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Mission Peak - Dry Creek

Ok, that is a bit of hyperbole to get your attention. I have heard that it is actually possible.  I didn't make it on a new (to me) trail that I tried, but I am sure some others could make it up the climb.

I headed up to Mission Peak through Ohlone College and past its pool to the trailhead a the top of Anza-Pine Road. I usually head up the Bay Area Ridge Trail (BART) through the gap toward Mill Creek Road. Just to be adventurous, I decided to head up Panoramic Trail. This started with a very literal "up" as the straw covered trail (why??) started with a short but steep climb up to watering trough. The trail leveled out to a more moderate climb and I started being able to breathe again as I rode up through a gap at the base of two hills.

Things were going well until I got to a junction. Panoramic continued to the left and looked like it would take the long way. I wanted to get to the top before sunset, so I thought I would take the shorter, more direct route up Dry Creek. It got steeper and steeper.  I was off the bike and pushing up the hill and it was still steep. The grade was between 30% and 40%!  I finally hiked to the top and made it down to the usual gap and continue up BART/Peak Trail. In the map below, the "normal" route is in green and the Panoramic/Dry Creek route is in red (for orientation, the Ohlone College pool is on the left and the pond near Mill Creek Road is toward the right side).

I did have a nice ride out the to hang glider launch, up the rest of Peak to the ridge line and then out past Mount Allison to Monument Peak. It was completely dark by this point, but I had a very enjoyable ride back via helmet light. Several times I caught weird green or red reflections that seemed to be floating and moving near the trail which turned out to be reflections from the eyes of birds and coyotes out and about for the evening.

A previous president made a point of "Mission Accomplished".  I suppose I also accomplished the Panoramic/Dry Creek climb. I can't say that I covered myself in glory, but I had a good time anyway.

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