Explore Bay Area - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Bay Area Map

Nice view. Need lot of leg work and zeal to accomplish this trail.

Went here on Sunday 03/11 with my husband. Hike ended up being closer to 9 miles, but was very enjoyable! I could see it starting to get busier near the falls around 130-2pm but still a very nice hike. Trail is well maintained, and mostly shady.

I've walked this twice and both times felt it is over rated. The wide fire track is boring to walk on and the terrain stays the same (almost) the whole way up.

On a clear day the views are definitely worthwhile but again, these are not views unique to Mission Peak.

Excellent hike with great open vistas as well as heavily forested sections. Park at Pantoll and hike counterclockwise. Hiking time: 2hr 36 min.

Constant gradient and well paved trail. Good for training.

Nice hike, lots of lovely dogs, very pretty but not spectacular. I went during the week l, so there was plenty of parking and many times where I was alone on the trail.

So we started our hike going to Cataract Falls, on a weekday. We didn’t see too many people, and by the time we got there the hike wasn’t too difficult. Lots of going downstairs. We kept pushing to go to the lake, and made it. But that’s when the trail became difficult! And we had already hiked 5 miles at this point and it was close to 2:30. We had to summon all our strength to push up hill the last half of the hike, which beame the hard part! At the end, my fit bit said we did over 10 miles! It was worth it and a great accomplishment, but frustrating that the site said 7.5 miles.

3/4/18 My first try was a few years ago. 20-30 lbs heavier and only made it 1/2 way up, stopping multiple times. This time made it up nonstop in good time. Started at 9:30, reaches the top at 11, then ran back down to complete at 11:35. Climb is a little difficult, definitely not an easy one for beginners. Day was cool and clear. Got stuck in one of the patches of mud left over from the previous days rain and had to wriggle my feet loose, was fun. Traffic was moderate along with some cows. The view from the top was absolutely gorgeous. I could see all of the Bay. I will for sure be hiking this one again.

No shade, my dogs and I over heated 20 min into the hike. The day we went we saw a lot of people running down the hill with their dogs who were over heated. If you go, go early in the morning or it will be too hot.

The view is SPECTACULAR! To avoid the crowds and find easy parking, I recommend parking in the Ohlone College parking garage. It’s free.

This trail is totally separate from the one that 90% of the Bay Area use. It’s also more beautiful, imho. The two trails converge near the summit.


Mission Peak is a Bay Area and local legend. The place that instagram ruined. if you havent been you have to go. If youve been before there are plenty of alternate routes via Ohlone, Sunol, or the beastly HH to avoid the crowds.

No shadow, elevation change dramatically, windy at high altitude, nice view

trees, downhill then uphill, can see half moon bay, nice forest type trial

26 days ago


The views of the pacific and the north part of the bay area. Overall a beautiful hike requiring moderate exertion. Also windy the day we went.

However, at northwest portion of the loop, there are some points where we were walking on the side of a steep hill. If you slipped and fell, you might roll down 20+ feet before stopping. There were only a few portions like that, but I shudder to think what might happen if someone did fall at those points.

Not for the lighthearted. Great challenge! Get ready to work your legs out.

Great workout! All uphill and then all downhill. The entire trail is exposed. It was hot on the day I went, so the sun was scorching hot. It's a pretty busy trail. Parking can be an issue.
I really enjoyed the workout but when I think back to the crowds, the sun and heat, I can't imagine myself doing this hike again.

Pretty gusty on the coastal portions, but the views are spectacular and worth it. Wildflowers, banana slugs, ferns, babbling creeks.

Absolutely gorgeous trail. Def go right at the start like other people say. However I got done at 8.5 miles not the 7 miles it says but also not the 12 plus miles other people are claiming. I also got 1900ft elevation climb whereas others seem to be different. Weird. If you go right you hit the meadow first then the alpine and then you hit a stunning stream and bridge before you hit the falls. Before the falls I only met one person along the trail. After the falls I met a lot of people. Highly recommended but get there early to avoid the crowds.

Great hike! Crowded! Parking is hard because the lot is small. Had to park down the road. If you follow the suggested route, the first part is paved and relatively flat, the way back is more challenging with some uphills. Trails well marked, easy to follow. Love the dogs!!

