Visit Alameda County - San Lorenzo Creek to the East Bay

After measuring the Palo Alto, and camping in the vicinity of the Guadalupe River at the southern tip of the bay, Font, Anza, Moraga and the exploratory band of soldiers made a sharp "U" turn to ascend into the low hills parallel to the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay. At many of the creeks along the way, they encountered American Indians of the Chocheno (Costanoan) tribes. They continued north to San Pablo Bay.

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Driving Directions for Auto Route

Alameda County is between Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties. From Santa Clara, travel north on Warm Springs/North Milpitas Road. At Mission Blvd., turn right onto Mission Blvd,/CA 238. In Fremont, stop at Mission San José (43300 Mission Blvd.), or take a hike in Garin Park. In Hayward, take a short detour east on Foothill Blvd. to visit Anza Park (camp #98). Continue north on Mission Blvd./CA 238 to its intersection with I- 580 in Castro Valley. Travel northeast on I-580 to Oakland and take the Coolidge exit to visit the Peralta Hacienda, or the Lakeshore exit (to 11th St.) to get to the Anza Trail’s administrative offices. The Hacienda has interpretive information on the expedition. To continue to Contra Costa County, head north on I-580/80 past Berkeley towards San Pablo Bay.

Hiking/Biking Ideas

Hikers can visit the Coyote Hills Regional Park (8000 Patterson Ranch Rd.) in Fremont. Nearby, off of Mission Blvd., the East Bay Regional Park District operates a regional trailhead and staging area at Stanford Avenue (37º 30' 19.18" N, 121º 54' 5.78"). The trail connects with the Bay Area Ridge Trail, the area’s recreational route for the Anza Trail. Hikers can overlook the trail from Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer, Anthony Chabot, Redwood, Tilden and Wildcat Canyon Regional Parks.

Points of Interest

Expedition Campsites
  • San Lorenzo Creek - Expedition Camp #98
    José Soberanes, who came as a guide from Monterey, told father Font this creek was called Arroyo de la Harina after a load of flour that got wet during the prior journey of Pedro Fages. Anza writes, "Today in passing we have seen six villages, whose inhabitants, not accustomed to seeing us, fled like wild beasts. Notwithstanding this, about forty heathen have come close to us and I have given them presents. The last one whom we encountered discovered us about forty paces away, and although less than five steps from where he was there was a place where he might have hidden, such was his terror that he lay down in his tracks…I tried to relieve his fright and to get him to stand up, but for a long time I was unable to succeed…I thought it best to leave the unfortunate fellow alone." A small park and interpretive display is located at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and City Center Drive in Hayward commemorates this day, March 31, 1776.
  • Alameda Creek
    Here, thirty Chocheno natives raised an arm, extending their hand as a sign that the soldiers should stop. Yelling with great rapidity, they said: "Au, au, au, au, au…", and then they halted, vigorously slapping their thighs. In a peaceful encounter, they were given beads. Today, the Alameda Creek Regional Trail connects Coyote Hills Regional Park to the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
  • Alameda Creek Regional Trail
  • Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge
    Anza tried to avoid the marshlands at the southern edge of the bay. Today, the visitor center for the Wildlife Refuge provides exhibits on the salt marsh ecosystem and its inhabitants. It operates an Environmental Education Center in Alviso, and has a segment of the Bay Trail.
  • Mission San José
    Founded in 1797 on Ohlone land along the historic Anza route. The museum includes displays about Ohlone and mission life. The grave of Fulgencio Higuera, grandson of expedition member Ignacio Anastacio Higuera is also here. It is located at 43300 Mission Blvd. at Washington Blvd. in Fremont.
  • Peralta Hacienda Historical Park
    Luis María Peralta came to California with Anza when he was 16 years old. In 1820, the last Spanish governor gave him a 44,800-acre land grant. He named it El Rancho de San Antonio and divided it among his three sons. It encompassed today's cities of Hayward, Oakland and Berkeley. In 1842, Antonio Maria Peralta received what became the San Antonio division on which this hacienda sits. Peralta Creek is adjacent to the museum, and the park is open to the public. It is located in the Fruitvale district of Oakland at 2465 34th Avenue; 37º 47' 16" N, 122º 12' 55" W).

Additional Resources

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