Discovery Peak is the highest peak in Alameda County. Currently I need a rough plan for my next challenges, so I thought about either climbing all peaks in Alameda County, or climb California county high points – or at least those in the SF Bay Area. So climbing Discovery Peak serves both. The peak is on private property, but just a few hundred yards from the Ohlone Wilderness boundary. However to reach it one needs to cross a land bank area for less than a mile.
When I arrived at Del Valle, I briefly thought about taking the left turn after the bridge to use the overflow parking lot, because the trail leading to the Ohlone Trail is a lot nicer from there, but there was a sign reading ‘no parking beyond this point’, so I took the right turn instead.
I started at around 10am, with a fast pace. The trail starts soon with a steep but short climb, but levels off later. On the way to the sign-in panel I ran on the level parts. This is the first time I tried running with my new backpack, so I need to get used to running with it.
When I signed in, I wrote OT 31 as the destination, but actually meant OT 33, so I can pretend that I loop around from there through Stewart’s Camp and Murietta Falls.
Arrived at Stromer Spring at 10:47. I took the trail leading up from there to Boyd’s Camp. It started raining, but only for a short shower, creating a beautiful rainbow.
Unfortunately I got a phone call when I was up on Rocky Ridge. Next time I turn it off, which would also save power in case I need it for an emergency.
I ran all the way down from Rocky Ridge to the Gulch, where I arrived at about 11:20. I encountered two hikers hiking up. They were the last human beings I saw until I arrived back at the car.
Climbed up the Big Burn, only running on the short level and downhill parts. I didn’t see any poison oak, although this area was full with it in spring, when I hiked up here with Darius. I probably didn’t see it because they lost their leaves. I took a short break at Schlieper Rock at 11:37, eating a granola bar and briefly enjoying the view from the top of the rock.
Found an almost decayed coyote or dog near Johnny’s Pond. Looks a little bit like a sheep, but the teeth show that it was definitely a canine.
Arrived at OT32 at 12:53. This is where I left the Ohlone Trail and turn left to Rose Flat. There is a makeshift gate there constructed out of barbed wire and sticks. To open I needed to remove a wire loop, which was held there by tension.
The towers of the peak soon became visible. I arrived at Rose Flat at about 1pm. I found two trailers there, I guess to store hay although they were empty. There are also the remnants of an old farm structure, but its purpose not recognizable any more. I turned left here, hopped another fence and then followed the road for a few yards to the peak.
The views were not that great from there, but the weather was bad. It was raining a little bit. The place is not very spectacular. There is a shed there which apparently getting remodeled, with solar panels on top. There are wind wheels on the towers, which make a lot of noise in the breeze. Rose Peak is visible from the, but behind a few trees which had already lost their leaves for the fall. Looking SE I could see another peak which appeared a little lower, but it was hard to see. When I left, I could see easily see Rose Peak again, which appears higher, although I know it is not.
On the way back I decided to turn left at OT33 to return via Stewart’s Camp and Murietta Falls. I didn’t know that part of the trail from OT33 to the falls. It was all downhill, so I ran all the way to the falls, just stopping at the water faucet to fill my filter bottle with fresh water. Somehow I completely missed the camp sites, so I still don’t really know where they are. I arrived at the rocks above the falls at 1:49. The creek carried very little water, so I didn’t bother climbing down to see the falls.
The rest of the hike was not very spectacular. I ran whenever it was about level or downhill and walked uphill. The downhill parts are tricky, because some parts are very steep. I was back at the car at 3:28.
According the my GPS, the trip was 15.3 miles long and lasted 5 hours and 30 minutes.