Sunol Regional Wilderness is the most rustic camping setting in the east bay and possibly the whole San Francisco Bay area. All of the campsites at Sunol Regional Wilderness require at least a short walk of 60 – 100 feet from the parking lot, with more out-on-your-own wilderness style camping available with a hike of a few miles. Sunol Wilderness is known for its wildlife viewing opportunities, with more Golden Eagles than any other place in the world, and spring and early summer, seasonal wildflowers, in addition to great hiking and backpacking opportunities. However, one of the biggest attractions to Sunol is the valley that is known as “Little Yosemite”, which has multiple pool and drop waterfalls that form in the spring along Alameda Creek.
Each of the campsites include a picnic table and fire ring. The four primitive campsites near the parking lot also include access to drinking water and vault toilets, the wilderness campsites on the interior of the park do not provide water or toilets. Dogs are allowed in Sunol Regional Wilderness, in fact it is a favorite place to bring dogs in the east bay, but they must be in camp at night and on leashes at all times.
The primitive, family campsites at Sunol Regional Wilderness are closed through 2017 due to construction at Calaveras Dam by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The backpacking wilderness camps remain open.
Sunol Regional Wilderness – Bottom Line
Sunol Regional Wilderness is a cool place to camp near the city with lots of hiking and primitive walk-in campsites. The rolling hills are a great back drop if you decide to venture into the wilderness style camps on the interior of the park. However, do not expect many amenities from any of the campsites at Sunol, they are all very spartan, providing just the basics, but that is how we like it. However, be sure to reserve your campsite in advance, as a 5-day advance reservation is required for camping here.
Sunol, like many of the east bay parks, does not allow alcohol of any kind, with rangers confiscating it if found. As we have said before about other dry campgrounds in the east bay, this is a shame, as it takes some of the fun out of camping, and assumes that people cannot police themselves. That said, it is not clear to me how the rangers at the park would actively enforce this restriction. Just be smart and don’t be obvious; no keg stands, beer bongs, or other college-style hijinks.
Anthony Chabot Regional Park Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||4 campsites|
|Cost:||$5/night/person + $8 reservation fee|
|Dogs Allowed:||Yes – $2/pet/night fee|
|Drinking Water:||Yes – At Primitive Campsites|
|Toilets:||Yes – At Primitive Campsites|
|Trash/Dumpsters:||Yes – At Primitive Campsites|
|Cell Phone Service:||None|
|Operating Season:||Campground open year-round|
|Address:||1895 Geary Road
|Geo Coordinates:||37.510096, -121.828487|
|Nearest City/Town:||Fremont, California|
|Location:||Alameda County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||Yes|
|Proximity to Stores:||Fremont, CA is about 15 miles away|
|Directions:||From I-680, drive north and exit at Calaveras Road. Turn right on Calaveras and proceed to Geary Road, which leads directly into the park.|
Maps & Brochures
|Web:||Sunol Regional Wilderness Website||Twitter:|
|Reservations:||Call East Bay Regional Park District Reservations 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757, option 2). Monday through Thursday: 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M Friday: 8:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. Closed Saturdays, Sundays and all District holidays.|
When To Go
What To Do
Hiking – Sunol Regional Wilderness has miles of hiking trails.
Wildflowers – During the spring the wildflowers are in full bloom at Sunol.
Wildlife Viewing – Sunol is home to more Golden Eagles than any other place on the planet.