You’ve wanted to hike Mission Peak for a while now, but you’re not sure how long it will take. You want to make sure you give yourself enough time to hike the trail and enjoy the views, but you also don’t want to be out on the trail all day.
So, how long does it take to hike Mission Peak?
On average, it takes most people 3-4 hours to hike Mission Peak. However, this will vary depending on your fitness level, the weather conditions, and how much time you take to rest and enjoy the views.
If you’re an experienced hiker, you may be able to hike the Mission Peak trail in less time. However, if you’re new to hiking, or the weather is particularly hot or cold, it may take you longer to hike the trail.
Allow us to take you through everything there is to know and love about this fantastic trail. Pack your bags, it’s time to go on an adventure.
How Long Does It Take to Hike Mission Peak?
Hiking up Mission Peak is a popular trail for East Bay Area residents. The hike to the summit is about 5 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of about 2,000 feet.
For most people, the hike takes 3-4 hours to complete. However, this will vary depending on your fitness level, weather conditions, and how much time you take to rest and enjoy the views.
If you’re hiking Mission Peak in the winter, be sure to wear warm clothing and hike with a friend. In the summer, hike early in the day to avoid the heat.
No matter what time of year you hike, always bring plenty of water and snacks. After all, it is important to stay hydrated while you are on the trail and keep your energy levels up. Drinks containing electrolytes, such as sports drinks, are an excellent option as well.
How Tough is Mission Peak?
Mission Peak is a relatively challenging hike, especially if you are not used to hiking in the Bay Area. The trail is mostly exposed, so there is little to no shade.
There are some steep sections on the trail, but nothing that is too difficult to hike up. There are also some stairs near the summit, which can be challenging if you are tired from the hike.
The Regular Trail or the Steep Trail?
The regular trail is the most popular option for hiking Mission Peak. It is shorter and less steep than the steep trail.
The steep trail is, as the name suggests, much steeper than the regular trail. It is longer, and most people find it more challenging.
Which trail you hike is up to you, but we recommend the regular trail unless you are an experienced hiker.
The Fire Road
The fire road is an alternative to the regular trail. It is an easier hike, but it is longer. Additionally, it is a good option if you want an easier hike, or if the regular trail is closed. Please note that dogs are not allowed on the fire road.
The Sunol Regional Wilderness Trail
The Sunol Regional Wilderness trail is the longest trail to hike Mission Peak. At 10 miles round trip, it is a hike for experienced hikers only.
This trail is also the most difficult, with an elevation gain of over 3,000 feet. We do not recommend this trail unless you are an experienced hiker in good physical condition.
Horse Heaven Trail
The Horse Heaven Trail is an alternative to the regular trail. It is a longer hike, at 6 miles round trip, but it is less steep. This trail is a good option if you want a less challenging hike, or if the regular trail is closed. It is part of the Stanford Avenue trailhead.
Please note that dogs are not allowed on the Horse Heaven Trail. Contrary to what the name might suggest, it is not a riding trail and so there is no horseback riding permitted.
Peak Meadow Trail
The Peak Meadow Trail is an alternative to the regular trail. It is a longer hike, at 6 miles round trip, but it is less steep. This trail is a good option if you want a gentler hike.
Hidden Valley Trail
The Hidden Valley Trail is an alternative to the regular trail. It is a longer hike, at 7 miles round trip, but it is less steep. This trail is a good option if you want to avoid crowds.
Bay Area Ridge Trail
The Bay Area Ridge Trail is an alternative to the regular trail. It is a longer hike, at 8 miles round trip, but it is less steep. This trail is a good option if you want sweeping views of the Bay Area.
Regional Preserve Trails
There are several Mission Peak regional preserve trails in the area that offer different challenges. The Ohlone Wilderness Trail is a popular option for experienced hikers. It is 30 miles long, with an elevation gain of over 4,000 feet.
For a shorter hike, the Coyote Hills Regional Park trail is a good option. It is only 3 miles long, but it has an elevation gain of over 500 feet. The Mission Peak regional preserve is also home to the Monument Peak, which is gorgeous.
Dogs are not allowed on either of these trails.
Overall, this park is a great hike for those who are looking for a challenge. Just be sure to come prepared with plenty of water and take your time on the trail.
Is Mission Peak Suitable for Beginners?
If you’re looking for a hike that is beginner-friendly, Mission Peak is a great option. The hike to the summit is about 5 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of about 2,000 feet.
While the hike is challenging, it is doable for most people. Just be sure to take your time on the trail and rest when necessary.
If you are a beginner hiker, we recommend starting with the regular trail. It is shorter and has much less of an incline than the steep trail.
Can You Hike Mission Peak at Night?
Hiking Mission Peak at night is not recommended. The trail is mostly exposed, so there is little to no shade. Additionally, the trail can be challenging in the dark. If you go for a Mission Peak hike at night, be sure to bring a flashlight and hike with a friend.
If you are feeling daring (and being safe), there is a lot to be said for tackling the trail at night. You get a clear view of the night sky, and if you bring a small telescope with you, there might be an opportunity to catch some spectacular constellations.
The Mission Peak summit offers the best chance to catch the stars, and it is high above the lights of the parking lot. It’s the best part of the Mission Peak trail, and there is nothing like it in the Bay area ridge.
Just remember, if you want to hike the Peak at night, you need to stay inside the park past closing time; otherwise, it will be a little tricky to get past the gates. Either that or make sure you are staying at an adjacent campground.
Can You Cycle Mission Peak?
Yes, you can cycle Mission Peak. In fact, many people do, and mountain bikes are very welcome on the trail. Just be aware that the climb is pretty tough, so it is recommended that you are an experienced cyclist.
There is a lot of traffic on the road leading up to Mission Peak, so be sure to use caution when cycling. Mountain bikers will need to watch out for hikers, dogs, and kids when they are taking the trail.
We also recommend that you hike the Peak trail if you are looking for a challenge, as it is a much more difficult hike than the average hike.
Are Dogs Allowed at Mission Peak?
Dogs are not allowed on the fire road, but they are welcome on the regular trail and the steep trail. Just be sure to keep your dog on a leash at all times, as there are many other hikers on the trail and the rules state that dogs are not allowed to be off the leash.
You should also check with the park before you bring your dog so that you can plan which trails you want to take in advance to avoid accidentally traveling on those that don’t allow dogs.
What is There to Do at Mission Peak?
There is loads to do when you are visiting the trail. Mission Peak has guided hikes that tell a story and teach you about the area’s history. It’s a fun and interesting experience that can immerse you in the area.
Mission Peak is a hike that offers lots of different activities for visitors. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, you can try paragliding or rock climbing. If you want to take it easy, you can hike to the summit and enjoy the stunning views.
You also have the opportunity to fly drones or try your hand at primitive camping if you want to try and reconnect with nature.
There really is something for everyone at Mission Peak.
Mission Peak is a great hike for those who are looking for a challenge. It is also a suitable hike for beginner hikers. Just be sure to come prepared with plenty of water and take your time on the trail.
Dogs are allowed on the regular trail and the steep trail, but they must be kept on a leash at all times. There is loads to do when you are visiting the trail, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.
No matter how long it takes you to hike Mission Peak, the important thing is that you enjoy your hike and take in the beautiful views. So, get out there and hike at your own pace, and enjoy the experience.