Friday, February 12, 2010

Hike Review: Mission Peak

With 2200 feet of elevation change over five and a half miles, this hike is not for the faint of heart. But if you and your pooch are fairly fit, bring lots of water, and pace yourselves, you'll earn a stunning panorama of the South Bay (not to mention big-time bragging rights).

Daisy and I started out at about 8:30 on a Friday morning, from the staging area at the east end of Stanford Avenue in Fremont. We began on an excellent note by making friends with two big labs and an ultrarunner, who encouraged me to come back for the Ohlone 50k in May. ("You already have the perfect dog for it!" True that.) Then, with a preemptory sip of water, we started our slow slog up into the rolling hills. (Well, I started slowly. Daisy ran big circles around me.)

The weather was perfect: bright and sunny, and a cool fifty degrees. Perfect for shorts and a long-sleeved shirt.

Halfway up, we picked our way over a cattle guard, and Daisy saw her first cows up close. In this photo, she's lifting a paw and turning her head away (she also licked her lips several times), a very nice example of canine communication, and what Turid Rugaas calls "calming signals."

There were plenty of other runners and hikers, more than half with dogs, and everyone was chipper and chatty. We couldn't help it; the air up there is intoxicating.

Although we weren't pushing the pace by any means, we reached the summit in a little over an hour ( predicts a five-hour round trip, which would be a relaxing stroll even our spry senior dog could handle), and sipped more water while we enjoyed the view.

And then we ran down.

Trail specs:
Address: East end of Stanford Avenue, off Mission Blvd
Fremont, CA
Hours: 7 a.m. to dusk
Parking/admission fees: None!
Restrooms: Yes, in parking lot at trailhead
Water: Bring your own.
Camping reservations (Ohlone Wilderness Trail): 1.888.EBPARKS
Great hike directions/info at Bay Area Hiker.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, incredible photo! and what a wonderful dog. good girl, Daisy!

March 9, 2010 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Jaime said...

Thanks! Yeah, Daisy's a gem. Love that paw lift... :D

March 11, 2010 at 2:19 PM  

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