The iconic Mission Peak is the top Bay Area of California Hike. It is a famous hiking spot among people with wanderlust, hikers, travel enthusiasts, and adventurers. Mission Peak is a 6.2-mile round-trip trail with elevation gains of 2500 feet. This challenging hiking trail is just 40 miles from a safe city, San Francisco. Mission Peak is a steep hike that gains over 2,000 feet in 3.1 miles to 360-degree views. It is a place to have intense workouts and fathom incredible views.
While you may be surprised at how long is the mission peak hike, it is incredible to see it’s a big 5 hours in total. However, this struggle is worth all the effort! The walk is billed as daring level because of the steep incline of over 2100 feet in 3 miles. Pretty exciting, right?
Let’s dive deep to learn how long it takes to hike Mission Peak and its safety and parking concerns.
Best Time to Hike the Mission Peak Trail
Mission Peak holds a symbolic significance, and it is the pride of Fremont. It is located east of Fremont, California, which includes Mount Allison and Monument Peak. It becomes tempting to reach the top while neglecting the weather or safety conditions. However, we recommend you be mindful of the temperature around the mission peak hike.
Firstly, make a firm decision of when you want to hike, and secondly, if you are traveling from another city, when is the most suitable time for you to arrive at Fremont? All these concerns depend upon the hiker’s preferences. Moreover, considering other factors, such as the mission’s peak weather, it changes based on different months, such as:
- Temperature is relatively high in the summer and early fall. Hike on mission peak on hot days is brutal.
- Increased chance of rain during winter.
- Winter, Christmas, and spring are the best times to hike on Mission Peak.
Difficulty Level: 5-Hour Mission Peak Hike
The pro hikers are drawn towards a 5 hours long mission peak hike for a reason. This challenging hike is at an extreme level of difficulty, even for the pros. You are required to have good stamina, function with an agile mind, and move forward with perfectly articulated plan. It may sound complex, but hikers must calculate their every move according to the complicated hiking level of Mission Peak. Be prepared for the elevation gain of 2100 feet of Mission Peak.
This Bay Area Ridge trail hike is a pretty high elevation gain, which requires strength. Moreover, it is wise to think and be prepared before hopping on a 5-hour-long hike at Mission Peak.
Factors Affecting Hiking Time
We have already discussed the average time taken to hike on Mission Peak. However, there are a few key factors that impact your hiking time. Some of these are as follows:
Individual Fitness Level
Before taking the challenging step of hiking to a five or more hour-long route on this magic place, tick a few checkboxes. It will help you make a realistic decision about whether you should hike on Mission Peak or let this idea pass.
Your fitness level determines how far can you quickly go on a hiking adventure. You must have at least a moderate level of hiking experience; you must be physically active and have a daily running habit. Please consider the power of your fitness level; it will affect your ability to face the upfront hiking challenges.
Typical Duration for Different Fitness Levels
Another effective and better way to determine how far you can go on the Mission Peak hike is to check the actual time according to the chart:
|Fitness Level||Avg. Time|
|Beginner||3 hours||2 hours||5 hours|
|Intermediate||2.5 hours||1.5 hours||4 hours|
|Advanced||2 hours||1 hour||3 hours|
Keep in mind that these are the estimated time durations of how long it will take you to hike on Mission Peak. Other discussed factors can also affect the required hiking time.
Pace and Breaks
I know it may be tempting to hike all at once, but restoring your energy through taking small breaks can be more effective. Walking with pace and taking moderate breaks in between can affect how long it takes to hike Mission Peak.
Make sure to give yourself at least a 2-3 minute break to relax your muscles and hydrate yourself.
Keep yourself updated with the weather forecasts. Avoid hiking between 11:00 am – 3:00 pm; most areas of Mission Peak hike do not have trees, which means no shadow to rest or take relaxing breaks.
Be prepared for the extreme heat, strong winds, and heavy rain while hiking on Mission Peak. Dress appropriately and wear strong, good-quality boots. Keep sunscreen, hats, and rain jackets in your bag; you never know when you will need one.
Where to Park to Hike the Mission Peak Trail?
