The novice hikers guide to surviving Mission Peak

With a 7 mile trail and no shade in site, a hike to the top of Mission Peak is best taken in the winter sometime around February – May when it isn’t too rainy for muddy boots and isn’t too hot to get a heat stroke. The trail is usually open to the public from 6:30 am to 8:00 pm. Compared to Big Sur and the 17 mile drive trails, this one is a little less scenic but worth it for the challenge. Most north Californians know about this moderately tough trail and have been on an adventure or two here to enjoy the view of the silicon valley from the peak. Mission Peak is one of the high hiking trails in the city of Fremont, California.

Some things never to forget are:

  1. Water

    You’ll see plenty of warnings on the trail to turn back and get water if you don’t have any and as with any hike you will definitely need at least 2 litres depending on your pace. Also make sure to use the bathroom before you enter the trail as you will not find loos in abundance on the trail. If you are getting your pet along, make sure to get them some extra water for them too!

  2. Snacks

    Pack light with granola bars, dried fruit, nuts and small sandwiches especially if you are going with a family or kids (Yes, I have seen kids completing this hike and if they can do it, you can do it too πŸ˜€ ).

  3. Sunscreen

    Mission peak is a combination of valleys and hills with a few choices along the way about which path you want to walk. Since there is absolutely no shade anywhere, sunblock is a must if you are taking this trail during the day. It takes anywhere from 2.5 to 5 hours to get back down depending on your pace and with no shade be certain that you will thoroughly be bronzed and burned by the time you are back.

  4. Jacket

    It can get extremely windy during the winter months especially at the peak. Come prepared with layered clothing that you can easily modify depending on how you find the weather.

  5. RunningΒ shoes

    You will be doing a lot of walking/running on this trail if you intend on reaching the top and no pair of flats will save you from the steep slopes and rocky terrain on the last 500 feet so it goes without saying that you will need a good pair of shoes to make this journey comfortable.

  6. A Camera

    Finally, about the selfies – on most days you will find people queued up by the 20’s to get a picture at the top. And why not? If you made your way to the top, give yourself a pat on the back and whip out that selfie stick. Whether it be your phone or a fancy DSLR, no hike to mission peak is complete without a selfie at the famous pole.


    Additionally, you can take pictures of green hills, views of the valleys and cows grazing, sometimes even a para-glider!

13 thoughts on “The novice hikers guide to surviving Mission Peak

  1. Wow, the sky was really plain that day, huh? Nice photos! πŸ™‚ I don’t know if it’s just how your blog appears on my screen, but the photos were so large that they practically filled the entire page, which meant that I couldn’t look at the picture and read the descriptions/captions at the same time. It also made for a lot of scrolling. I think if you were to resize the photos, it’d make for a better user experience. πŸ™‚ Otherwise, it’s a short and sweet post!

    1. They are full size by default and because my screen is huge sometimes I forget lol. Thanks for the tips, I just resized! Also, the sky is empty on clear days but the night sky is amazing! with the view of the city below and stars in the sky it makes for some lovely photography!

  2. Seems like a great hike. I just love the rewarding feeling when you reach that specific point or destination and get rewarded with great views. Beautiful article and pics! Thank you!

    1. That is what happened to me too πŸ˜€ ! My fingers were frozen and by the time I got to the pole for a selfie, I couldn’t hold on to it.

  3. Wow, that view is incredible. I really enjoyed your photography and how vibrant the colours are. Great tip about sunscreen, it’s definitely something I always forget about.

  4. Amazing pictures! These vivid colours are fascinating! What camera are you using?? Thank you for sharing your experience, the only misunderstanding is I have no idea where this hiking opportunity is! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Kate,
      I use a Nikon D3300! And Mission peak is in Fremont, California! I modified to include that info in the post. Thanks for the positive feedback on the pictures πŸ™‚

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