Little Yosemite

Editor’s Note: As Matt Lauer launches a new “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?” adventure on Today this week, the NBC11 morning team will be sharing some unique getaways around the Bay Area that you can get to on just one tank of gas. Be sure to check back each day for a new destination… NBC11’s Bob Redell kicks off our series:


Boy, if only swimming/wading were allowed in this slice of paradise: Waterfalls. Clear water. Round river-rocky bottoms. No crowds. Right here in the Bay Area (aka: short drive.)

This past Saturday morning, fresh off a good night of cards, I trekked with my girls and loyal lab into Sunol Regional Wilderness: about a mile on gravel road. No serious climbs. Very navigable. A place like this should demand more. We were surprised to find the place they call Little Yosemite in the middle of rolling green hills and cow pastures.

For some reason, I expected El Capitan-like features broken up by marshy grassy meadows. But there it was, down the bluff, a cascade of giant boulders smack dab in the middle of Alameda Creek. If you’ve been to the Lower Yosemite Falls in the real Yosemite, you get the idea… just picture this on the smaller scale (i.e. no rapids ready to crush your skull.) The water bubbled and lept its way through tiny waterfalls to form decent-sized pools before falling further to the next watering hole.

It struck me that I haven’t heard more about this place before. Granted: it’s no Muir Woods, but it was certainly “different,” inviting and something my friends who have lived here forever had never been to.

I have no problem breaking the rules, but that morning, the water was a little too cold for me and frankly, I didn’t feel like soaking my car’s upholstery on the way home. But Hank, our dog, was beside himself. So were the dozens of other dogs there bright and early. I’m glad that now, I don’t have to give him bath.

I know my words can’t do justice to this place (or anything else for that matter.) I hope my pictures do. See it for yourself:

Bob Redell
NBC11 Reporter


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