hiking

views

nature trips

birding

wild flowers

walking

no dogs

trail running

wildlife

forest

mountain biking

kid friendly

waterfall

horseback riding

At the eastern fringe of the San Francisco Bay Region, Mount Diablo, elevation 3,849 feet, stands alone on the edge of California’s great Central Valley. At this point, the Coast Range consists only of low hills, none high enough to block the view from the upper slopes of the mountain. As a result, the view is one of the best in the bay. Many visitors to Mt. Diablo head straight for the summit to enjoy the famous view from the observation deck area. Summer days are sometimes hazy, and the best viewing is often on the day after a winter storm. Then, 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, and still farther north to Mount Lassen in the Cascades at 10,466 feet. North and east of Mount Diablo, the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers meet to form the twisting waterways of the Delta. To the east beyond California’s great Central Valley, the crest of the Sierra Nevada seems to float in space. With binoculars, you may even be able to pick out Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Mount Diablo State Park is one of the ecological treasures of the San Francisco Bay Area with entrances in Walnut Creek, Black Hawk, and Danville. Every season in the park has its special qualities. Discover for yourself the mountain's beautiful wildflowers, its extensive trail system, fascinating wildlife and distinctive rock formations. View the stars from its lofty heights, bike ride to its 3,849 foot summit or explore the more remote trails by horseback. The park offers hiking, biking, horseback riding and camping. Dogs must be on a leash under your control at all times. Dogs are not allowed on trails. Dogs must be in a tent, camper or enclosed vehicle during the night. There are plenty of picnic areas as well as camping at Juniper Campground. Road bikers enjoy rides up North Gate or South Gate Road and the descents are just as fun. Mountain biking is also possible on many of the single track trails. Gates open 8am and close at sunset. Visitors should plan on being back at the parking area to be in their vehicles by sunset and headed out to avoid being locked in.

Nice hike with many butterflies, birds. Went left at Deer Flat down Meridian Ridge to Bald ridge to North Peak to Summit. Looped down Juniper trail and back to Mitchell Canyon. very enjoyable day.

Great hike. Highest place I’ve gotten to in my backyard

A long hike with lots of uphill but nothing technical about the hike. We did the counter-clockwise version which was probably a mistake because the downhill is pretty tricky. Probably best to come down along the fire road. Nice views from the top. Best to go in the Spring or Fall, as Summer can be too hot.

So thankful for all of the shade! Definitely saved me on a hot morning. The uphill climbing was a littleeee rough but the views at summit made it all worth it!

Just did the loop without the tail. Great winter hiking area mostly to yourself.

Trail was a great length for the evening. Elevation change was just right for a workout and the views and sunset were perfect. Would definitely do this one again.

I seem to have a thing for missing the best hiking time in the spring and starting in the summer when everything is hot, dry, and dying. Did this hike on a hot day (high 80s for most of it). The trail is very exposed so bring plenty of water and sunscreen and maybe a towel for your sweat. There are many spots to appreciate the view but it is very strenuous - we lost a guy on the way up...I hope we see him again someday.

At the base of the peak, we went the wrong way and reached North Peak instead of the main summit (which is about 300ft higher) so we went back down and back up the right way. It didn’t have much consequence besides taking an extra hour and making us feel kind of stupid. I don’t recommend unless you’re really into radio towers.

At the summit there’s a cool museum about the history and wildlife of the mountain. The word “Diablo” was used by Spanish soldiers to describe where a few Native Americans mysteriously escaped, but the mountain itself almost literally rose from the depths of hell (i.e below the earth’s crust).

We also met a cricket with one leg. I asked it how it lost its leg but it just spat at us. I can kind of guess how it lost its leg…or conversely, how it managed to keep the other one.

hiking
9 days ago

A leisurely stroll with decent views.

hiking
11 days ago

Not for beginners. very steep and thin trail for most of the route. lots of poison oak and thorny grass. please wear full sleeved clothing if going for this hike. parts of the hike are partial shade.

hiking
13 days ago

Mostly fire roads. Very quiet with a few bikers, but not very many. I saw some horse evidence, but the trails weren't covered with poop, so they must not do this area very much - thankfully! I didn't do the route as written. I turned right a bit too quickly onto Sulphur Springs Trail from Old Finley Rd not far from the old house. The trail identifier was missing so I thought it was Walnut. I followed this trail to Black Hills Trail where I took a left. I took another left at Crestview Rd and followed that to Highland Ridge where I made a left there. Took a right at Morgan Creek Rd and a left on Jeremiah Trail - which is very overgrown and single track. I hung a left at Finley Rd and followed it out to the trail head. My GPS said I went 6.7 miles from the beginning of the trail head and back. This did not include the small .75 hike back and forth to where I parked. I really enjoyed the quietness of the hike, so much that when a bike came upon me, they startled me!

