Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday Hike!

We went for a hike on Sunday at Mission Peak.  It's only 15 minutes from my house but this was the first time I've been there.   And HOLY COW, it's crowded!  I drove to the main parking lot and it was full.  I drove around looking for street parking and nada.  I would have had to park over a mile from the trailhead to enter there.  So instead I drove to Ohlone College to an alternate trailhead.

Don't let this photo fool you, most of the hike was under open skies and grassy hillsides. On the lee side of the hill we did get some shade though.

We soon came back out into the grass.

We climbed and climbed and climbed.

And holy crap, we climbed.

At one point of the climb we ran into a herd of cows. Thankfully I had the dogs on leash! Both Apollo and Rampage wanted to go say hi to them pretty bad.  The cows in the bay area are well known for charging at unsuspecting hikers and their dogs.  Luckily these bovines just eyed us warily.

We climbed into the clouds! If you look way far down you can see the path that we came from.

I shouldn't have been surprised at the number of people I saw on the trail and at the summit based on the number of cars in the main parking lot, but I was. There were TONS of people. And apparently the dogs and I are power hikers because we passed at least 50 people on our way up.  But one thing that made me feel warm inside each time we passed someone was that seeing the dogs made them smile.  I happily interrupted our power hiking multiple times to let them pet Apollo.  People also showed interest in the border collies, but Icon was uninterested and Rampage was wary.  But I was very impressed with how Rampage handled himself around all the strange people!

We made it to the summit and stopped for a water break before heading back down.  Apollo really struggled going downhill :(.  He seemed in pain walking, going slower and slower... and slower...... but normal when he trotted downhill.  I eventually just let him off-leash so he could make his way down at his own pace.  That worked really well for us.

We're starting to get close! If you ignore the overexposure you can see the SF bay and civilization between the two hills.

The home stretch! Our car is in the parking lot right in front of the pool.

Mission Peak is a really fun hike. It was 6.8 miles and 2064ft elevation gain. I recommend it for the adventurous. I'm not sure if I'll take Apollo next time though :(.


  1. Count your lucky stars! Cows are not nice when you have a dog attached to you. I know. I grew up on a farm and once was trapped by a really mad momma cow under a feed wagon for days with our dog Casper (it was probably really only 15 minutes, but to a second grader it felt like days). I learned a valuable lesson that day. Stay out of the pasture when Casper is with you!

    Donna and Roller

  2. It was great seeing you and your dogs out there. Stanford ave parking is a nightmare. I live 1 mile from the trailhead I'm lucky ;-) the Ohlone way is much easier, that's the way I take Rocky up now easier on his short little legs. Yes the cows when they ave their little ones with them get aggressive. I have been running up there since 1998. I will say it is because of chased by dogs the cows have become aggressive. I do know the owners of the cows on Mission peak and to be honest their are only a few up there that are bad cows. They actually get rid of the ones who are aggressive. I let them know when one chases me, but I stand up to them and have been known to throw my water bottle or a rock if they charge me. I write their tag number down and let my friends know.

  3. I don't blame the cows for trying to protect their calves. I'm sure that they have good reason!

    That's very cool that you live so close to MP. I live closer to Coyote Hills and that's where I normally run, but my distances are minuscule compared to yours. I bet even Rocky could run me into the ground ;). I'm a newbie though, I've only been running for about a year.