Mission Peak/Mount Allison
Place Name: Mission Peak Regional Preserve
Place Description: State: California
Mission Peak Elevation: 2,517 Feet
Mission Peak Prominence: 197 Feet
Mount Allison Elevation: 2,658 Feet Mount Allison Prominence: 1,578 Feet Miles: 10.15
Elevation Gain: 2,625 Feet
Lists: Mission - SF Nifty-Ninety, Everest By The Bay
Fun Hike, Too Many People
Wanted to get in some elevation gain during the spring. Definitely a hike you wanna do in the spring or fall, this would be miserable in the summer. Way too many people.
- Well marked trails
- Green grass in spring
- Good workout
- Way too many people
- Horrible parking
- Radio towers on Allison
It’s mid-March and I am finally getting my first hike of the year in. After spending all of January sick and February with bad weather, I had to take advantage of a 75-degree day. Typically I head east for my hiking, but with everything buried under snow, decided to head west. I have been looking at this hike for awhile but have dreaded hiking with the crowds of the Bay Area. I got up early and we arrived at the Stanford Ave. trailhead by 8 a.m. Parking was full in the lot and throughout the neighborhood. We drove a few more miles and started our hike from the Ohlone Collee Parking Garage. This would tack on over an extra mile each way.
We started up the trail which is basically a fire road through the green grasses with view of the east bay. The first mile takes you up through an upper valley that is filled with grazing cattle before turning right and heading through some shaded oaks. The trail then winds up and up through the hills gradually before hitting a steeper section that leads you up to the start of the final rocky ascent to the summit. The summit has a lot of space and fantastic views of San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Mount Diablo, and back to the Altamont. There is a famous pole that everyone takes their picture with and there was a line with at least 20 people waiting their turn with the pole. Me and Ryan didn’t need a picture with it that bad, so we settled on the summit for a bit. It was 3.5 miles to Mission Peak and 2,081 feet of gain and comfortably did it under 2 hours.
After taking our summit photos, I wanted to chase a peak with higher prominence and Mount Allison looked too inviting. We descended the south side of Mission and headed along the ridgeline over to Allison. Only saw two more people on this section of the trail. Radio towers galore cover the summit of Allison, making this officially the ugliest peak I have ever bagged. Reading trail reports it seemed many people that walk up here get hit with a blaring alarm and recording telling you to beat it. We didn’t experience this, but I didn’t get close to the fences. When we reached the intersection of the gravel road and dirt fire break, I went left onto the dirt and the cut across the grassy knoll. We didn’t find the second gunman, but we did find a bench overlooking Silicon Valley and the benchmark. We didn’t linger here too long and started our descent back to Ohlone. On the way back we went around the western side of Mission Peak so that we wouldn’t have to climb up an over again. This part of the trail was quiet as well until we met up with the main trail. All in all, we hiked 10.1 miles and climbed 2,600 feet. Despite the crowds, this was still a beautiful hike on a beautiful day. Definitely a must-do spring hike while the grasses are still green and the temps comfortable. This would probably be a nasty hike in the summer, but for now, a great first hike of the year.