Mission Peak Loop from Stanford Avenue Staging Area

HARD 1,399 reviews

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

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.

1 day ago

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

4 days 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.

4 days ago

full of people

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
17 days 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
18 days ago

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

hiking
23 days 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.

24 days ago

Amazing views and fresh air

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

1 month 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.

1 month ago

I took this trail successfully around 8 years ago. I spent 2 hours to climb to the top of mission peak in a very cold winter morning, even a lot of frost and icy on the ground. I spent one and half hours from top to trail entrance. Good view and very good memory. Hope in the near future I can have my second run again!

hiking
1 month ago

Tough as hell

hiking
1 month ago

A challenging trail. We went to the outer trail and it was hard to find the trail. Thank goodness I have the all trail app to find my way

1 month ago

Steady climb made for a good workout. However, completely exposed, with views that are just "OK"

hiking
1 month ago

For my first hike as an adult it was really difficult. I had to keep telling myself you got this. So for me going up wasn’t bad but coming down was just ugh..... imma go again one day. Maybe I can see the sun rise or set....

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked this trail almost every single week for the past two years, challenge and fun. I prefer to hike in the early morning to avoid big sunshine since there is no shade through the whole trail. Going up through the horse heaven side is even tougher since it is more steep, and the grasses are covering the trails during summer season, and also rattle snakes are often spotted during the summer season, it is better to wear long pants.

hiking
2 months ago

Very difficult especially since I’m not an experienced hiker. You will burn off a weeks worth of calories.

I will definitely do it again.

2 months ago

Awesome hike!!! going up only uphill. coming down pretty fast because only downhill.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike later in the day as an evening hike starting around 5:40pm. Even though it was cooler (mid 60's), we built up plenty of heat making it up to the top. Much of the climb is exposed to sun and heat, making the steeper portions fairly difficult. Once you get near the top, the wind picks up and helps cool you down.

Fair warning on the top, the last 1/4 mile or so is quite steep and can be very rocky. Use caution navigating the terrain. My wife and I nearly slipped a couple times on the way back down.

Otherwise, an excellent and challenging hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Boy, what a hike. Exhilarating and rewarding after a strenuous ascent. At 2 pm the sun was beating down and the thought of being completely exposed, away from shade, gave me anxiety. The first few minutes into the hike I was considering turning back around. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and even with a big water jug I felt panicked about the oppressive sunshine. I steadily pushed through and luckily came upon a shaded area from a little patch of trees! I gave a drink of water to some friendly squirrels who were also seeking refuge in the trees' cover. Somehow helping them distracted me from my own fears and gave me a boost of determination and eagerness to keep going. I was committed to reaching the top. Another shaded area fast approached, this time with a tree that had an inviting branch to lay on. After some photos, me and my friend kept pushing on. I was able to enjoy the clear view the farther up we went. Lots of bustling squirrels, hawks, wild turkeys, and moseying cows along the way. Finally we reach what seems to be close to the peak and learn from a descending hiker that we had another 45 minutes to go. Well, we pressed on. My friend began feeling the strain in her legs. I was feeling great and excited to reach the top. Up we went, passing the Ohlone College trail and wrapped around to the right to see the rocky gravel incline that led to the even steeper (but short) rock scramble. We made it! What a sense of relief and accomplishment. The wind whipping around you, cheering you on. A hang-glider above us also yelled out "Congrats!" It was awesome. No one was at the peak when we got there which was really cool. We took some photos and a fellow hiker, who had done the trail over 100 times, advised us to take another trail down instead of the way we came up. It took us a little longer since it went out a bit and wrapped around but it was easier terrain and we also got to look out on Livermore and the Diablo range.

The way down took us about 1.5 hours. Going up took two. That's with frequent stops and in the heat. Going on an overcast day or in cooler months would surely make a difference in stamina and overall comfort. I'll have to try going then and see how it changes the experience. But for my first hike up to Mission Peak I'm happy it was a challenge and proud that I got through it.

hiking
2 months ago

Moderate hike, lots of uphill. Not much view until your at the top.

walking
2 months ago

Great place early morning! Not recommended on warm days, too dry.

hiking
2 months ago

Great loop! We were told to take a left at the start to follow the more challenging route and it's basically all uphill with a couple of very short flat sections. I'd say this is a moderate trail...we saw lots of dogs and kids along the way. Took us about 1.5 hrs to reach the summit and we were pretty sweaty and tan. Along the way, we ran into hoards of people, some that felt compelled to blast music on speakers (seriously?!). The descent was much more pleasant and quiet, though we ran into lots of wildlife - cows galore! We even had to wait for one to pass so we could move forward!

I recommend veering right at the start and doing an out and back from there if you prefer the quiet route.

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