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Just a twenty-minute drive north of San Jose, CA, and five-minutes east of Freemont, CA sits the 3,000-acre Mission Peak Regional Preserve. It’s most easily accessed via the stretch of Interstate Route 680 that runs between San Jose and Walnut Creek. Routes 880 and 280 also provide direct access to the park for those with RV rentals in Alameda County, CA.
The majority of visitors go camping at Mission Peak Regional Preserve to scale the 2,500-foot summit and enjoy views over Silicon Valley and the surrounding mountain ranges, including the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. On an average day, you’ll see plenty of hikers taking the strenuous trail to the top, along with a few mountain bikers and horse riders too. If it’s windy, there might even be a few hang gliders jumping from the top. However, you decide to spend your time motorhome camping; you’re won’t regret choosing Mission Peak as your destination.
No visit to Mission Peak Regional Preserve would be complete without a trip to the summit. The most popular way to get there is via the challenging six-mile round-trail. Depending on your personal level of fitness, it can take between two to five hours to complete the trail, so don’t forget to stock up on water and snacks before you start the ascent! Once you’ve parked up your RV rental in the parking lot on Stanford Avenue, there will be clear signs marking the trailhead. At the beginning, the trail offers a gentle slope through open fields and towards sparse areas of forest. However, the path quickly becomes steep and offers little shade during the heat of the day. Eventually, hikers will catch a glimpse of the infamous Mission Peak pole – do be sure to take a photo with it!
Due to the popularity of this route, bikers and horse riders are encouraged to take a different course to the top. Known as The Peak Trail, this quieter path begins from Ohlone College, where you’ll need to pay a small fee to park up your rental RV. At seven miles long, this is slightly longer than the previous hike and provides a somewhat more gradual incline. On this trail, visitors will be rewarded with a mixture of open grassland, scattered forests, and fantastic views over Freemont.
Experienced paragliders or hang gliders with an RV rental near Mission Peak Regional Preserve may want to consider bringing their full kit with them. Wings of Rogallo have looked after Mission Peak as a site for hang gliders since 1983 and welcome those who are Advanced-rated or Intermediate-rated. It’s always worth checking out the rules and regulations of the site before you go. Even if you aren’t a dab hand at taking to the skies, find a comfy spot on the hill and watch as the professionals glide their way to the foothills.
Travelers hoping to set up camp close to Mission Peak Regional Preserve can choose from Del Valle Regional Park or Alameda County Fairgrounds RV Park, both of which provide basic but sufficient amenities for a short stay. Both campsites offer partial hook up facilities, access to a nearby dump station, drinking water taps, and public restrooms. Choosing which site is for you depends on whether you’d prefer a more rural setting at Del Valle Region Park, with grassy sites and tree cover, or a more urban environment with gravel pitches.
For something with a few more facilities to enjoy, the Anthony Chabot Regional Park is a little further north and is home to a well-facilitated and picturesque campground. Along with full hookup sites, campers benefit from a dump station, handy group sites, modern restrooms with hot showers and flushing toilets, and a personal picnic table. Sitting on the edge of Lake Chabot, fishing, recreational trails, and boating opportunities are all just a stone’s throw away.
Taking a day out to explore the sites of San Jose is easily done when you rent a camper near Mission Peak Regional Preserve. Families with little ones should be sure not to miss the Children’s Discovery Museum, which is full of immersive exhibits and hands-on workshops. All of the displays in the museum are focused on inspiring creativity and an eagerness for learning in children aged one to ten years old. From the Mammoth Discovery corner to Bill’s Backyard, the Rainbow Market to the Waterways, you’re bound to find something that sparks your children’s’ interest.
The Tech Museum is a great afternoon visit for adults hoping to delve into the fascinating world of Silicon Valley. Its unique building is hard to miss, with its orange walls housing four galleries of exhibits, a Tech store, café, and IMAX theatre. Exhibitions change regularly to reflect the times we are living in and the latest developments, but in the past have included a workshop where the public can build their own social robot!
Also, in downtown San Jose, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum allows you to step back into the past. Inside its walls is an impressive collection of Egyptian antiquities, including tombs, pottery, murals, and even preserved mummies. Anyone keen to learn more about the Ancient Egyptians can join one of the museum’s weekly workshops, which in the past have ranged from a cosmetics workshop and Hieroglyph workshop to jewelry and mummification.