Sunol Regional Wilderness

Few spots in the Bay Area compare to the convergence of water and wildflowers in spring at Sunol Regional Wilderness, where Alameda Creek thunders through Little Yosemite Gorge below Canyon View Trail, a prime promenade for mavens of floral marvels. But Sunol is a treat in any season. A hike up Indian Joe Creek Trail to Cave Rocks, farther up to Vista Grande and back down by way of Flag Hill offers a memorable bang for the aesthetic – and aerobic – buck.

A hiker breezes past the blue-eyed grass on Vista Grande Trail.

A checkerspot savors the flavors of telegraphweed on Indian Joe Creek Trail.

A bale of Western pond turtles bakes along Vista Grande Trail.

A valley oak on Cerro Este Road spreads refreshing shade on a hot August afternoon.

Canyon View Trail features flocks of bird’s-eyes.

A valley oak on Vista Grande Road braces for a winter storm.

A California buttercup graces Indian Joe Creek Trail.

Flag Hill’s face features sandstone outcrops that geologists consider simply fossiliferous.

Alameda Creek roils through the rocky maze of Little Yosemite Gorge.

Maguire Peaks dominate the view north from Flag Hill in spring.

Scarlet pimpernel crowds the shoulder of McCorkle Trail.

Foggy morning at Cave Rocks.

The view south from Cerro Este Road.

Purple nightshade brightens Canyon View Trail.

The view north from Vista Grande Road on a grey January morning.

The summit of Flag Hill flaunts a bouquet of silver bush lupine.