Over the past several years, Mission Peak Regional Preserve in Fremont has seen a huge increase in visitors, especially at the Stanford Avenue staging area. The heavy visitor use and overflow parking into the neighborhood have impacted the community as well as caused severe trail degradation and soil erosion in this part of the preserve. To address the situation, the East Bay Regional Park District is instituting new park hours beginning Monday, September 29.
Visitors hiking the Hidden Valley Trail and the Peak Meadow Trail from the Stanford Avenue staging area must observe the following new park hours: Download flyer
Visitors inside the park area - highlighted in yellow in the park map – as well as vehicles parked in the Stanford Avenue parking lot when the park is closed will be subject to citation/arrest. Citations can cost $300 or more.
The current park hours are 5:00 am to 10:00 pm. The new park hours, based on the timing of dusk, similar to some Regional Parks that adjust their hours, will assist in balancing the needs of trail restoration and public use, as well as neighborhood impact.
Visitors looking for a more serene hike, an earlier start time and more time at Mission Peak may enter the park from the Ohlone College parking lot at 43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont. The park area adjacent to this staging area is open, year-round, from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. The parking lot is accessible from Pine Street or Witherly Lane off Mission Blvd. Two shaded trails - the Peak Trail and the Panorama Trail - lead to the Mission Peak summit.
The three-mile hike up to the Mission Peak summit from the Stanford Avenue staging area is strenuous and less shaded. “It can get very hot, sometimes over 90 degrees; and with minimum shade here, hikers and their dogs have suffered extreme dehydration and heat stroke,” said Park District Police Lt. Lance Brede. “Hikers need to pace themselves. The climb can take up to four hours round-trip. Give yourself enough time to hike up and back to avoid a citation when the park is officially closed.”
“We want visitors to have a safe and pleasant experience. Wear sturdy shoes with ankle support and bring plenty of water for you and your dogs,” said East Bay Regional Park District Board President Ayn Wieskamp. Visitors are required to stay on marked trails at all times. Shortcut trails are not only illegal; they can be dangerous and cause severe erosion.
Visitors are also asked to be courteous to neighbors by parking legally without blocking driveways, fire hydrants or mailboxes; packing out all trash; and keeping noise to a minimum – especially in the early and evening hours.
The Park District is continuing its dialogue with Ohlone College and the City of Fremont to address the issues of overcrowding and illegal parking adjacent to the Stanford Avenue staging area. Visitors are asked to use the Regional Preserve for healthful recreation with thoughtful consideration for the natural environment, as well as for the surrounding community and neighborhood.
Hikers interested in exploring other challenging hikes in the Regional Parks may view a list here: www.ebparks.org/challenginghikes.
The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 114,000+ acres in 65 parks including over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.
In the News
> New York Times: In Climbing a California Peak, the Challenge is Finding a Place to Park Nov 4, 2014
> Bay Nature: Why has Mission Peak Become the Thing to do? Oct 16, 2014
> KZSF 1370 AM: EBRPD Radio Interview on Mission Peak in Spanish (MP3, Audio) Oct 11, 2014
> Contra Costa Times: Mission Peak Park in Fremont Cuts Hours Amid Debate Over Heavy Use Oct 5, 2014
> Inside Bay Area: Taking on Mission Peak Oct 3, 2014
> KTVU: Heavy Use Forces Change in Hours on Mission Peak Hiking Trails Sep 29, 2014
> KRON 4 News: People Behaving Badly Mission Peak Frenzy Sep 24,2014
> KPIX/CBS: Selfie Mountain: Mission Peak in Fremont Becomes Crowded with Photo Obsessed Hikers Sep 16, 2014
> SF Chronicle: Crowds Overrun Mission Peak in Fremont to Shoot Selfies Sep 9, 2014
> Mercury News: Fremont Residents Near Mission Peak Ask City to Solve Escalating Issues with Increased Hikers Jul 17, 2014
> West Kurihara: Hiking Mission Peak Apr 14, 2014
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