Considered one of the best hikes in the Bay Area, the Flag Hill Trail is a must-see for locals and anyone planning a visit to the area. If you tend to travel with your four-legged friends, don’t worry – dogs are welcome at the Sunol Regional Wilderness for a small $2 fee. Here, you’ll find many activities to enjoy, including the Flag Hill Trail and plenty of other paths that connect on the way. While the many other hiking trails through the park have plenty to offer, the Flag Hill Trail is considered to be one of the top 10 hikes in the entire 6,859-acre stretch of land.
The official trail is listed as 1.26 miles long, although many visitors measure it at just over 3 miles if you include the surrounding paths leading up to Flag Hill Trail. Be prepared for a steep walk up to the summit – the best part of this hike sits over 900 feet above the Sunol entrance. Thankfully, though, the relatively short distance up makes this seemingly tricky hike much simpler to tackle. Once you reach the top, you’ll get gorgeous views of the wilderness below and the Alameda Creek running throughout. During the springtime, which is arguably the best time to visit, you’ll see fields of wildflowers and plenty of wildlife thriving in the area.
If you visit during the summer, be sure to bring protective clothing and wear lots of sunscreen, as there is little shade at the top of the hike and you will get the full force of the California sun! Be wary of the cows on the way down as well. During calving seasons, mother cows tend to get aggressive toward strangers who get too close.
This pawpular vacation destination is sure to be a hit with the whole family, fur-kids and all! Remember to bring plenty of water for yourself and Fido, as the park doesn’t have water facilities. Restrooms are also rare, so keep that in mind when planning a trip to Flag Hill Trail!