"Dominating the ridgelines of the southernmost East Bay, even the easiest hikes on the steep exposed faces of Mission Peak pose a challenge. But spectacular views reward sweat and effort. Without doubt this is the toughest trek in this guide. Still, some hikers will think that because the route doesn’t include the summit it’s a cop-out. With an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet, I beg to differ. As it is, the loop is at the outer limit of the easy category. Those who question the strength of their knees, hearts, or lungs should think twice before taking it on. But for any fit hiker this is very doable, and you’ll encounter people of all ages and body shapes heading up and down the mountain at the pace that suits them. You’ll also be treated to a symphony of languages, as fellow hikers hail from a grab bag of distant lands including Europe, India, Asia, and Africa."