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A steep climb up Mission Peak with great views of the southern half of the bay.

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Out and Back

2,465' 751 m


382' 116 m


2,083' 635 m


2,082' 635 m



Avg Grade (7°)


Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The parking lot closes at sunset; if planning to be later you should start at Ohlone College. Look for posted hours-- they are strictly enforced and violators will be subject to a minimum of $300 citations and/or arrest.


This route takes you up to a saddle on the route to the top of Mission Peak, and it's a great trail with stunning views of the southern bay area. Hikers are rewarded with views of Mount Hamilton to the south, the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west, Mt. Tamalpais to the north, and Mt. Diablo and the Sierra Nevada to the northeast.

The route starts of as a doubletrack with crushed gravel but quickly turns to a mostly dirt doubletrack. There are plenty of spots to stop and catch your breath and enjoy the view (and forget your in one of the most populated metro areas in the US).

Need to Know

Bring plenty of water as it is not available on the trail.


This ascent of Mission Peak begins from a well established trailhead with limited parking. Especially on weekends, you'll want to get going earlier in the morning to secure a parking spot. The trail is wide and quite popular with day hikers, and those looking to watch the sunset. Due to the popularity of the trail, please be courteous to others that you'll see along the way.

This trail starts off fairly navigable but gets steep quickly, with the steepest sections pitching up to 25%. The climb to the summit is fairly sustained, though you'll get a little bit of a break when you make your way around numerous switchbacks. The trail is pretty exposed, so you might want to bring water, even for this short excursion.

Once you reach the top, take a minute to take in the views! Fewer visitors reach the summit, and you'll have sweeping views all around you.

Flora & Fauna

Abundant turkey and the occasional cow, the area is a free range area. Hawks and vultures share the summit airspace with sailplanes riding the thermals, and look for a herd of feral goats roaming the cliffs.

History & Background

Iconic “Mission Peeker” summit pole: Sculptor and park ranger Leonard Page along with a crew of six erected the iconic “Mission Peeker” on December 27, 1990. The pole is over six feet in height, and the foundation is two feet deep with 120 pounds of concrete.

The sculptor's purpose was to promote environmental awareness. Sealed inside the steel tube are a crystal with traditional cultural uses, an Ohlone charmstone replica, a bottle of 1990 zinfandel wine whose yeast overshoot represents world population trends, and five time capsules with articles and photographs. The time capsules were intended to be opened in a century or more, after 2090, and focus on rainforest preservation, AIDs and homelessness. They offer images from popular culture of Bart Simpson, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Gary Larsen's Far Side cartoons


Shared By:

Chris Tallman

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 19 votes


  4.1 from 19 votes
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in California


11 Views Last Month
3,361 Since Feb 28, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



Fremont and Hayward from Mission Peak with the windy Ohlone Wilderness Trail in the front
Oct 28, 2017 near Milpitas, CA
Looking north at sunset on a warm July evening. Hills were covered with dry grass from here to Mt. Diablo.
Jul 17, 2019 near Milpitas, CA
Sunset on Mission Peak.
Feb 28, 2016 near Milpitas, CA
Hey there – just enjoying lunch with a view, huh?
Jul 6, 2017 near Milpitas, CA
Winding Ohlone Wilderness Trail
Oct 28, 2017 near Milpitas, CA
Milpitas and Fremont from Mission Peak
Oct 28, 2017 near Milpitas, CA



Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Oct 2, 2021
Courtney B
Very steep and exposed, must start early in the day 6.5mi — 3h 00m
Aug 21, 2021
Uttej Guduru
6.5mi — 6h 15m
Jul 5, 2021
Luis O
Dec 6, 2020
mich n
Aug 2, 2020
Lex Tokar
Dec 31, 2019
Gregory Kman
great first time 8mi — 2h 55m
Dec 27, 2019
Jerome Catrouillet
8mi — 3h 05m

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