Length: 4.5 miles
Time: About 4 hours
The Flag Hill hike is the hike with the steepest sustained climb of any of the trail trekkers. It’s only recommended for Webelos. The panoramic picture featured at the top of each page of the website is from the top of Flag Hill. This hike is one of two Trail Trekker hikes at the Sunol Regional Wilderness.
Where to Meet
Meet at the Visitor Center where there is a small shop and some interesting stuff to see. This near the first parking area on the left after you pay for entrance. It may be full, so you may need to go to the next parking area and walk back. There is a full page devoted to the meeting place for the Sunol Regional Wilderness.
This is a strenuous hike. The total length is about 4.5 miles, but in the first 1.2 miles, you will climb about 900ft. Coyote Hills may have the steepest stretch of walking, but this hike is steep and long. As you may note in the pictures, there is not much tree cover, so you’re going to be exposed for most of the hike. No water or bathrooms are available once you leave the visitor center, so bring lots of water per person.
The last time I ran the hike on an 85 degree day, I drank one gallon of water, and my wife drank 1.5 liters.
This map shows the path I take for Flag Hill. This route includes the Indian Joe Cave Rocks. If you want a shorter version, you can take Hayfield Road instead.
Plan for Two Major Breaks
Most hikes have one place where I take an extended break to have time to explore an interesting area. This hike has two. There is the summit of Flag Hill, and there is an area known as the Indian Joe Cave rocks.
During the ascent, I took at least 8 short breaks to give everyone a chance to drink water and catch their breath.
Slippery When Wet
I’ve done this hike right after a rain, and it was a mistake. The path is too steep and slippery when the path is wet, so I wouldn’t run this hike in the rain or shortly after a rain (probably a day after or so would be okay). Little Yosemite is not as steep, and you might be able substitute that in the event of rain. Use your best judgment.