BRIEF SUMMARY The hike up Mission Peak is a challenging 2,137 foot climb over 2.87 miles (5.75 miles round trip) to a view of the entire Bay Area. Oaks, poppies, coyotes, turkeys and squirrels will join you as you ascend to the Bay Area's most rewarding view: 360 degrees that include San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, the Sierras, and rolling California hills. The video below offers a clear idea of what the hike is like and how to prepare for the trail. I also provide planning recommendations, helpful links, and a gear list below. I respond to all posts in the comment section.
Trail: Mission Peak from Stanford Avenue Trailhead
Distance: 5.75 miles (parking lot to the summit and back)
Trailhead Elevation: 380 ft
Summit Elevation: 2,517 ft
Estimated Climb: 2,137 ft
Estimated Time: 2 - 3.5 hours depending on pace and fitness. Runners have reached the summit from the parking lot in under 34 minutes.
Water Sources: One at the trailhead parking lot. One on the backside of Mission Peak at Eagle Spring Backpack Camp (purification recommended although I never do).
Bathrooms: One at the trailhead parking lot. One at about 3/4 of the way to the top.
Open Hours: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Highlights: Views of surrounding peaks and the entire Bay Area. Significant wildlife. Prominent Summit. Full moon nights. Wildflowers in the spring.
Camping: Yes-You can camp on the backside of Mission Peak at Eagle Spring Backpack Camp if you pick up a permit. I don't recommend the campsite, but if you are interested, call 888.327.2757 (select option 2 and then option 3). They are $2/person.
Dogs: Yes-Must be leashed (six-foot maximum) and under control. Make sure and bring water for your dog during warm days. Fatalities are common during summer months due to heat exhaustion.
Horseback Riding: No-Not permitted.
Mountain Biking: Yes-On designated bicycle trails, and on fire or service roads, unless posted otherwise. Note that Mission Peak has over a thousand hikers on many weekends and the trail can be crowded requiring a slow descent.
Motorcycle: No-Not permitted.
4X4 Vehicle: No-Only to access Hang/Paragliding launch sites.
Hunting: No-Not permitted.
Fishing: No-Not permitted.
Hang/Paragliding Yes-The Wings of Rogallo has a launch site within Mission Peak Regional Preserve to conduct hang gliding and paragliding activities. Learn more at: http://www.wingsofrogallo.org
RC Aircraft Yes-The South Bay Soaring Society has an agreement with the park to use R/C hill to fly remote-controlled aircraft. No motorized or gas-powered aircraft. Learn more at: http://www.sbss.org
Winter: Gravel trail makes good terrain for hiking even during rainy days. Occasional snow on the upper 500 feet. Anticipate needing one more layer than you need in the parking lot, because the summit is windy and cooler.
Spring: Green and beautiful. Wildflowers show up in April & May. The trail turns from green to yellow throught May in most years.
Summer: Mornings and evenings are best in the summer. Mission Peak is a golden hill of California all summer. Daytime is hot and exposed so bring 1 liter of water.
Fall: Similar to summer September and October. Some of the barren oaks make for excellent sunset silhouettes.
Birds: Wild Turkey, Red-tailed Hawks, Owls (near the parking lot at dusk), Ravens, Turkey Vultures, quail, doves.
Mammals: Grazing cows, coyotes, squirrels, bobcats, and mountain lions.
Reptiles: Rattle Snakes, lizards, and frogs.
Insects & Spiders: Beatles, ants, taranchulas.
Trees: Oaks & Eucalyptus
Flowers: Poppies and Lupine.
Phone Contact: 888.327.2757 (option 3, ext. 4545)
Advice: Aim for mornings or evenings during warm whether. Full moons are spectacular on Mission Peak. Anticipate lower temperatures and high winds on the summit.
Entrance Fee: None
Permits: None required unless you are camping or hiking beyond mission peak regional preserve boundary.
Permit Contact: Permits may be purchased by calling 888.327.2757 (select option 2 and then option 3). They are $2/person.
Trail Map: http://www.ebparks.org/files/Mission_Peak_map.pdf
Address: No physical address. Use Google Maps below or turn off Mission Blvd onto Stanford Avenue and drive until Stanford Avenue dead-ends at the parking lot for Mission Peak.
Parking: A small lot exists at the end of Stanford Avenue. Cars generally park in the hundreds along the street below the designated parking area. Please make an effort to be quiet in the residential area.
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Land Owner: East Bay Regional Park District
Park Office: 888.327.2757 (option 3, ext. 4545)