Alameda County High Point Trip Report

Discovery Peak

Date: February 24, 2002
Author: Peter Maurer

A beautiful early spring day for a hike, and a surprisingly strenuous hike it was. We started at the Del Valle trail head at about 9:30 a.m. and quickly warmed up as we hiked up the very steep grades of the fire road that is the primary trail through the Ohlone Wilderness area. After a couple of miles, the route crests the ridge, then drops steeply into a ravine. The trail diminishes to a single lane track, crosses the creek and switchbacks up the other side to the next ridge. This is a very steep climb, and finally reaches the ridge line, where it follows along the ridge top. Obviously the roads are used as fire breaks. You pass through a number of gates, cattle graze within the park boundaries, and finally reach the road that heads to Discovery Peak. After hopping the fence, it's a short walk to the corral shown in Suttle's book, then a scramble to the top. From there, and all along the ridge we could see the snow-capped Sierra Nevada, and the higher points all around the San Francisco Bay, with Mt. Diablo looming to the north.

We decided to add a bonus peak, by hiking the extra 2 miles over to Rose Peak, the "official" highpoint of the County, and it's well worth the effort. (However, we recommend that you follow either the marked route within the park with its additional elevation drop and gain, or continue south then west on the dirt road on private land, rather than the cross-country route we adopted.) The views of the Bay area from the top are spectacular!

The return trip is tough on the knees due to the length and steepness, and the last grade coming out of the first ravine we had to cross is a real insult.

Overall hiking time was 8 hours, total mileage was 20.