Hike to Mission Peak
San Francisco › Mission Peak Regional Preserve
Added by The Outbound Collective
Enjoy snacks and stunning Bay Area views at the peak of this hike. This is a amazing trail to be on at sunset.
Breathtaking views of the Bay Area are your reward for making this climb to the top of Mission Peak. It’s a 3 mile trek to the top of the peak and then back down the same way. This is a moderate hike that provides a nice workout – so be prepared.
Park at the Stanford Avenue entrance gate. There is enough parking for about 20 cars, but if it’s full, there’s plenty of parking available along Stanford Avenue. Keep in mind that there are hours for both the parking area and the park (Learn More). Start by taking the Ohlone Wilderness Trail (1.5 miles) to the Peak Meadow Trail (0.6 miles). Next, take the Grove Trail (0.2 miles) to a short connector trail (0.2 miles), and then to the Peak Trail (0.5 miles) to the summit. Retrace your steps on your descent.
Start times for this hike vary depending on the time of the year, but it’s best to start this hike a few hours prior to sunset. Once you get to the top, relax with some food and/or your favorite beverage, and enjoy the views. It will probably be a bit breezy and chilly, so dress in layers and be prepared to bundle up.
If you’ll be hiking down close to dark, make sure to bring headlamps or flashlights. This is unique hike with amazing views – definitely well worth the effort.
Photos: Satish Jothikumar
- Plenty of water
- Headlamp or flashlight (if hiking down in the dark)
- Camera and tripod
- Snacks and drinks
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Chillin, Hiking, Photography
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Good Training Hike
This hike recommended by a few REI workers to do for Half Dome training. They were right! If you've done upper Yosemite falls trail, this will be slightly easier, but it's still about the same elevation gain in the same mileage. This hike isn't too exciting, but the cows are cool and the views from the peak are pretty great. For half dome training--it's recommended to do this hike (from Stanford entrance) twice in a row to get the best half dome workout. Happy hiking!
Beautiful Bay Area Hike
This was one of my favorite hikes when I lived in the Bay Area! It's a hike that never gets old and you can do over and over without getting bored. The three mile trek is a little tougher than you think the first time, so bring water and be ready! My favorite time to start think hike is just like the adventure said: before sunset! Be sure you are prepared for the hike down also, I always bring a hat and am wearing sunscreen because sometimes the heat is brutal. Happy adventuring!
Pretty hike to great views of the Bay. Good workout but easy enough for fit kids. Can get crowded on weekends. Can also get hot in summer. Best for early mornings and weekdays. Good training hike for backpackers trying to train for strenuous backpacking trips.
Simple And Straight To The Point
We love mission peak, but one suggestion... Can there be a horse trail made please ?! All the horse shit and hooves going down the trail will beat up anyone's knees. Those hooves just destroy the path. Thanks and also to the person that leaves nasty dog water in the bowl I dumped that shit out. But yea we just bring a small Tupperware for our dog it's light enough to pack in almost anything. Bring snacks for the breaks and hydrate your dog when you do so for yourself ! Went up around 4:30 today and it was beautiful ! Love the cows walking across the trail. Not so great of a mountain biking trail in my opinion. Excellent place for families though ! Also to the kid playing his trap music loud enough for all to hear... Your a douche.
Start Before The Sun Rises
Great hike. I totally recommend starting as early as possible. Check the time when the sun rises and give yourself about two hours to hike.. It's three miles uphill and you might need to take a few water breaks. Bring a few flashlights and plenty of water. Then once you get to the top sit down on a rock and enjoy the beautiful view. Not only will you catch a great view but you will beat the crowd and the heat of the sun!
Fantastic views from the top
The first time I hiked this mountain was in the darkness of night. Luckily, there was enough moonlight to pierce the fog around us where we didn't need flashlights. My college friends and I wanted to reach the top before sunrise. Once we did, the view was amazing. We stood there above this blanket of clouds watching as the sun peaked from underneath. I would definitely advise coming here early because the trail from start to end has no shade whatsoever. Not only that, this is a popular trail, so there will be a lot of traffic. The trails, though barren and stiff, are very wide to accommodate the amount everyone.
Strenuous Hike, Stunning View
I've done this hike at least 20 times last year. In the warmer months, I highly recommend going as early as possible (630am) I've made the mistake of going around 10/11am and would feel the intensity of the sun. If you're coming here and expecting it to be a breeze, think again. I've brought plenty of people with me for their first time and it's always a struggle for them. However, the view is worth it and accomplishing such a strenuous hike feels awesome. Pack plenty of water, a snack to enjoy once you reach the top (apples/bananas/carb), sunblock, hat/visor, light jacket as it can be pretty windy at the top. Of course depending on the weather it can be pretty gloomy/foggy. I've gone when it was raining a couple of times and you do slide, so take your time if you decide to go on a rainy day.
Hiked mission peak once in the summer, and let me tell you, worst idea ever. Not only was it so crowded but it was terribly hot. And to make matters worse, the trail is all dirt so it easily kicks up leaving you gasping for air. The hike is all up hill without shade so bring tons of water. In all, Mission peak is way over rated and I'll probably never hike here again.
Classic East Bay Leg Burner
I parked by Ohlone college and made a longer hike out it. We were mostly alone on the trail until we met up with the masses of hikers coming up from Stanford Avenue. Thought this was a great local hike, varying trees and views, and a solid leg burner. Plus it's dog-friendly which is always great in my book!
The first time that I hiked Mission Peak was w/ my two cousins. So, I was completely unaware on what it would be like. One of my cousins has hiked Mission Peak many times & she says that hiking up there is literally walking straight up & she was right. I didn't think I was gonna make it all the way the top, it took us about an hour & a half to get up to the top & about half an hour to get down. If you were looking for a place to that has a perfect view, its Mission Peak. Highly recommend!
I recommend starting at the Ohlone College parking structure instead of at the Stanford Avenue Staging Area. There is plenty of parking and the trail to the peak is easily located. This trail has more shade and takes a more gradual ascent up the peak. I started at 5:00 am and caught the sunrise at the top at 7:00 am with lots of breaks on the way up. I was also alone with my group at the peak until around 7:15 am. Take note that this version of the hike is around 8 miles round trip but you will not regret it. Also, do not forget to bring water! On my way down, I saw a lot of people that were not prepared at all for this hike so please, evaluate your fitness and preparedness before you decide to just jump into it. Remember, this hike is all the way up, and then all the way down with little to no easy hiking.
The trail is really well maintained and plenty wide. Consider doing this an hour or two before sunset as the viewpoints up the hike are amazing. There are several benches along the trail to rest or take in the view. As mentioned earlier, bring a jacket (maybe a beanie) if you're planning on going up at night. The summit can get pretty windy and cold.
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This is a great find. We saw it on the map it was on the way from Mendocino to our next stop, Napa Valley. So glad we took the time to visit.