Distance 6.3 miles, Out-and-back
Hiking Time 3 to 5 hours
Elevation Gain/ Loss ± 2250 feet
Trail Use Mountain biking allowed (1), Leashed dogs but this hike might be too much for dogs.
Best Times Fall through spring
Recommended Map Mission Peak Regional Preserve (EBRPD)
Notes (1) Bicycles are not allowed on the last 0.5 mile of the Peak Trail
HIGHLIGHTS A steady climb of more than 2000 feet in just over 3 miles, most of it on the Hidden Valley Trail, a well-graded dirt road, brings you to the top of Mission Peak. This is one of the East Bay’s most dramatic summits, offering views of the entire Bay Area. Not a hike for hot weather, try to do this route just after a winter or spring storm, when the air is clear and the hills green.
DIRECTIONS TO TRIALHEAD From I-880 in Fremont, take the Mission Blvd./ Warren Ave. exit and go northeast on Mission Blvd. 1.8 miles to Stanford Ave. Turn right and go 0.6 mile to a parking area at the end of Stanford Ave. From I-680 in Fremont, take the Mission Blvd./ Warm Springs District exit and follow signs for Mission Blvd. eastbound. Once on Mission Blvd., follow it for 0.6 mile to Stanford Ave. Turn right and go 0.6 mile to a parking area at the end of Stanford Ave.
FACILITIES/ TRAILHEAD There are water and a toilet near the trailhead, which is on the east side of the parking area.
DIRECTIONS Take the Hidden Valley Trail, a dirt road, through a gate to a junction with the Peak Meadow Trail. Stay left and follow the road across Agua Caliente Creek to the next junction, where you again stay left. The climb soon becomes moderate . You are joined on the right by a road from the previous junction. At the base of a rocky hill, a road departs to the right, but you stay left. Your route wanders through a wooded area near a stream, then climbs past the Peak Meadow Trail, right, at about 1.6 miles. Now the road begins a series of switchbacks that will carry you almost to the summit. The terrain becomes more rugged, and ahead you can see the park residence, a collection of several buildings used by EBRPD rangers. Looming above them to the southeast is Mt. Allison, bristling with communication towers. Ohlone Trail The Ohlone Wilderness Regional Trail, a 28-mile trek through some of the East Bay’s most scenic and remote territory, begins at the Stanford Ave. parking area and follows the Hidden Valley Trail up the west side of Mission Peak. The emblem for the Ohlone Wilderness Regional Trail, which you may see on trail posts here, is a white oak leaf in a red disk. Numbers on some of the trail posts refer to numbered junctions on EBRPD’s Ohlone Wilderness Regional Trail map. Just below a band of cliffs you come to a T-junction. Here the A. A. Moore Grove Trail goes right, but you turn left and climb steeply toward the skyline ridge. You come to a barbed-wire fence with a gate, beyond which is a four-way junction and the end of the Hidden Valley Trail. Turn right and follow the Peak Trail, a dirt road that is part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail. Just as your route veers left away from the fence, you pass a wide path continuing straight. Ahead, the Peak Trail is joined by a dirt road coming sharply from the right. You continue to climb east, toward a flat spot on the skyline ridge. When you crest the ridge, a line of snow-capped Sierra peaks may be visible in the distance, rising behind Livermore and the Altamont Pass. Bear right at a fork to stay on the Peak Trail, soon reaching the end of the road. From here , several dirt paths head southeast, steeply uphill toward the summit. The final climb is on dirt and rock , past a clever observation device that allows you to identify more than two dozen Bay Area landmarks in a 360 -degree circle around Mission Peak. A few more steps bring you at last to the top of Mission Peak. When you have finished enjoying this exhilarating and hard-won summit, retrace your route to the parking area.
Peak Facts Mission Peak (2517’) sits atop a long ridge that trends northwest– southeast, towering over the flatlands of Fremont to the west and Sunol Valley to the east. No other earthbound vantage point offers such extensive views this close to San Francisco Bay. Alfred A. Moore, an early California settler and attorney for the railroad, once owned several thousand acres on Mission Peak, including a ranch with exotic animals, which he used as a weekend retreat for family and friends.
Content from: Weintraub, David [masked]). Afoot and Afield: San Francisco Bay Area: A Comprehensive Hiking Guide