Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Sunol Regional Wilderness and the Ohlone People (Gallery)


Yesterday we went to check out Sunol Regional Wilderness Park which is south of us about 30 minutes.  The day before I had pulled a muscle so badly in my back that I could hardly bend over to pick up my water from the coffee table and even sitting in a car was furthest from my mind.  But unbelievably I recovered in one day, thanks to my chiropractor who keeps me put together so I was able to take a drive with Dave to the park and even do a bit of hiking.

I laughed when we started this hike because the map said a “gentle” hike.  Oh really?????  Needless to say I’m out of shape but I’m working on it.  We took a 3 mile hike and I’d say more than half was straight up (which I didn’t realize would be the case before we started).  I didn’t really make an effort to bring a camera because I didn’t know we’d be hiking so I only had my iPhone.  There have been some adjustments made to some of the pictures on my iPhone apps.  Please click on the first image to see the best resolution and arrow forward to advance through the gallery.  I hope you enjoy our beautiful California hills!


What makes this area so special is the history of the Ohlone people, also known as the Costanoan, which are Native American people of the central and northern California coast.  In 1776, when Spanish military and civilian settlers arrived in the Bay Area to establish military garrisons (presidios), Franciscan missions, and civil settlements (pueblos), life abruptly and dramatically changed for the native people of the San Francisco Bay Area.  With Spanish colonization, came the establishment of mission communities meant to supplant the existing tribal organization.  By 1810, introduced diseases, forced labor, and efforts to indoctrinate the indigenous peoples into an alien society and religion led to a tragic destruction of the way of life of Costanoan people.   It really was a gentrification of that time and a sad mark in California’s history.

Bedrock mortars used for pounding acorns by the Ohlone found in the area are reminders of Sunol’s first inhabitants of this area.  We saw some of these at the Ohlone Camp during our hike.  If you’d like to read more about the Ohlone people, please click here.

For the past century, the land known today as Sunol Regional Wilderness was used almost exclusively as ranch land.  Under the East Bay Regional Park District’s multi-use land management policy, cattle continue to graze in the 6,859-acre wilderness. Today, camping, picnicking, hiking, back-packing and equestrian trail rides attract thousands of park visitors a year. Visitors should bring drinking water because there is no drinking water in the park.





Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

62 thoughts on “Sunol Regional Wilderness and the Ohlone People (Gallery)

  1. Great post and beautiful pictures. I love seeing the green hills and water in Little Yosemite in mid-May!!! Thanks for posting.

    • Hey you! Thanks so much Ryan. This is the longest I’ve hiked in probably 10 years due to all my health issues. I’m getting myself back! Say hi to your lovely wife. 🙂

  2. Beautiful! I love the hills when they’re green. Little Yosemite looks like it has slowed a bit since my visit there a few weeks ago. I love this park in the winter and spring best.

    I’m happy to hear you recovered quickly from the back pull! Hope your eye is much better too!

    • The falls were going pretty good but with an iphone, it’s all so distant and hard to capture. I wanted to get there before they stopped completely. And ah yes, I too love the California hills in the winter and springtime. 🙂 And yes my eye has not twitched again. I’m sure it was the clogged glands like my optometrist said. Warm compresses did the trick! Thanks for asking. 🙂

  3. Love it! Love it! Laura, this is exactly the kind of hike I enjoy. Wonderful vistas and rich in history.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  4. Beautiful countryside there!! ❤️

  5. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos of your hike Laura. Hope the back’s feeling better. Who needs a camera when you have an iPhone. I’m always amazed at the ease of taking great pictures with mine. Best wishes 🙂

    • You’re welcome Andrew. And thank you for looking. 🙂 I’m feeling so much better too. I’m amazed at how quickly I got over that! Admittedly I enjoy the iphone sometimes especially for things like this.

  6. What lovely vistas, Laura! Looks like you had a great hike…

  7. Pingback: Sunol Regional Wilderness and the Ohlone People (Gallery) — Laura Macky Photography | Amazing Fine Art

  8. This is a beautiful area, it looks virtually untouched which must be so refreshing for the people of California to enjoy.

    • Thank you Carolyn. The east bay regional park system is wonderful. There are many untouched areas like this near me like this. Also along the ocean there are many. It’s one of the big draws here for people.

  9. This is so beautiful Laura I love the tree what a beautiful place!

  10. A wonderful body of work. Laura, once again, well done.

  11. Lovely hike, thank you.

  12. Wonderful post Laura. The photos are simply beautiful. I wish I would be running on those hills.

    • Thanks Dan. I got a few paragraphs out this time! Oh it would be a great place for a run if you have sturdy ankles. It’s such a free feeling up there and so incredibly quiet.

  13. Beautiful. I am feeling guilty that I am a direct descendant of Captain Jose Francisco Ortega who helped settle the San Francisco mission. I have native blood on the other side, though…

  14. Interesting post and great photos!

  15. ‘ I had pulled a muscle so badly in my back’.
    Ouch !!!!

  16. What do I keep calling you Paula , when I know it is Laura? Sorry. Still great pictures. Sorry. xxxxxx

  17. Looks like a lovely place. I learned my lesson in Sydney, AU not to go hiking without checking a contour map first. I am way too out of shape for steep hills. It said an easy hike of only a half mile but forgot to mention that it was like climbing a 25 story building!

  18. I enjoyed your post Laura. You wrote a nice history and did a super job with the iPhone!

  19. Glad to hear you mended so quickly…can’t afford to be non-mobile…

  20. Very nice hike. Nice area

  21. looks a perfect place to hike and thanks for the bit of history too!

  22. PS glad your back healed so quickly!

  23. Beautiful post Laura and good to hear, that you are healing so fast 😀

  24. You have a great eye for capturing beautiful landscapes!

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