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One Tree Hill LbNA #46583

Owner:Fritzkafka Contact
Plant date:Apr 12, 2009
Found by: Nature Hikers
Last found:Jul 4, 2016
Last edited:Apr 12, 2009
NOTE: Garin Park is accessible from Union City/Fremont, but the path leading to this letterbox is from Hayward, up the hill from UC Hayward.

The entrance to Zeile Creek is in a quiet neighborhood in the Hayward hills, above the University of Hayward. It is a moderate hike and will take around 30-40 minutes to get to the letterbox. Depending on the moisture, expect some mud on the trail and be careful of poison oak! Dress in layers, half the walk is under shade trees and half is exposed to sunlight (weather permitting). Several posters have mentioned the winds once you reach the top. With no wind-breakers, it can be very cold under the trees, even on sunny days.

Set out on the trail, next to residential homes at first, but turning left toward a gate with a sign announcing, “no motor vehicles” (you can bypass the gate on the right-hand side). As you descend the hill, be sure to look up to the right- on a barren hill to the south is your destination- One tree Hill.

Eventually, the pathway gets more shaded and you will come to a T. Take the pathway to the right (Garin woods trail).

Take another right at the next trail marker (Lower trail). Along this path, you'll find plenty of twisted and bent trees- like being in another world.

Eventually the trail leads out of the dense foliage and into the open. The view is amazing from here, but will get even better as you head further up.

At the third trail marker, make a left, uphill (Zeile Creek Trail).

Rounding a decent uphill bend, there will be horse stables, which you should keep to your right as you continue uphill past them. To do so, turn left at the fourth trail marker (Vista Peak)

Just past the stables, there is a green metal gate with a sign that reads “Please Close gate”. Please do as the sign says, as cattle in the area can get loose. Note: looking up at this gate, you will see “One Tree Hill” just up ahead. Rocks line the hillside surrounding it.

As you make your way up the hill, there will come a point when you will need to break away from the main path and find your way up off-path. There was a small cattle trail the last time we were there, but there's no guarantee it will still be around. Just be careful not to trample too many wildflowers (and watch your step for presents left by the cows).

When you reach the lone tree, the first thing you should notice is that it is not a single tree after all, but a clump of Bay trees. Take a moment to enjoy the view. On a clear day, you can see from Moffett Field
to Oakland. On a REALLY clear day, the Golden Gate bridge can be seen peeking above the city of San Fransisco.

Now, with the sightseeing out of the way, make your way into the center of the group of trees. On the north side, there is a distinct flat rock that makes for a perfect resting seat. Behind this seat (behind a couple rocks) is your letterbox.

For the return trip, you CAN continue around the hill, continuing uphill and eventually coming down the 'Upper Trail', but if you don't have a map, I'd suggest returning the way you came. There are a couple spots where you can easily miss your path and end up far from your starting point.

Hope you enjoyed the trail. The views should more than make up for a little mud.