I really enjoyed doing this trail with two of my friends on a Sunday. We arrived to the trailhead at 10 a.m. and we’re happy to see there was a free parking lot with a port o potty and hand sanitizer.

The difficulty is on the upper side of moderate for folks with intermediate hiking experience. It took us about 5 hours hiking a pace of 2.4 miles per hour and taking a 15-20 minute lunch. Most of the elevation gain is the last 2.7 miles of the trail. I would not recommend bringing people who are not in shape on this trail and if you do, expect for it take 6+ hours depending on how much they struggle.

We saw several banana slugs along the way and loved the scenery overall. This is a mixed use trail also used by trail runners and mountain bikers, so hikers should be extra aware that those folks are likely going to need to pass you at some point. The trail wasn’t terribly crowded either like some other Bay Area hikes can be.

Overall, a trail that is definitely worth experiencing if you are in moderately good shape.

One thing to note, the distance reported on Alltrails is off. Here's my GPS recording on Strava which comes to around 10miles ( I went off trail for about 0.5 miles ) https://www.strava.com/activities/1401541303

Lovely hike. Butt burner of a hike :-). Definitely good training if you'r planning for the likes of Half Dome. Shaded, so good for a hot sunny day, stays cool for most part of the hike. Medium to heavy traffic. Half way mark is at the Alpine Lake which is a super quiet area, great for a break/lunch spot. Although the Cataract Falls itself is even more beautiful and serene so you might want to have your snack/lunch there instead.

The hike and weather was beautiful today 2/10/18. A few big inclines but our 9 year old was able to manage with a few breaks. Although I didnt use this app to record my hike, our loop was 5.02 miles. I gave it 2 stars because it's an overpopulated trail. Lots of groups, bikers, runners and lots lot lots of dogs off leash, even though dogs must be kept on leash. There was a park ranger ticketing people who had dogs were off leash. The parking lot and surrounding area was jammed packed. Even though the trail is beautiful, I wouldn't be back.

I ended up only doing Cataract Trail because I got a late start. I made a huge mistake parking at the Rock Spring parking lot instead of the Watershed parking lot. The majority of this trail is on a steep incline, so I ended up starting downhill and ending uphill. It was strenuous but beautiful. I had the trail to myself most of the way out which was really nice. I loved this trail!

Bautiful view. Enjoyed it a lot

Parking was a little bit challenge when I arrived this morning. Maybe because it's a weekend. its a great place to hike.

Hiked 13.1 mi. Gained 2480ft in elevation.

BEAUTIFUL trails! We went in thinking it was a 7.5 mi 1745ft gain hike but really it's 13 miles with 2480 gain in elevation... I wish this could be edited because we were in for quite a long hike.

Pack lunch and plenty of water! We took this trail in reverse, counter-clockwise. We had lunch at Alpine Lake which took us 1.5 to 2 hours to reach at a steady pace. Most of the way there was downhill so be sure to side-step to save your toes! After the lake we headed to the waterfalls which was all on an uphill incline, and then the trail back to our car was on a heavy incline as well (lots of stairs) with the last leg (about 0.9mi) being a flat meadow. Be prepared to work!

Even though we hiked 5 miles more and gained 700ft more than this says in elevation it was well worth the work! Our feet and legs were doggone dead LOL but it was so freakin gorgeous out! We saw lots of butterflies, different birds, and salamanders on a warm Feb day!

Great challenging hike with zero aesthetically pleasing vegetation. View at the top is alright with notable views of Mt Diablo, and the south part of the bay. For an added challenge, take the trail to the right (in the beginning) and take Horse's Haven. I've met people that take this near vertical climb with 50lb bags to prepare for Half-dome. Parking sucks - I used to go three days out of the week. Now, I don't bother anymore with all the people and the line to take a picture of the pole. IT'S ONLY A POLE. Hiking times - expect 3 hours for up and down hiking. For more experienced hikers, you should be able to finish in a less than two hours if you don't spend too much time at the top.

Moderate trail, view of HB Mavericks, Redwood, crystal creek, beautiful. 7.65 Miles, 3.5 hours. 1,775 feet elevation gain, prepare to climb V elevation, nice workout. Bring water and snacks.

Load More