Length: 5.6 miles
Difficulty: Difficult (explained below!)
Duration: 2.5 - 3 hrs
Link to more info: http://bahiker.com/eastbayhikes/missionpeak.html
This hike is at a steep incline all the way to the top where you will find the instafamous Mission Peak pole. My mom and I huffed and puffed our way up on a Tuesday morning (started around 9AM). We started at the Stanford ave trailhead. The free parking lot was already pretty packed. We luckily parked a little further out in the residential neighborhood and began our trek.
Yes, there are portable potties, so be sure to go before, because the hike all the way up can feel never ending! The hike immediately started at an incline..and kept going..and going. We met some friendly cows grazing on the preserve, and enjoyed the luscious grass surrounding us. However.. I DID NOT really like all the cow dung lying all over our path. The paved path was really uneven and can be really hard on folks who either don't have good balance or who have really weak ankles/knees. Also, this wasn't necessarily a loop type of hiking trail that wraps around in a circle, so the scenery could get a little redundant at times. Also, it can get really crowded. There was already a good bunch of people when we went on a weekday morning. There are also folks who like to play their music loudly... which I am not a fan of. It can really detract from the nature around us. The hike overall was a REALLY good workout. Definitely felt my gluteus maximus burning. I also didn't realize how steep the hike was until my mom and I were practically running down the mountain on our way back. Wear really comfy shoes with lots of traction to avoid slipping into the cow dung.
Slow and steady on our way up. It's pretty exhausting increasing elevation with every step you take for about 2.8 miles. It definitely took us about half the time going down than going up. As you can tell from the summary, it took us about 2.5 hours to only accomplish about 5.6 miles, whereas we completed a 7 mile hike before in the same amount of time!!! Trudging up...is a huge feat. Pace yourselves!
- Not good for those with really weak knees/ankles
- Bring water!
- Layer up because it may start off cool, but get really warm!
- HYDRATE your poor dogs if they go on this hike
- Wear shoes with a lot of traction
- Scenery at the top is beautiful, PUSH THROUGH! You'll have your head in the clouds.