Mission Peak via Bay Area Ridge Trail and Ed Levin Park

HARD 44 reviews
#3 of 4 trails in

Mission Peak via Bay Area Ridge Trail and Ed Levin Park is a 13.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Milpitas, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

13.5 miles
3,175 feet

dogs on leash


nature trips


bird watching



wild flowers


Extra-strenuous hike goes to Monument Peak, Mission Peak and back over 14 miles in an excellent spring outing. Hiking to Monument Peak from Ed Levin County Park, huffing it over to Mission Peak and returning is a true test of mettle for San Francisco Bay Area trekkers. If you're up for it, this is a great way to summit Mission Peak and skip the crowds--and parking hassles--at the popular Stanford Avenue entrance to Mission Peak Regional Preserve. Instead, take a southern tack from Ed Levin County Park just east of Milpitas. The long, steep hike up from Ed Levin is one of the toughest in the South Bay, but it has some of the best vistas in the region. As you near the Monument Peak summit, watch for the mysterious stone walls: some believe they were built by indigenous peoples who inhabited these hills for centuries before European settlers arrived. Best time to go is in the springtime when the wildflowers are out in force and the hills are a shimmering shade of green. Winter's nice, too, especially after the hills have been dusted with snow. Summer is brutal and fall is bone-dry. On your return from Mission Peak, you can turn right at the Agua Caliente Trail near the transmission tower at Monument Peak; note this is an extremely steep descent in places. Retracing your original route might be preferable if downhills punish your knees.

1 month ago

Really good hike for Spring! Most of the climb is in the first 3.5 miles, and it provides an excellent, less crowded backdoor to Mission Peak. The hike down from Monument peak through the Agua Caliente Trail is a real treat, with excellent views of the city. The only downside is the trails can get quite muddy right after rains.

5 months ago

My new favorite. Hard, but gorgeous and rewarding.

8 months ago

Great hike. Pretty hard at the beginning. A good variety of views over the bay. Crowded at the second peak but otherwise very nice.

9 months ago

Nice change of scenery to peninsula hiking that I usually do and nice way up mission peak that is significantly less traveled. I’d say drawbacks were: very exposed/ very little shade, grassy and ticks so wear pants!, lots of cow ####, and I would not do this is in the summer mainly because I think the grass would be teaming with all those pesky pricklers.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Wow, this hike is gorgeous! And it’s a total ass-kicker, especially the first 3.5 miles! Be prepared for inclement weather...it was hot when I parked but super windy and foggy at the higher elevation.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Good experience with a great view at the end, but definitely a hard hike for first timers. Bring plenty of water!!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Amazing hike and great accomplishment!!! Well recommended to anyone.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

This ones a great leg workout!!!

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Great workout, strenuous and hard. Almost gave up the first time i went. Just keep yourself motivated and keep going . never quit. Bring at least 2 liters of water or more. The earlier you hike, the better.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

go early in the morning and bring lots of water

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Great view from the peaks. It is much less traffic to go up to Mission Peak. The first 3-4 miles are the hardest continuous ascend to the peak. The weather was wonderful and all the recent rains made everything so green. The trails were very muddy many places. I was glad that I was wearing water proof hiking boots.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

We did this today. Started from the sandy wool lake at 7:30 although the park opens at 8, we were lucky it opened earlier. This is a very difficult hike both from distance and elevation perspective. It took us 6 hours to complete the hike. Due to plenty of rains recently, there was plenty of greenery all along add to it the beautiful weather.

Overall i highly recommend this if you are serious hiker.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Round trip in 5 hrs; tough but not crippling. Good hike through the Oak groves up Monument Peak. Encountered lots of deer, wild turkeys and some Coyotes but not much flowers at this time of the year. Passes by what looks like the source of the Calaveras Creek. When you get to Monument Peak it is still an hour hike to Mission Peak through a trail on the ridge that connects several peaks. You pass by Ellison Peak but it is closed to hikers.

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