Mission Peak Loop from Stanford Avenue Staging Area is a 5.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Warm Springs District, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,135 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

NOTE FROM THE EAST BAY REGIONAL PARK DISTRICT: THERE IS VERY LIMITED PARKING AT STANFORD AVENUE STAGING AREA. IT IS BEST TO PARK AT OHLONE COLLEGE TO ACCESS MISSION PEAK: 43600 MISSION BLVD TO ANZA PINE ROAD. Enjoy the spectacular views of the South bay as you climb up to Mission Peak. Although steep, the views of the Bay Area are very rewarding. On a clear day hikers can see the skylines of Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. This is a moderate to strenuous trail with a constant uphill climb until you reach the summit. The trail is a well maintained gravel base until the last half mile. From this point the trail is hard pack dirt and rocky. Difficulty would definitely increase during the rainy season. The Stanford Avenue staging area is also the western access to the Ohlone Wilderness Trail, a 29-mile hiking and riding trail through some of southern Alameda County's most beautiful wilderness, and provides access to Mission Peak's 2,999 acres. Ensure that you have plenty of water before embarking on this hike, as there are very few spots to locate shade. The trail may be shared with equestrians, and dogs are allowed. There is no fee for parking, however on a busy day you may be required to park a little west, on one of the side streets. Dogs are allowed on leash in developed areas/under voice command in undeveloped areas of the park.

hiking
1 day ago

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

hiking
7 days ago

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.

12 days ago

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
15 days ago

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

16 days ago

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.

hiking
28 days ago

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

1 month ago

Windy and cooler up at the top, great photo op

hiking
1 month ago

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Too crowded

trail running
1 month ago

Accept it as your first challenge

trail running
1 month ago

It is a great place for trail running, could be crowded mornings and evenings

1 month ago

This was really hard. The views of the bay were pretty cool, but the views while hiking were kind of dull. Just a lot of dry grass and cows. The trail is well maintained. Watch out for cow dung and bees!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, good views.. would be better if it for the smoke :-(

2 months ago

typical fire road trail hike. quite steep and little to no shade.

2 months ago

good hike if your looking for a workout. go as early as possible to beat the crowds. At a maderate pace finished on just over an hour.

2 months ago

full of people

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Loved the scenery! I would highly suggest bringing a full CamelBak and wearing very comfortably padded trail shoes. This was a very challenging incline and I regretted not bringing my trekking poles. The decent (going clockwise) was very hard on my toes. For dog people, bring a separate supply of water and a collapsible bowl. My in-shape, 28 lb dog drank down two water bottles easily. Eventually I had to pour from my own water supply but we had a blast! Also, good luck with parking! PS - parking tickets are $63

hiking
2 months ago

5 Stars for it’s difficulty yet manageable to complete. Incredible workout especially it’s long inclines....keeps your heart rate elevated.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked the loop clockwise at sunrise. There were already a ton of people by 6am, and the parking lot was full. The clockwise loop ascends a wide, dirt road, which near the summit turns into a rocky and uneven trail. The descent takes the Horse Heaven trail, which is narrow, steep and uneven. The morning light and the fog layer made for a pretty cool view of the bay. Took about an hour to hike up and another hour to make the steep descent.

2 months ago

Amazing views and fresh air

hiking
3 months ago

A harder hike than I remembered. A very steep incline and no plateaus. But so beautiful to look out over the bay. I can’t believe how many jerks hike with there stereos! It is called headphones, or, or... or you could actually hike and listen to the sounds of outside. I gave it a 4 Star because I remember hiking this and maybe only seeing a few people, but now it is a highway. A nice, difficult hike that is overrun.

hiking
3 months ago

Great view at the top, took the left trail then went back using the right trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Not for faint hearted... I felt easy while hiking from Stanford ave may be because I regularly go to gym, carry water as per body requirements. This is workout hike and not scenic one.

hiking
3 months ago

PLEASE keep in mind this hike is not as gradual as the Ohlone College side and has a tiny parking lot like the description says. I am not in the best shape but a few weeks of stairs and weight lifting prepped me fine for this hike. The last portion where it gets steeper is a surprise to those coming from the Ohlone side but for this Stanford side it's a cakewalk. I'd just recommend hiking shoes/shoes with crazy good grip for that last part because some patches of dirt could cause you to slip going up or down. Like everyone else has said, bring lots of water. I'm 5' 11" and over 250 lbs so I finished a 4L Camelbak during this hike and it wasn't even that hot. Overall though I really enjoyed this hike (because I prepared for it lol) and I'd recommend starting before 7am if you go on a weekend.

hiking
3 months ago

I love this hike! I use this hike/workout as a benchmark to test my fit level.

Go early. Always take LOTS of water.

The hike is strenuous-not for first timers or extreme overweight.

hiking
3 months ago

Go early, parking can be rough. Lots of water specially with high 80’s-90’s temperatures and good sunblock. Have good grip shoes as the way down can also be rough because it can be pretty steep. Not for the wussy minded that easily give up.

hiking
3 months ago

Way too many people. The Hike is hard; straight up and straight back down- not particularly scenic. Lots of people bring personal speakers and blast their music as they hike, so it's really not peaceful in any way unless you go there before anyone else arrives in the morning.

walking
3 months ago

3 months ago

I’ll admit it: I kind of hate this hike. It’s crowded, exposed, and it’s not particularly interesting. The view from the top is pretty in certain regards, but you are looking at a lot of development. You don’t really feel like you’re out in nature. But I do this hike because it’s tough and it’s a good training hike for other harder things. It’s my go-to when I’m trying to get in better shape (or get a sense of what shape I’m in). For that, I recommend it. Climbing half dome? Train w this hike. (Go up and down it 2x in a row; if you can do that you’re ready). But if you just want a pretty hike where you’re hiking w friends or a loved one, or you’re looking to feel like you’re actually in nature, skip this one.

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