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Hard but worth it! Feeling accomplished and view is beautiful!

Amazing in the winter with rain and fog. I expected it to be a bit tougher but maybe with the heat of spring or summer it earns that hard rating. I’d highly recommend doing it on an overcast day like today though.

Definitely hard. No shade. Wear a cap or some sort of shades. Take water and snacks. Beautiful views from the top.

Did this hike on November 11, 2018. Started the hike at 8am. It was a cold and windy day. Although it’s pretty steep from the beginning itself, make sure not to give up in the first 45 minutes. The last 0.3 miles towards the top gets exciting by making a path to the top amidst gravel incline. The view of the Bay from the top is just wow. Uphill and downhill can be done in 1.5hours each. Total time taken was 3.5 hours with a 30min rest at the top.
Do not forget to carry a liter of water and some energy snacks.

I’ve done this loop dozens of times and it’s always nice. Wonderful views of the Bay! The section to the south is far less traveled. The peak can be a bit windy and/or chilly, so bring a light jacket if you plan on hanging out.

Definitely a hard trail with little shade and the sun coming down on your skin. Arrived at the entrance at 6:30 am and it was the best decision because by 8 am the sun was beaming. Beautiful views with a great feeling of accomplishment afterwards. I Recommend getting there super early no later than 7 if you want to avoid the sun and enjoy the sunrise

Was a difficult hike but the views along the way is fantastic specially seeing clouds beneath you!

Tough but quick. Good training hike.

This is a tough trail because it is uphill for majority of the hike. But it's a good workout due to the huge elevation change. The trail gets very crowded on weekends and has little shade. Bring water to keep hydrated. Enjoyed the hike on this trail.

Per person you need 3 liters of water to do this trail.
For parking, you can do the parking at the start of the trail. I got lucky twice.
You can also park on Vineyard Avenue, this adds up a little bit more of a hike but beats going to Ohlone.

If you take Peak Meadow trail it is nicer, the trail is less wide and less people. In some spots there is shade. Basically where you see the river in the map is where you have shade and can stop for a little picnic or a break.

I usually do this trail all the way to mission peak.
Then if I am tired of lazy I do the hidden valley back
if I am in no hurry I take the peak meadow route back.
Hidden valley as others mention has no shade but is faster.

There is a stretch at horses heaven trail which is very steep, this is easy going up but is tricky going down. If you are not comfortable with steep downhill. I'd bring a walking stick or poles
and make sure your shoes can catch the track
one time I brought flat-ish shoes and that was a disaster.

Mahalo

Beautiful and dry as a bone. great view over the Livermore area

This hike will easily separate the mountain goats from the average hiker. Expect to finish in 4-5 hours if you are average. I smoked this bad boy in sub 3 hours including all my small breaks. Not the prettiest hike in the world but it’s a great workout if you get after it! Make sure you have decent grip on your shoes... I went clockwise and really glad I did. It will start off steep and have lots of loose rocks. Some parts were pretty tricky to get down (for me at least) because it was so steep and my shoes didn’t have the best traction. Once you make it up to the top it’s a pretty smooth and easy way back if you go clockwise. Holla at ya boy if you get sub 3 hours on this one!

Parking at Stanford lot was not an option even at 7:30 in the morning. We used the alternate lot at Ohlone college. The hike got about 2.5 miles longer. Hardly any shade. No view either until got to the summit.
By the way, It was very crowded. Near the summit the trail was narrow you’ll have to maneuver for people resting as well as people on the opposite direction.

be patience. the view from the top is rewarding. but on the way up from horse tsil is dry and nothing so be prepared. make sure to bring water cuz there is limited shade. it's a nice training trail.

hiking
2 months ago

The views are okay and the incline, with hardly any shade, definitely deserves the hard rating. But I saw a lot of wildlife and the sunset was great.

hiking
2 months ago

Scenery: 3.5
Views: 4
Difficulty: 5
Crowds: 2
Shade: 3

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

Scenery: 2
Views: 4
Difficulty: 4
Crowds: 5
Shade: 1

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

Definitely a hard trail. All uphill with little shade. Took about an hour and fifteen minutes (with plenty of rests) to the peak. The views of the bay are amazing the whole way up.

Didn't plan on this trail but we ended up here. So glad we did! Hard incline at first, but worth it when we got to the lighthouse at the top. So beautiful. Air was fresh, weather was cool. They scenery absolutely gorgeous.

It is longer than 12. Great hike overall. For the big ballers. Soreness is a virtue

Go super early to beat the heat and parking! Bring a decent amount of water to stay hydrated on your way up!

hiking
2 months ago

A full moon hike and an epic golden hour, beautiful to every extent possible. Started 4 pm from the parking lot and loop took close to 9 hrs with an hr break to catch the sunset and moonrise. Definitely must do in every season!!

Beautiful hike for the ready and capable. Not a hike for everyone as seen by the hard eating. A nice thing to know is there are water faucets at the top to refill backpacks or bottles.

Windy and cooler up at the top, great photo op

It was a good challenging with a rewarding view at the summit. Some of the roads are rocky, narrow and easy to lose your footstep. Definitely recommend start out clockwise loop because at the end it will all be flat and easy fire roads for your tired legs. We took our time and enjoyed the scenery of rolling hills and mountains. My phone said 14.6 miles total because we climbed up to the summit. There was ice creams (cone and sandwich) at the visitor center for your cold sweet fix. Overall, this is a very nice trail! Prepare to spend quite a bit of time conquering it. No less than 4 hours unless you’re extremely competitive ;)!

Hiked this to train for Yosemite Half Dome. This was an awesome training hike. Your legs get a great workout. You need at least 3 liters of water. It was a sunny but windy and cool day when we hiked and I drank about 3, so on a hot day, would have needed more. Fox tails galore on the narrow paths, so stuck to my socks and shoes.

Very good hike to prepare you for any hard hikes you have planned!!
I’ve used it to prepare me for Half Dome and Sedona.
I enjoy the hike at least once a week in the Horse Heaven Trail, it is less congested with people.

Too crowded

Accept it as your first challenge

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