Juniper to the Summit Loop Trail and Meridian Ridge is a 6.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Walnut Creek, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Hike to the summit of Mt. Diablo. This loop trail circumnavigates the summit and you will enjoy stunning views in all directions. This is a must do if this is your first time to the State Park. Take the Juniper Trail to the Summit Trail. Then North Peak Trail to Prospectors Gap Trail. Return via the Meridian Ridge Trail. At the summit you can look to the west, beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Farallon Islands; southeast to the James Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton at 4,213 feet elevation; south to Mount Loma Prieta in the Santa Cruz Mountains at 3,791 feet elevation, north to Mount Saint Helena in the Coast Range at 4,344 feet elevation, and still farther north to Lassen Peak in the Cascades at 10,466 feet
It was a foggy day and we couldn't see much far away, but the nature we saw was beautiful. According to fitbit and myFitnessPall app the loop had at least 8 miles. Maybe the apps had wrong info-maybe the website. It seemed more than 6.3miles. But it took us 3 hours to go around. We had a normal, not fast or slow pace. I gave 5 stars to this trail. I am planning to do it again.
We did this route clockwise with some variations. We start at the Diablo Valley Overlook (DVO) parking area (near Juniper campground). We hiked to the summit with a short side trip to Moses Rock Ridge, taking the Mary Bowerman Trail around the summit and then up to the summit itself for a break. We then went down to the south, connecting with the Summit Trail and returning to the DVO via the Juniper Trail. This hike was 6.5 miles, 1,371 feet of climb with many great views.
Great trail that allows you to take many different routes. Gives you a view from every side of Mt. Diablo with some good elevation changes.
Some good exercise
Did this route clockwise. Pretty good hike with some unrelenting steep sections. Great workout, but little shade... bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen if you are doing this April to October.
Wildflowers of every color were in bloom on the slopes in early May. I suspect they will disappear by June.
As a side note, we encountered many thousands of flying earwigs at the summit and the entire east face, which were not present the day prior.