Mission Peak night hike

Mission Peak night hike

Mission Peak is maybe one of most known hikes in the Bay Area. For some reason I never did this hike in the almost 4 years in the Bay Area until this point. Ryan was a fan of doing Mission Peak as a night hike, so that's what we did for my first time up Mission Peak.

There are four trailheads you could choose from. We started from the Ohlone College trailhead. Parking is in a college parking garage and you have to pay for parking. On later trips to Mission Peak I've started from the Stanford Avenue Staging Area trailhead. This parking is in a neighborhood, and most hikers park along one street. Starting from the Stanford Avenue Staging Area makes the hike a little bit shorter. I've never taken any of the other trailheads.

There are usually quite a few cows along the trail; sometimes they are very close to the trail. Probably don't bother them, although I pet one of the cows once.


Date: March 20, 2022
Trailhead: Ohlone College
Distance: 7.3 miles
Elevation gain: 2100 feet
Route type: Out and back

Trail log

Looking down the trail with grass and wire fence on the left, late afternoon light, lots of power line structures in the background
The start of the hike

We started in late afternoon, while most people were coming down the trail. There were some nice sunset views on the way up.

A little farther up the trail, view of a bunch of oak trees in the foreground, and the sun setting on the right and the city in the distance

While the trail from Stanford Avenue Staging Area is steep the entire way up, the Ohlone College trail has some flatter sections in the beginning.

Trail curving down through the green hills
Cows around a big feeding trough
Two hills meet and behind them you can see Fremont. The sky is a pale pink and blue.
View of Fremont
Sunset: hills and trees are dark silhouettes and you can see layers of hills behind with fog and a pink sky
Vertical image of a similar thing, but there's a view of the trail in the foreground.

At some point more than halfway up there's a restroom. Three of the trails also meet up here in a little triangle.

Wide dirt trail cutting straight up the green hill. The top of the hill is way far back and kind of pointy. The sky is a nice shade of blue.
Six cow silhouettes on a sloped hill
Four baby cows. One has a white nose and another has a white spot and stripe above its eyes. The cows are mostly a dark almost black brown.
A small cow silhouette on a hill with a dark red sunset behind.

The final section of the trail before the summit is steeper and rockier.

View from the top. Sunset on the left side and city lights on the right side.
City lights with red orange clouds above.

When we reached the top it was dark but the sky still had a reddish glow.

Mission Peak pole (a pole with some horizontal things sticking out) is a silhouette as is the mountain and the city lights are peaking out behind.

There is a pole-like structure marking the peak.

City lights. You can see the bay on the right.

The night view is actually very nice!

Another picture of the city, more in the direction of the bay. The sky still has a faint red glow.

That's the end of the pictures, since it was very dark.