330. Mission Peak to Monument Peak (07/12/03)
Hikers (9): Bunny, David, Glen, Janice, Michael C, Nancy K, Neel, Russ, Steve
Distance: 10 miles
Rating: 3 difficulty, 7 beauty
Park info: Mission Peak Regional Preserve in Fremont
Write-up by Steve
This was supposed to be a death march--highs in the low 90s, steep climb up Mission Peak, and, just to add insult to injury, a fully exposed hike over to Monument Peak. Even with all the "hot" hype, nine people showed up, including heat-hating Janice.
1, 2, 3 ... INCH!
It was indeed hot. As we pushed our way up the mountain, a gentle breeze kept blowing, which made the hike almost pleasant! There were no major problems getting up. In fact, although Mission Peak has the record for "killing" the most new hikers, newbie Michael C had no problem. We all reassembled at the top of Mission Peak for our relatively easier second-part trip to Monument Peak. Only downside was that we had to hold off on lunch for an hour or so.
As usual, I thought Monument Peak was just beyond the first antenna (that is visible from Mission Peak), even though I've done this hike before and should know better. It turns out it is a bit farther away, but at least I remembered how to get to the now unmarked Monument Peak once we got in the vicinity. Everyone tapped the USGS marker at Monument and we sat down on the concrete base to enjoy some lunch.
On the route back, we took the "Horse Heaven" trail down, which nicely skirts around Mission Peak. I had taken this route up to Mission Peak a few weeks prior, and was telling everyone that there was a running creek with lots of shade. No one was believing me (maybe because I started adding that there would be a cool mist in the air, and unicorns). Whatever the case, everyone was happy to encounter the promised shade, although they weren't so impressed with the stream and its lack of cool mist!
From there it was the same old trail down to the cars. The hike was so easy that we downgraded it to a 3, even with the heat. Mission Peak has definitely become an easier hike this year, either due to the changes in the trail or the changes in our perception. Either way, it is still a good hike, with the bonus of nice views of the South Bay from the top.
Michael C's 1st leaf
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