Mileage - 8.5
Time - 2:58
AEG - 2,292ft
When the timing is right, in between marquee races, I'm trying to knock off as many peaks around the bay as possible. Hiking Mission Peak couldn't have worked out any better today as I had already planned to be nearby for an event in the morning. I knew of this peak not only from my own peak-bagging perceptual awareness, but mostly from it having a reputation with the locals as the "workout hike." Being in the fitness industry, and a hiker, it didn't take long for word to reach me.
So in conversation with one of our fitness center members, Mission Peak was mentioned and she eventually invited (more like challenged) me to join her up the "tough" route to the top. Challenge accepted. Just before 1:00 pm we began our trek from the Ohlone Wilderness trail, quickly making a right turn for the Horse Heaven trail and gaining 800 feet within the first mile! Okay, you've got my attention.
We made quick work out of those 2.5 miles to the peak, even with the 2,000+ft of gain. The next thing I knew we were standing on the summit with another one checked off the list. To avoid the crowds on the return trip we opted for a longer route down the mountain to the North. I was fine with the added mileage and lit up like a kid in a candy store when a guy heading uphill said there was a rattlesnake about a quarter mile down the path. Of course I began running to see what would be my first rattlesnake in California.
Mission Peak (center) from the Ohlone Wilderness Trailhead
Ohlone Wilderness to the Southeast from Mission Peak
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake on the Peak Trail