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Vargas Plateau Regional Park, Fremont

4.0
#7 of 8 in Parks in Fremont
State Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Vargas Plateau Regional Park sits on a plateau in the Fremont Hills of Alameda County, California that overlooks the San Francisco Bay, Niles Canyon, and the cities of Fremont, Union City and Newark. The elevation of the park is about 1000feet, making it an important link with nearby ridge-top parks such as Garin Regional Park, Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, Mission Peak Regional Preserve, and Sunol Regional Wilderness.
Vargas Plateau once was part of the homeland of two Ohlone-speaking tribes, the Tuibun and Causen, who used the area for hunting and farming. After the Spanish took control of California, the two tribes began living and working at Mission San Jose in 1797. After the mission was secularized, the land was granted to Juan Bautista Alvarado and Andres Pico in 1846. The native people essentially became serfs under this arrangement, losing any claim to the Vargas Plateau.
After California became an American state in 1850, many of the old land grants were declared void by American courts. Such was the case with the Alvarado and Pico properties, and the land eventually became part of a horse breeding ranch, which was subdivided about 1900. In 1909, Antonio Francisco Vargas bought 444acres of the "lower ranch" and by 1912, Antonio's brother Manuel and nephew Edward bought 550acres of the "upper ranch". Manuel and Edward used their land for sheep and cattle ranching, as well as for dryland farming. The Tavares family inherited the upper ranch after Edward Vargas died in 1978. Antonio's direct descendants continued raising cattle on the lower ranch until the land was sold to the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) bought it in 1993. EBRPD bought the Tavares' property in 1996. The District acquired what were known as the Rose and Comcast properties in 2010, so that the total area of the newly designated Vargas Plateau Regional Park came to 1249acres.
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Vargas Plateau Regional Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
12 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Very close to all things east bay, rolling hills drop away to the bay, trails wander up and down, excellent views everywhere. 
    Very close to all things east bay, rolling hills drop away to the bay, trails wander up and down, excellent views everywhere.  more »
  • We had a good time hiking at Vargas Plateau Regional Park. This used to be a ranch owned by Antonio and Emma Vargas (1937 time frame). Before that it was where the Ohlone Indians were. The hike... 
    We had a good time hiking at Vargas Plateau Regional Park. This used to be a ranch owned by Antonio and Emma Vargas (1937 time frame). Before that it was where the Ohlone Indians were. The hike...  more »
Google
  • One of our favorite hikes in Fremont area. You drive up the hills to get to the park and there’s a spacious parking with a bathroom. There are gorgeous views of the whole Bay Area right from the parking and you enjoy them as you hike. It’s an easy hike, we usually get to the rocks formation when we hike with two kids or go all the way down the loop. It’s beautiful!
  • It's a nice park, with nice vistas, but has its limitations. It has pretty much only 2 loops and they are mostly exposed so you might want to avoid summer heat. Also the trails are mosty very bumpy due to the cows using them as well. And those afraid if the nature, well, sometimes those cows rest right across the trail and you need to show some courage to pass around them.. :-) For the families with small kids, I would recommend only the upper loop. The bottom loop includes very boring while exhausting sections.

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