Battling Ridge Trail Anxiety at Mission Peak

The core of the Bay Area Ridge Trail across Mission Peak Regional Preserve rises 1,600 feet in just three miles from the parking lot at Ohlone College. It then rises some more. The trail flattens out as it bypasses Mission and two other peaks before diving steeply down the west side of the mountain toward Ed R. Levin County Park. The views and elevation gain are breath-taking. Recent trail extensions meander through neighboring hills at the college and county park.

We are hiking the 400-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.

TRAIL MAP (date hiked)

Our Journal

Mission Peak has been a source of anxiety ever since we encountered trouble on the Ridge Trail* north of Calistoga in Napa County 18 months ago.*

We obsessively compared the difficulty with comparable completed hikes. We whittled away the length by knocking off recently added Ridge Trail extensions to the north and south. And we used the weather as an excuse to kick the completion can down the trail for well over a year.

But when Dawn asked Dan what he wanted for his 65th birthday, Dan checked the weather report and said, “Let’s do Mission Peak.” And so we did.

The day was sunny. The temperature on the mountain was in the 50s with a light breeze, warmer in the valley. The hills? Brilliant green. The wildflowers? Popping. The views? Incredible.

Yes, the hike was difficult. The pounding descent to the county park left us footsore. Our shoulder and leg muscles ached as we folded our weary bodies into our tiny two-seater for the drive home. But we got the monkey off our back.

And completion gave us a boost of confidence. Half of the six remaining hikes on our Ridge Trail trek will be just as challenging. Onward.

*Dan had a successful cardiac ablation a year ago to address the heart arrhythmia that contributed to our trouble on the trail in Calistoga in November 2021.

Dan Page/CoastsideSlacking

Miles we hiked


(with returns and connectors)

Elevation gain






Our Progress Hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail – 359 out of 406 miles


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