Hikers: Cathy, Laura
Distance: 6.91 miles
If you prefer single track over fire trails, rolling hills over straight up and straight down, and isolation over crowds, you may want to skip this one. We only did this hike so that we could mark it off the books (and I was looking for a challenge).
Mission Peak stands at an elevation of 2,517 feet. You climb about 2,200 feet in 3.5 miles. It took us about two hours forty five minutes to reach the top. If you do attempt this hike, you will notice everyone seems to do an out and back hike. We did a loop, taking Horse Heaven trail back. We ran in to maybe five other people this way and it was as close to single track as we could get. We finished in just under five hours.
Heads up: Go early! And I mean early! We thought we were getting an early start at eight thirty. Absolutely NO parking at the Stanford staging area. We had to park in the neighborhood a half mile down the road.
Yep. This is it. Dry and barren.
Did I mention crowded?
At one point on the trail there were so many grasshoppers, it looked as if the ground was moving.
Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum. (Jaws theme song.)
I was surprised to see any wildlife at all with the crowds of people here.
I asked Laura "I wonder if pilots call this ant hill?" From above we must look like a procession of ants.
Not sure what the fascination of the "totem" pole is.
Everyone standing around waiting their turn to climb it, and have their photo taken.
Laura took a major tumble on the way down. Surprisingly this was the only damage (as we could see anyway).
There are some picnic tables down there - in full sun. Hopefully the trees will eventually grow and shade them.
Mt. Diablo in the background.
The bird's head looks like snake head, don't you think?
Would like to know what that white section is. Salt marsh? Though it has red in it as well - algae?
Quick draw McGraw!
(My sister always takes such flattering photos of me..)
That's the peak. You can barely see all the people gathered around the pole.
Hidden Valley, Ohlone Wilderness, Peak, Horse Heaven, Peak Meadow.