Today I did a trip to the Sunol Regional Wilderness with a group of CNPS members and docents from the Regional Parks Botanic Garden. We drove down Welch Creek Road and walked part way up Eagle View Trail. Many species were in bloom. It was a trip for wildflower watchers and close-up photography (when the breeze slowed down). There were no big displays of flowers.
Here is a list of flowers seen: Arroyos Lupine Lupinus succulentus, White Fairy Lantern Calochortus albus, California Blue Gilia Gilia achilleifolia ssp. achilleifolia, Gully Lupine Lupinus microcarpus var. formosus, Common Fiddleneck Amsinchia menziesii, Chinese Houses Collinsia heterophylla, Cupped Monolopia Monolopia major, Wooly Paintbrush Castilleja foliolosa, Miniature Dove Lupine Lupinus bicolor, Bush Monkey Flower Mimulus aurantiacus, Purple Owl’s Clover Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta, Blue Dicks Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum, Woodland Star Lithophragma affine, Spreading Larkspur Delphinium patens ssp. patens, Plectritis Plectritis sp., Wild Heliotrope Phacelia Phacelia distans, Common Checkerbloom Sidalcea malvaeflora, California Tea Rupertia physodes, Western Chokecherry Prunus virginiana var. demissa, Twining Brodiaea Dichelostemma volubile, Blue-eyed Grass Sisyrinchium bellum, California Buttercup Ranunculus californicus, Wind Poppy Stylomecon heterophylla, California Poppy Eschscholzia californica, Johnny-Jump-Up Viola pedunculata, Yarrow Achillea millefolium, Chia Salvia columbariae, Blazing Star Mentzelia lindeyi. and lots of Poison Oak Toxicodendron diversilobum. Plant names used were from” Plant List for Sunol Regional Wilderness: http://www.ebparks.org/files/EBRPD_files/checklist_plants/SUNOL_PL.PDF
Butterflies were present. I managed to photograph and identify Chalcedon Checkerspot and Common Ringlet. There was also a good view of the Calaveras Reservoir.
My photography was far from at its best today but here is a photo slideshow to give you an idea of some of what we saw
Yosemite in Sunol? One of the most popular walks in Sunol is Little Yosemite which is a scenic gorge on Alameda Creek in Sunol Regional Wilderness. It is about 1.5 miles from the visitor center
Article on Little Yosemite in Bay Nature: http://baynature.org/articles/jan-mar-2007/little-yosemite-sunol-regional-wilderness
Sunol Regional Wilderness official park site: http://www.ebparks.org/parks/sunol
Detailed hike instructors for a four mile loop hike posted at bahiker : http://www.bahiker.com/eastbayhikes/sunol.html
More trails suggestions by Two-Heel Drive, a Hiking Blog From the San Jose Mercury News, May 2007 http://www.tommangan.net/twoheeldrive/index.php/sunol-regional-wilderness/