Mission Peak has little if any shade, and there is about 2000 feet of local relief from the park parking lot to the peak. For that reason, evening hiking is popular. This evening is especially good since we are 3 days from a full moon, and there will be plenty of moonlight early enough.
A short distance from the park parking lot, Mission Peak is the highest point in the picture.
The moon is just visible over the hill, right above a distant tree.
As we continue the climb, and sunset nears, a grazing cow is near a bench with other hikers resting, taking a break from the climb or enjoying the view.
It is nearly sunset, our trail brings us to a point directly facing Mission Peak with our backs towards sunset. Shadows become long, and the landscape almost glows with a redish-gold, while the moon brightens.
To the Left, San José to the right, Alvisio and the south end of the San Francisco Bay. In the foreground is the trail we've climed so far, curving through the foothills.
Just near sunset, we are facing south. Looking at a small plateau/valley to the west of Mission Peak. The moon is rising, and the antennas to the south of Mission are visible on some lower peaks.
Sunset, from the side of Mission Peak, looking northwest up the San Francisco Penninsula.
The trail climbs, and from here we can spot some people at the top of Mission Peak. Moon feels closer, and glow from sunset dims.
Same place and time, different camera orientation. We see the dry grass in the foreground, and miss the antenna!
Looking back at the Bay, the south end of Fremont is in the Foreground, Palo Alto is at the other side of the bay, but it is mostly obscured by haze.
Looking Northward, Mt. Diablo is the tallest peak in the distance, with Sunol Valley in the middle-ground.
Looking northwest, we would be able to see San Francisco from here, but the Coastal Fog is coming in fast.
The upward trail takes us to the northeast of Mission Peak, and we get to view it from the backside. Illumination for this picture is mostly moonlight.
Another picture by moonlight, the trail up the peak crosses some rocky outcrops.
Another picture by moonlight, it is actually getting pretty dark. We are within 200 feet of elevation of the top, but due to visibility in the dark, this is as close as we get on this trip. You can see a few people carefully descending the rocky trail on the north side of the peak.
With Fremont/Milpitas in the foreground, the other side of the bay is Mt. View/Palo Alto.
Mt Diablo is getting darker, and we can see the lights of Sunol Valley in the Foreground, and lights of Dublin just below Diablo.
Yet another moonlight picture, a tad over-exposed to show the details, it is getting dark, with the moonlight being the only source of illumination for those hiking down.
Nice view of the south part of the bay past sunset. But, if you look closer, 1/3 down near the center from left to right is a point of light, Venus as an evening star.
Night view of Milpitas and San José as we descend. The round trip has taken maybe 2.5 hours, flashlights would have helped. Remember to always bring water whenever you visit Mission Peak. To the top next time!
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