Next time I will probably throw Grizzly Trail to Highland to Morgan Ridge and around to Finley, but that will be done when it cools down a bit. There are many ways to make a nice hike from this area.

I saw one juvenile rattlesnake on Jeremiah Trail, no surprise there. A few turkeys, and raptor feathers. Not much wildlife to be seen today.

Would have been an easier hike had I not forgotten my water

Great trail on the mountain I lived in the shadow of for 25 yrs. Several others that are better but still memorable. Best done in the spring ...

Went on a very hot day (temperature reached about 90 by midday), but started around 7:30 in the morning to avoid most of the heat. Hiked counter-clockwise and glad we did -- the trail was much more technical on the way up, which I prefer. As noted in other reviews, we measured the trail to be about 14 miles instead of 11.9, so that is definitely something to take into consideration. Views from the top of the mountain were really nice as well.

really lovely and wonderful changes of elevations and sceneries

This should not be rated as hard. I've done moderate rated trails that were harder than this. Fire roads mostly, but once you get to Little Yosemite, then you have some single track. The huffer and puffer was Buckeye Ravine Trail - if you follow the written directions. That will get your heart pumping for sure.
I saw some turkeys and deer very early on in my hike. You are in the sun for a lot of this trail, so plan accordingly.

There were way too many bicycles and horses on this trail for my liking. I'd do it again when the hills are green, but only during the work week, not on a holiday or weekend. Between the cow and horse poop, all you do is keep your eyes glued to the trail to step over it. Perhaps that is why the trail is rated hard.

Nice hike. Took about 2 hours at a leisurely pace. Great mix of scenery and views.

A very nice hike, very nice views on the path. It was a bit hot so don’t forget to bring enough water! Especially with kids.

By far my favorite trail this year. I took the Hetherington Loop both ways to get off the fire road a bit. No real waterfalls left, but the creek was still moving a little bit. I stood beside it and it reminded me of the Calm app. Even with the shade, it heats up quickly, so take lots of water and start early. I finished at 11 AM and was sweating pretty good.

I did the loop clockwise as others suggested. Wonderful views as you start ascent. Love getting off the fire road and onto single track. I saw a doe with her two youngsters, turkeys, and lots of lizards. There were some loud talkers and bicyclists early on, but once you get off the main trails, it quiets down a lot.

I lived in the bay area for over 10 years growing up, with Mt Diablo always looming over me, reminding me how small I truly am in this world. After moving away, i had to go back to conquer this beast, and she was well worth the trip! Stunning views, changing climates, the day I chose was misting for a good half of the hike, and the rest was up in the clouds above the rest of the earth. Unfortunately, there was a rather large parking lot greeting me at the top, but nothing could shake the accomplished feeling of defeating Mt Diablo. Onto the next challenge!

It’s a challenge on a hot day.

Great trek for my abilities.

The trail hiking wasn’t too hard mission peak felt harder. What was harder was figuring out what was the trail in certain areas. Without AllTrails I would have been lost so many times!

hiking
26 days ago

Pretty tough hike up a thin trail. You can bring your car past the fire gate all the way up to the trail head if you want.

Summer is not my best friend for hiking inland because it gets too hot and lots of rattle snakes appear. So to avoid it all I went las Tuesday and started at 6am this 11.9 hike in Mt Diablo. Twin peaks, Eagle peak and Mt Diablo Summit. Elevation goes between 300 to 3848ft going up and down the peaks. There is so much wild life out there! I got to see all kinds of insects, birds, deer, rabbits, bobcat, lizards and small snake. Thank goodness, no rattle snakes this time! The views are amazing! If you go early it is much cooler and sometimes there is a lining of fog covering the surrounding cities of Clayton and San Ramon. Pretty much golden and dry during this month except if a creek running parallel to Mitchell Canyon Trail. In spring time Mt Diablo turns completely green and beautiful!

Great views and definitely a fun hike. The loose gravel can be rough but well worth the time.

We hiked this trail mid June and it was beautiful. The up hills were a challenge but the view once you get up into the trees and can see the skyline is great. Definitely a great workout!

Awesome challenging hike with great views.

Great hike for 360 views around mnt. Diablo. Started at 9:30 from Juniper Campground (note it takes 25-30 min to drive the curvy road full of bicyclists on a Saturday morning from the park entrance.) I took 4 hours 45 min including 30 minutes to explore the summit. Trails are steep at times but never for too long.

hiking
1 month ago

Really beautiful hike. I took the the Hetherton Loop up and back to avoid the Donner Creek fire road.
6.1 miles out and back.
1200 elevation gain. Moderate with some tough rocky steep areas.
Best I feel in spring or after a rain and not too muddy.
Will definitely do again.

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