Hiking Stats as of 11/20/2019
Total Trips:
Total Distance:
Total Elevation Gain:
 3,891.68 miles
 1,060,050 feet
With the first workweek of the new year done I got the urge Friday to celebrate with some hiking. But the big question lately always seems to be "Where?" I've been to all of the major local spots and I'm torn between visiting as many county high points and prominent peaks as possible while at the same time not wanting to spend hours of my day driving. I also want to make sure my hikes are hard enough to keep me in good hiking shape for when the Sierra opens back up for hiking. So the night before the hike the plan was to walk the dogs in the morning (the other requirement is that if I am not driving to the Sierra I need to make sure the dogs each get their 3 mile walk) and then go to up to either the Ohlone Trail or somewhere on Diablo. Plans changed a bit while I was walking the dogs and I got the strong urge to visit the Mission Peak/Mt. Allison/Monument Peak ridge located just east of Fremont. I knew this would be a good half-day hike, so I worked around the house until a bit after 10 AM before setting off.

Being January, the weather called for showers later in the afternoon, but the early arriving clouds came into view as they clipped the top of Mission Peak as I started the day's hike. Now Mission Peak has to be one of the most popular hikes in the Bay Area, and despite the cold and tenuous weather forecast today was no exception. A steady stream of people were out making the slow trek to the summit. Fortunately, this hike has fantastic views right from the start, giving me something to enjoy on the way up. When I last hiked Mission Peak in September, I set and reached my goal of getting to the top in under 1 hour. I decided to try for that again today as well.

About halfway up I finally had a chance to take a picture without somebody obstructing the otherwise scenic views, but was soon brought back to reality near the top as a couple dozen people dotted the trail and summit ahead. I wound up barely making the 1 hour deadline and quickly left the summit, continuing on towards Mt. Allison. Thankfully, I would have the hills to myself for the next several hours. Not that I want the secret to get out, but Mt. Allison is actually higher than Mission Peak, and Monument Peak offers much better views of Silicon Valley. And you don't even have to stand in line to take a summit shot! Yet nobody else cared to experience these equally fine summits.

After saying goodbye to Mission Peak the trip over to Mt. Allison, which is less than 2 miles, went quickly. I soon found myself with a nice bench from which to eat lunch and enjoy the views before heading on over to Monument Peak to complete the day's summits. The journey over to Monument Peak was quite enjoyable. There were maybe two dozen cows grazing along the way. As I walked by, it occurred to me that each one had it's own unique look No two cows looked at all alike up here . After spending too much time with the cows, I resumed the brief ascent of Monument Peak where I rewarded for my efforts with spectacular views of the Silicon Valley, Mt. Hamilton, and Fremont.

I then retraced my steps back towards Mission Peak, vowing not to spend too much time with the cows again. But to my surprise a coyote was patrolling the area looking for a meal. The coyote seemed to be looking for squirrels, but then it changed its mind and, seeing a bigger prize, started heading down towards the cows. I couldn't believe the coyote would be bold enough to think it could take down something who probably outweighed it by a factor of 10. Thankfully, as seen in this video, the coyote came to his senses and decided to go look for something a little smaller to pick on. It honestly didn't look to me as if the cows ever even cared that he was around. Before too long I was back up and over Mission Peak, and rejoined the rest of the days hikers descending back into Fremont. In the end I was out for about 4.5 hours, covering 12.5 miles. An enjoyable afternoon indeed.

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