Mission Peak via Hidden Valley Trail
This is a moderate one way trail to Mission Peak in Mission Peak Regional Preserve.
Mission Peak is one of the best viewpoints of the entire Bay Area, looking out over the San Francisco Bay as well as East into the Sunol Wilderness. On a clear day you can see San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland at the same time, and the clouds and fog make the view a little different every time. The Hidden Valley Trail starts at the parking lot at the end of Stanford Avenue and winds its way to the top on a wide very well maintained trail. The trail at the very end is rocky, decent hiking shoes are recommended. The hike climbs 2,000' in three miles with a fairly steady incline. Be sure to bring water on hot days.
As an alternative to going up and down the same trail, you can consider making a loop by including the Horse Heaven Trail on your route. That trail is not as wide as the Hidden Valley Trail, and there are a couple of small stream crossings, but there are also fewer people on the trail, a consideration especially for weekends.
Parking is limited in the Stanford Avenue parking lot. There's also some parking a bit down the hill, but pay attention to parking restriction signs in the neighborhoods, especially on weekends. This is one of the most popular hikes in the Bay Area, so don't count on the Stanford Avenue lot being available, even early weekday mornings.
There's also a trail from Ohlone College where much more parking is available.
This is a strenuous hike, not recommended for children not used to hiking.
This is an alternate route for Mission Peak Loop via Hidden Valley Trail.