Rose Peak is a fairly unknown high peak in a remote part of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has the distinction of being Alameda County's highest publicly accessible peak. Its approaches are long, fairly strenuous trail walks along the Ohlone Wilderness Regional Trail, accessible from both east and west. On much of the higher parts of the trail, there are great views of many bay area features, including bridges over the bay, Mount Hamilton, Mount Diablo, Loma Prieta, Mount Tamalpais, Mount St Helena, and snow-capped High Sierra.
Rose Peak is the highest publicly accessible peak in the massif of Diablo Range south of Mount Diablo and north of Pacheco Pass (see note by Bob Burd about nearby Mt Hamilton in Santa Clara County, 4283 feet, occupied by Lick Observatory). It is surrounded by thousands of acres of hilly, privately owned rangeland and forests, harboring more wildlife than other nearby parks. It is also one of the most accessible backpacking areas near the Bay Area cities. Although the area is well used in spring by backpackers, there is still a lot of solitude.
A nice side trip on the way between Rose Peak and Del Valle trailhead is Murietta Falls. It is a 60 -70 ft. seasonal water fall. The trail to Murietta Falls forms a loop with the main trail, adding 1 mile to the hike and a few hundred feet elevation gain.
There are two trailheads:
1. Sunol Regional Wilderness south of Pleasanton. From here it is 10 miles one way to Rose Peak with 3500 feet elevation gain. To get to Sunol Regional Wilderness, take Calaveras Road exit off Interstate 680 near Sunol, proceed south for 6 miles, then follow signs to Sunol Regional Wilderness.
2. Del Valle Regional Park south of Livermore. From here it is 9 miles one way to Rose Peak with 4400 feet elevation gain for the round trip. To get to Del Valle Regional Park, take Vasco Road south from Interstate 580 in Livermore, turn right at the end on Tesla Road, then left on Mines Road. Proceed 8 miles then follow signs to Del Valle Regional Park. Look for the "Ohlone Regional Wilderness Trail" sign for the parking area.
Parking fee charged at entrance gates. A permit costing $2 per person is required to hike the Ohlone Regional Wilderness Trail.
Avoid summers for the oppressive heat. Spring is the best season to see wild flowers, water falls, and more active wildlife.
Established back country camp sites with potable water are available for reservation along Ohlone Wilderness Trail.
bass1201 wrote: Maggie's half acre is the best campsite if you're going to the peak. It is just to the North of the peak and is halfway between Del Valle and Sunol. There are several sites here with water.