Friday, May 20, 2016

Vargas Plateau East Bay Regional Park, Alameda County: 20 May 2016

Vargas Plateau Regional Park, located high in the hills between Fremont and Sunol, was a onetime cattle ranch. The park opened recently as the newest addition to the East Bay Regional Park District. It is a relatively small park, with approximately 6 miles of trails on 1,249 ridge-top acres.

The new park did not come into existence easily. The East Bay Regional Park District acquired most of the land in the mid-1990s for $6.6 million dollars from the two families ranching it, the Vargas and the Tavares families. But after the acquisition, a long drawn-out legal battle with neighbors over traffic and parking delayed the opening.
A settlement was eventually reached with nearby property owners, which involved limiting visitor parking to a small lot outside the park’s entrance. 
Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
A view looking west, across San Francisco Bay. The Santa Cruz Mountains are in the background. The massive dirigible airship hangers are somewhat visible at Moffett Federal Airfield. The cities of Mountain View, Cupertino, Palo Alto, and Menlo Park, are across San Francisco Bay and they are within the area of this photograph. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Sunol Peak, elevation 2,178 feet (664 meters). This view is looking east. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
This view is looking southwest. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
It was a cool, windy, and cloudy day. Click on the image to see the full-size photo.

Mission Peak, elevation 2,497 feet (761 meters). Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
This view is looking west, across San Francisco Bay. The  Dumbarton Bridge is visible, as are the cities across the bay of San Carlos, San Mateo and Redwood City. The body of water at the foot of this hill is known as the Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation AreaIn addition, Alameda Creek flows through the recreational area. Coyote Hills Regional Park is identifiable in this photograph. Click on the image to see the full-size photograph.
Click on the image to see the full-size photo.
The distance traveled was approximately 3.9 miles (6.3 kilometers). The cumulative elevation gain was about 583 feet (178 meters). The GPS generated track of the route includes mile markers. Click on the image to see the full-size map.
“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”-Dorothea Lange

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