Explore the best trails near Clayton with detailed reviews, photos, trail maps, and driving directions curated by hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Great hike. I preferred it a few years ago when areas had recently been burnt out, but it's fantastic nonetheless. I had a hard time finding parking when I went, so I added some detail about where to go on my trip report here, which may help others: https://gregable.com/2014/01/mt-olympia-hike-part-of-mt-diablo-state.html
Great hike! It's fun to hit the three different peaks. We hiked on a ridiculously hot day so the water fountains and restrooms right before the accent to Mt. Diablo saved us. I feel like the views from Mt. Olympia are just as good as the ones from Mt. Diablo so if you only have time for the first section then it's still worth it. I think the most interesting part of the hike was through the meadow between Olympia and North Peak, really awesome yellow fields on a narrow path. We ended up using our headlamps for the last hour on the way down, it's really tree covered so if you even think you might be heading down around dusk be sure to have a light!
My friend and I have been going on a lot of hikes recently, which had some strenuous bits, but we’ve been looking for something that’ll really put our young, fit, healthy bodies to the test, and this was it!
We left San Francisco around 11:15am and arrived at the bottom of the mountain around 12:30pm, only to find out that we were on the completely wrong side of the mountain... It was about a 35 minutes drive around the mountain until we found ourselves at the visitor centre. We payed the entrance fee and started preparing for the long journey ahead. We put on our athletics shorts, overly long socks, matching Merrel shoes, and leathered sunscreen all over our bodies. I got my hiking tank top on, while my friend put on his drift shirt. I made sure my ponytail was nice and tight, while my friend put on the headband around his head. We we ready, and in typical fashion, started our hike at 1:30pm: prime heat time.
The first 30 minutes on the hike was on completely flat ground and kind of acted as a warm up (literally) for the trip ahead. Anxiety kept building up as we knew that we’d have to climb more than 3000 feet over 14 miles, but the climb still has not yet started. After about 30-45 minutes, the ascension began by which point we were already very warmed up.
It’s a relatively long and steady, but not very steep, climb that lasts more than an hour. We took regular breaks in the shade, kept ourselves hydrated and enjoyed the views as our elevation steady increased. We made a note that we should have brought extra sunscreen with us.
At about 3000 feet we found a campground where people drive to for car camping. Here you could refill on water, go to the restroom, and even take a shower! The facilities seemed relatively new and are very well maintained. This was a good place to take a break and enjoy the views because it was followed by a very difficult 600 foot climb to the peak. By this point we were already pretty fatigued and just wanted to get to the top. As we climbed in silence, my friend and I both dreamt of an ice cold pepsi, full of sugary goodness. Our blood sugar levels were definitely dropping and we weren’t drinking enough because I could taste the salt in my sweat.
The very peak had beautiful well deserved views, benches to sit on, shade to rest in, a restroom to freshen up in as well as water to refuel on. There was even a pokegym we managed to own for a mere 2 hours before someone else took it over. We ate our granola bars and relaxed for about half an hour before proceeding. It was so hot we were able to have our shirts dry off under the steaming summer sun.
The road down was even more difficult, to some degree, than the road up. It was hard on the knees, quads and shins. Most of the road was composed of gravel and winded either up or down with very little flat stretches. Our steps were small so as not to fall, and we had to take them one at a time. Ultimately, it took us longer to come down than it was to get up.
About an hour after we started our descend we faced a bit of a surprise: we started climbing up again. By this point we had already soaked in a lot of sun, were relatively tired and just wanted to get back to the car. However, it turns out that the trail wanted us to climb back up another 500-1000 feet so we could look around from Eagle Peak as well. I had already mentally decided that the climbing was done, so this part really got on my nerves. I powered through it and tried to get to the top as fast as possible. I would say this was the most difficult part of the hike because of the mental state that I was in at this point.
From here, it was a very slow and steep 2 hour decline back to the car. Luckily, we got to see the sun set and enjoyed some amazing views as all the helms started casting shadows. The golden gas was lit by the setting sun, and I would say that it was worth it.
When we reached the car, we could’ve have been happier. We were exhausted and just couldn’t wait to get home. Drank some water, took off the stinky hiking shoes and started riving to the nearest mcdonalds for a well deserved pepsi.
On the way we saw a popeyes and with no hesitance change our plans in favor of an 8 piece chicken meal with a pop drink. They ran out of coke/pepsi, but coke zero still satisfied my craving. I can also say with confidence that deep fried chicken had never tasted so good.
Definitely was a nice hike. Was in the middle of easy to moderate. I think it would have been more enjoyable if we did it in the fall so it was more plush and water was present. There is a lot of poison oak so be careful when it's it season on the second half of the hike. Also, keep a look out for the nice big velvateen tarantulas.
Did this path backwards and loved it. A little rutted in places where equestrian traffic is heavy, and more cow poop than dirt in other spots, but overall really nice. The Condor trail at the end adds a little challenge right when it gets repetitive. Quiet and lovely views.