Dramatic Summit! Mission Peak: Hidden Valley Trail 6.5 Miles Difficult Hike

Distance 6.3 miles, Out-and-back

Hiking Time 3 to 5 hours

Elevation Gain/ Loss ± 2250 feet

Difficulty Difficult

Trail Use Mountain biking allowed (1), Leashed dogs but this hike might be too much for dogs.

Best Times Fall through spring

Agency EBRPD

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

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  • Lori

    Great people..fun

    June 29

  • Sona

    Thanks, Marty, for being such a nice and patient 'sweep' :) Yes, it was hot with barely any shade but good exercise. I went to the other side where the paragliders and hangliders took off so got to see a paraglider set up and go off the hill with a running start :)

    June 29

  • Martin S.

    The Stats:

    Distance: 6.38 miles
    Total Ascent: 2127 ft
    Altitude: 2530 ft

    1 · June 28

  • Martin S.

    Good hike everyone. Seems ankles were the weak point today :-) Nonetheless great job everyone.

    June 28

  • M.W.

    Thank you Marti for staying with me so I could finish the hike. God bless, mary

    1 · June 28

  • Miranda

    The trail was not difficult from me, but it was HOT:-)

    June 28

  • Anne M.

    Arrived early so began climbing. Didn't really see anyone but it was still a great hike. Thx for organizing.

    June 28

  • Kal

    I am looking for suggestions of a nearby restaurant where we can go for dinner after the hike.

    June 27

    • Sona

      Yes, I was thinking of Bijan :)

      June 27

    • Kirk H.

      680 is a parking lot, I have a map and will try to catch up with the group.

      1 · June 28

  • Sri

    Love to hike

    June 28

  • Sona

    What pace are you planning to do this?

    June 27

    • Kal

      Probably more than one pace.

      June 27

  • Nathalie

    I would have loved to join but I already have something on Saturday afternoon. Next time!

    June 25

  • Sona

    Hopefully it'll cool down enough by Saturday :)

    June 22

    • Kal

      It was much hotter two weeks ago at the Oakland redwood park hike. This a good time to get yourself a big sun hat http://www.rei.com/se...­ and bring at least 2 liters/pints of water.

      June 23

  • Kuro K.

    Are we talking about Mission Peak in Fremont? Why is the meeting place in Hillsdale?

    April 30

    • Kal

      Its been corrected. Thanks for the feedback.

      April 30

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