City dwellers live vertical lives in the least pleasant way imaginable, trudging to walkup apartments and elevating to fifth-floor offices. All the more reason to get out of the city and climb – genuinely climb – a mountain. These summit hikes, all within a short drive of major metropolitan areas, allow urbanites to summit a peak (however small) in one day and make it home in time to order a pizza and catch the game. It's a different way to get up and a great detour from routine.
The Bay Area: Mission Peak
From the summit of Mission Peak, the terminus of the Hidden Valley Trail, hikers can see San Jose, Oakland, Fremont, and San Francisco as well as Mount Hamilton, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Tamalpais, and Mount Diablo. The hike is just outside the San Jose city limits in Fremont – part of the Easy Bay – but it's only a short drive from most places in the Bay Area. The nearby Mission Peak's Horse Heaven Trail is slightly more rigorous and a lot less crowded if you're looking for a faster path to the top.
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