Assuming that you arrived at the trailhead of Mission Peak by your vehicle, then it is hard to find a parking spot. On the contrary, the parking matter is also demanding in the winter. What can you do to prevent any parking hurdle? Well, not much; try to get to the parking spot early. On weekends, the best time to arrive at the parking spot is between 7:00 am – 8:00 am.
Following are the places where you can park your vehicle easily:
Stanford Avenue Staging Area on the Mission Peak Regional Preserve
Parking situations are congested on weekends. The car’s capacity is only 43 at least. Timings are 6:30 am – 8:00 pm (Dec 23 – Mar 31) and 6:30 am – 9:00 pm (Apr 1 – Dec 22).
Space: 250 spaces
Timing: 6:30 am – 9:00 pm (contact before arrival)
The Ohlone College Entrance Parking
Timing: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm.
Peak Point of Mission Peak Hike
There is ample curiosity about what is on top of mission peak. Although the hype is justified due to its jaw-dropping views, there is more to it. It takes 2 hours to get to the top of Mission Peak, requiring dedication and stamina to get to this popular point. This famous landmark on Mission Peak is the Peeker Pole or Mission Peeker.
This pole is over six feet (1.8 m) in height; the foundation is two feet (0.6 m) deep with 120 pounds (54 kg) of concrete.
Why is Mission Peak so Popular among Hikers?
Undoubtedly, the adventurers admire the top of the mission peak; however, there is more to that. This peak spot holds a certain altitude of historical importance, too. Let’s uncover what other reasons this peak pole gives hikers to hop onto a challenging 5 hours mission peak hike and what historical extent it holds.
This pole holds a value due to the following reasons:
- Mission Peak Pole has become a cherished unofficial tradition to capture photographs with it once you’ve reached the summit of Mission Peak.
- Peeker Pole’s history goes back to the 1990s when it was constructed with four faces, towards North and South.
- Time capsule buried underneath this pole. This time capsule includes an Ohlone charm stone replica, some gem photos, and articles from the 1990s. The East Bay Regional Park District officials confirm this information.
- The peeker holes are installed for the hikers to witness the beauty of the Bay area. You get to see the view that millions cannot even notice in their entire lives.
It is a breathtaking scene that shows a glimpse of our planet’s nature, worth the shot of 5 hours of tiresome hiking time on mission peak.
Mission Peak Trail Hiking Tips
Before planning a hike to Mission Peak, make sure that you have all the resources to ensure your safety. Follow the below-mentioned tips to make sure you come back from Mission Peak in one piece:
- Respect the privacy of people around you. Avoid drones as they are prohibited.
- Keep your cellular devices close to you and spare mobile chargers, too.
- Bicycles are not allowed while going towards single-track hiking or horseback riding trails.
- Wear hats; sun exposure is high at mission peak, so bring your sunscreen and reapply it.
- Avoid getting in contact with wildlife and avoid feeding them.
- A toilet facility is not available, not even at the parking spots.
- Download apps to keep track of your hike and trails. Taking a picture of your trail map in the parking lot is recommended.
- Wear good quality boots, shoes, or sneakers to ensure safety.
- Hiking consists of getting sweety muddy. Bring your spare clothes along with you.
- Bring some light snacks and bring your water.
- Do not bring your pets. No dogs, cats, or pets are allowed on Mission Peak. If you have to bring your pet along with you, keep them on a leash at least before hitting near 200 feet from trial.
Mission Peak gives you the taste of freedom and the actual experience of being a mountaineer. As it takes almost 5 hours, there is complete dedication required. You can either drive to the trailhead or settle on public transport. Other than the astonishing views, there are some hard facts about hiking towards this peak. The trail is dry and bald, meaning less shadow and fewer trees.
It is preferred to hike during the winter or spring season. The temperature is bearable and easy to deal with. So, buckle up and gear with precautions. Most importantly, watch out for the rocky incline, which tends to get preposterously steep.
Diana was an active fitness model in the past. She has had numerous shoots done at different locations and found out that her true interest was in exploring the world! Later on, this passion motivated her to write multiple tarvel blogs about whatever place she visited and discovered, and here it is! Enjoy reading a variety of blogs by Diana to get a lively experience of several places.