Mission Peak Loop from Stanford Avenue Staging Area

HARD 1,331 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
2135 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.

hiking
1 minute 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 days 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
5 days 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.

6 days ago

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

hiking
12 days 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
14 days 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
23 days ago

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

walking
23 days ago

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

hiking
26 days 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.

1 month ago

It was better then expected, amazing hike!

1 month ago

Great hike. The first half kicked my ass but I caught a second wind and finished strong. One of the harder hikes in the area in terms of incline. I love that you have the option to do a loop or return on the same path

1 month ago

good uphill climb for 3 miles. gets windy at the top.

1 month ago

Hike is not easy as it seems. It is beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this trail two times in two years. It’s a great hike and the first time it took about 2-3 hours up and 1-2 hours down for amateurs like me. But the scenery was beautiful and breathtaking. The second year it was a lot faster but this time we went on a noon which was a terrible idea because this trail doesn’t have many trees to keep you in the shade. And then there were a lot more hikers at the peak taking pictures with the pole and lining up. But overall this is a great hike if you want to challenge yourself in inclined steep path.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was intense. Lots of incline, but the scenery was beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorite hikes! Beautiful mountain, but start early, the sun is a killer during the summer.

hiking
1 month ago

This is an absolutely beautiful hike. You will see loads of wildlife. We saw turkeys, hawks, snakes, and lizards. My wife wanted to do this as a mothers day hike, so we took our two little adventurers (four and three years old) with us. We went at a slow pace and only did about half of this trail.

It is fairly difficult as its an incline the entire way, but it provides an astounding view!

hiking
1 month ago

If you park by the college expect to walk two more miles. Go early, majority of the hike is direct sun. Take plenty of water and no restrooms until
You almost get to the peak. Not recommended for smaller kids, a lady fell from the hill when I went, she survived but it is very rocky getting to the actual peak. Views are amazing on top.

1 month ago

A lot of nice views, a lot of fun!!! There is a problem with parking but in general great experience)

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked here on Earth day. Full incline trail with very minimal rest. Good, hard, fun hike!

1 month ago

Hiked it from the Stanford Staging area. A bit cloudy and overcast, which actually made for an incredible day of hiking. Definitely STEEP however so worth it. Very few people - which I hear is a rarity- my friend and I are in our 60’s and will totally be back on the trail on a clear day to enjoy the view!! ENJOY!

hiking
2 months ago

Been to this spot several times, and it just gives you that awesome feeling to keep on pushing. The reward is at the very top! Awesome views. It’s best to come early in the morning,get that fresh area and good parking!!!

2 months ago

Amazing views! Carry lots of water.

2 months ago

excellent trail especially in spring season..perfect weather and great views with greenery and wildflowers all around

2 months ago

We started the hike from ohlone college. Parking was not a problem. Started at 8:30 am. Weather was perfect today, partly cloudy. One of the good workout hike. This is definitely not an easy one. But not that cannot be done. Hike at your own pace and you should be fine. Views from the top were mind blowing. I would love to do it again!

2 months ago

amazing

hiking
2 months ago

Full moon hike FTW! Planned it so we’d catch sunset from the top, but the real highlight was moonrise! Forget the crowds during the day, this is a great one at night, but FYI, Stanford Ave curfew is 8pm, so if you plan on staying longer then use the Ohlone College entrance which is open until 10pm.

2 months ago

I been here a 100 times and I love it. Such a great workout. My dogs can't make it I usually carry them in my backpack. If you go really early you get to hang out with the cows. :)

hiking
3 months ago

Very hard trail in terms of elevation gain but totally worth it. Only problem is it is too open but great vistas from the top.

3 months ago

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

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