When you live in East Bay of California, you tend to take many gorgeous day-hikes of the area for granted. Mission Peak is definitely one of those trails- for me. It’s always fun to climb a mountain when you can see the peak as you climb. Visual inspiration somehow takes you closer to the goal. You can constantly see the peak as you hike this trail. We have hiked Mission Peak countless times, but winter and spring remains my favorite time to climb. Green rolling hills are breathtaking in winter and colorful wildflowers are irresistible in the spring. The trail is mostly exposed and so I like to do it as an early morning hike if I am climbing in summer. This is 5.5 mile continuously steep trail that you can categorize as moderate to strenuous hike. It can take 3.5 to 4 hours to finish the hike from the Stanford avenue parking lot.
There is an iconic totem pole marking the summit which is pretty popular photo opp to show your achievement. This hike has become very popular in recent years and park district has done phenomenal job to modify and maintain trail to accommodate heavy traffic. We always use this hike to train for our longer and challenging backpacking trips. We were there yesterday to kick start our training for Mount Kilimanjaro that we plan to summit in the summer. Hills are greener then ever in California due to unusual amount of rain we have gotten this year. These are the best views of the bay I have seen form the Mission Peak due to all the greenery!
While on trail, we encountered this mysterious stone wall (how did we manage to miss it all these years? smh), which I have heard of as one of the bizarre sites you find in the east bay- almost as puzzling as stonehenge!