green with flowers. With 2,600 feet of elevation gain, this is a challenging hike used as a stepping stone if you want to try for hikes of the same caliber, such as Half Dome.

The trail to Murietta Falls begins at the Sailor Camp Trail, a mild uphill "warm-up" before the real work begins. Early on in the ttrail, views already start to open to the Diablo Range, and one can feel the sheer remoteness of the area. Very soon, a post with a sign-in at the official start of the Ohlone Wilderness Trail will come to view. The climb up to Boyd Camp is quite steep and wide, but the panoramic views are spectacular.

You have a short rest when the trail levels out and begins to descend down to the creek. This refreshing area is great to take a break before tackling Big Burn, a series of narrow switchbacks that carve around the ridge. Shortly, you will come across Schliper Rock, which is marked by a plaque. It is a fun place to explore, although please use caution as these type of rocks are ideal dwellings for snakes.

The slog uphill continues until you reach Johnny's Pond. Most of the uphill work is done, and the trail gradually descends to the waterfalls. The direct access to the falls is not marked, but you will see a narrow trail to the right, which takes you to some rugged, rocky terrain. Continue on this path and, at the fork, make a left. You will need to descend all the way down to the creek to see the falls. Please be careful as the rocks can be slippery. After you've soaked in the beauty from the falls, you will go back the same way you came. It might be a little tricky going down the steep sections, so take your time! Going down the grass on the sides of the trails will make it easier, if you don't have trekking poles.

Note: To use the Ohlone Wilderness Trail, you will need to pay the $2 permit, which is available at the entrance kiosk upon paying the $6 vehicle/entrance fee. This permit is good for a full year.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Panoramic Views. Wildflowers. Waterfall. Challenging hike.

Cons

Very steep climbs. Hot and dry in the summer.

Trailhead Elevation

775.00 ft (236.22 m)

Highest point

3,377.00 ft (1,029.31 m)

Features

Wildlife
Waterfalls
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Wildflowers
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide

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