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    Mission Peak from Ohlone College
    (Sunday, June 25 in Fremont, CA)

    See also my photo album from this hike.

    I decided to forego my scheduled bike training ride this day to instead do a long'ish hike, since I am planning on (at least trying :) summiting Mt. Whitney as a day hike on August 11th, and some training for that is really a good idea! I'd been wanting to go to Mission Peak ever since I moved to Fremont in March of 2000, and decided that today was the day. None of my friends were available, so I filled up my Camelback with water and Clif Bars and set off on my own. I initially had planned on hiking up from the Stanford Ave. trailhead, but I couldn't find any parking, so I continued north on Mission Blvd. to Ohlone College, where parking was abundant.

    It took me a few false starts to figure out exactly where the trailhead is - Looking down on Fremont it wasn't marked at all except for a sign a ways down the road that said "Ohlone Trail" and had an arrow vaguely pointing towards the hills. Before too long, however, I found what looked like a trailhead at a cattle Trail through the woods gate. My suspicions were shortly confirmed a little later when I saw a trail marker for the Ohlone Wilderness / Peak Trail.

    The first part of the hike was moderately steep, but very exposed except for one small patch of trees. A few mountain bikers sloooowly passed me as I climbed, but it was otherwise pretty deserted (probably since I'd gotten a relatively late start at 10:30). As the trail rose, the views of the Tri-City area kept improving until the trail crested and turned around a ridge. After another short exposed bit passing a bunch of cows, the trail flattened out considerably and entered a lovely woods, following Mill Creek Road just below it.

    Pleasanton Ridge and Mt. Diablo The path exited the trees and continued gently upwards until it joined a gravel fire road and got a good deal steeper. There were lovely views of Pleasanton Ridge and Mt. Diablo from this road (as well as several large houses that must have views to die for). After a little ways, I rounded a corner and there was First look at the summit the summit looming ahead! It looked pretty steep (and was!). It took a little longer on the fire road until I got to the base of the real peak, and from there, the trail (such as it is) became very steep and rough. There were a lot more people around here, as the trail from Stanford Ave. joins the Peak Trail about 1/4mi from the start of the summit climb.

    Peep-holes at the summit I had been making pretty decent time until this point, but the "trail" (and I use the term loosely) was so steep and rocky for the last 1/2mi, the going was fairly slow. At my slow pace, however, I had plenty of time to enjoy the fantastic views of the Peninsula, East Bay, Pleasanton, Livermore, and the Sunol Wilderness. After a little while of grunting, I was at the top! The view from the summit was sweeping. There's a pole at the summit with numbered peep-holes in it pointing out various landmarks. There were probably 15-20 people (4 bikers, the rest hikers) at the summit when I got there. I plopped down and chowed a couple of Clif Bars, and took a bunch of pictures.

    Windsailer After spending a little while at the summit, I headed back down. As usual, it was more painful coming down than going up, and I had to be careful on the slippery slopes near the top of the peak. As I was heading down, several windsailers took off nearby. There was a pretty stiff breeze blowing, and they soared far overhead - it looked like a lot of fun! Once I was off the main climb, it was much easier going, and I made good time. I noticed a small cave on the side of the trail that I somehow missed on the way up, and soon arrived back at my car.

    Hike Stats:
    Distance: ~7mi
    Ascent Time: 1h 50m
    Dwell Time @ summit: 25m
    Descent Time: 1h 21m
    Total Time: 3h 38m
    Total Climbing: ~2100 ft
    Difficulty: 6
    Scenery: 7
    Trail condition/markings/etc: 6
    Overall rating: 7

    Last modified 08 February, 2011 MST
    Copyright © 2009 Adam R. Paul
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