About a mile up the Indian Joe trail, an unnamed trail turns off left. Keep going, and soon you will encounter the dramatic Indian Joe Cave Rocks. The trail steepens somewhat, and soon brings you to a dirt road, the Cave Rocks Road. Turn right here. Cows often plow this area up, but you are now climbing to good views back west to Mission Peak, Mount Allison, and Monument Peak, in north to south order. As you come into clearer areas, there should be mixed flower meadows, with filaree, buttercups, checker bloom, and blue eyed grass among others. You will pass first Eagle View Road and then Eagle View Trail on your left, and continue climbing, coming in a total of just over a mile to a junction with the Cerro Este Road. Turn left onto the road to begin climbing up a ridgeback, with more flower meadows, and better chances of owl's clover and bicolor lupines, if you haven't met them already. There are two distinct hills along the road. The first makes a good picnic and turnaround spot, or you can continue on for another third of a mile and 300' or so to bag the second peak. (Be warned, what lies beyond includes a number of homes reached by a road outside the park - but there are some nice eastward vistas as well.)
Returning back down Cerro Este Road, you pass the Cave Rocks Road and continue downhill as the road grows steeper. Along this stretch, there is a good chance of spotting displays of larkspur. Pass the first junction as the McCorkle trail merges in from your left, and then turn right at its second junction. In 0.94 miles, the McCorkle trail meets the Canyon View trail. Turn right onto it, and shortly complete the loop by reaching the junction where you climbed to Indian Joe. Along this last stretch, you will probably hear the sounds of the crowds at the Sunol picnic grounds, most of them unaware of the glories to be found in the hills above. From the Indian Joe junction, it's a short backtrack along Alameda Creek to the bridge and your car.
Getting there: From I-680, take Calaveras Road southbound 4.2 miles to Geary Road. It's 1.8 miles on Geary Road to the park entrance and another 0.1 miles to the visitor center, where you park for this trailhead.
Hike distance and elevation: 5.3 miles loop, 1300' more or less
Best time for flowers: Late March to early April
On the Web: Sunol Regional Wilderness on the East Bay Regional Parks site
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