Ohlone College to Mission Peak Trail is a 7.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Fremont, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Gradual route is a less-strenuous option for hiking to the top of the popular East Bay peak Mission Peak gets throngs of hikers but only a few savvy trekkers take this route to the summit -- an eight-mile out-and-back that stretches out the 2,000-foot ascent to the summit (the most-popular route ascends a similar height in a 5.2-mile out-and-back). It starts from the parking lot at Ohlone College along Mission Boulevard in Fremont, California. Just one trail -- the aptly named Peak Trail -- curves and climbs its way to the 2,517-foot summit of Mission Peak. (From the parking lot, look for a sign pointing to Ohlone Trail). Abundant parking at Ohlone College on the weekend makes this trailhead a welcome alternative to the Stanford Avenue entrance, which fills quickly and forces hikers to park on side streets where car break-ins have been common over the years. There's also a bit more shade on this route compared to other trails to the summit. Impressive views of the Diablo Range and San Francisco Bay open up on the way up. Don't be surprised if you see deer and coyotes the ground and raptors and vultures soaring overhead. Best time to go: Springtime when the hills are green and the wildflowers are blooming. Winter's the next-best time, especially if the peak gets a dusting of snow. Fall is OK; summer's too hot during the day, but many hikers hit the summit at sunset and hike down after dark (best done under a full moon).
First note it is $4 to park all day. Lot H is most convenient, then just go toward the mountain on a foot path following Pine Street. (You can save the $4 by parking on Mission Blvd. just north of the college entrances, at less popular times.)
The trail is well marked. Some of the alternate path signs have rusted or faded, but the main path to the peak is quite clear. The first 3/4 of the distance is relatively easy. The last mile involves much steeper terrain and poorer surfaces. Still, I didn't see anyone turn back early. There were several small children and lots of dogs at the summit. Some of the dog walkers let their dogs off leash to play. The summit marker is actually on a lower spot than the actual summit nearby. The higher of the two provided a better view and less of a crowd, as the marker post is really popular for photos.
The slightly higher peak with antennas just to the southeast is Allison Peak but is also sometimes identified as Mission Peak. That summit can be accessed from the "real" Mission Peak or from Ed Levin Park in Milpitas. (Allison Peak is approx. 37.499,-121.871; Monument Peak is approx. 37.484, -121.865)
This hike has restrooms halfway up and one or two picnic tables along the trail. No drinking water is available, and although I went in winter, the trail will be very exposed and hot in summer.