hiking

views

walking

wild flowers

no dogs

birding

nature trips

trail running

wildlife

mountain biking

forest

kid friendly

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 spectacular. Many visitors to Mount Diablo head straight for the summit to enjoy the famous view. 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. 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. Gates open 8am and close at sunset. Visitors should plan to be in their vehicles by sunset and headed out to avoid being locked in.

Good hike, a little mundane along the fire road though.

Steep and rocky in places, with long tunnels of chaparral to boot, but absolutely gorgeous views emerge to reward you.

Was a great hike! But, the next time I will start earlier (started around noon this time). The kind volunteer at the visitor center warned me that I would be cutting it very close as sunset was 6:54 PM today (they have sunset info at the visitors center too, super helpful).
My climb on the Meridian Ridge got really tough, and had it not been for Brigitte and Chris (strangers, and fellow hikers who motivated me to continue) I may have quit amd turned back! Thanks guys!! Happy Anniversary again! :)
I finished at 7:52 after pretty much jogging the last 3.67 mi on Mitchell Canyon Road. It was way past sunset, but it was a starry night and I could see enough to find my way back. So, it wasn't too bad even though my powerbank/flash light gave out on me! I ran into a group of Boy Scouts from Walnut Creek who graciously lit up my way for the last 1/2 mile! Thank you Boy Scouts!!
Lessons learned - Start early! It's no fun hurrying down Deer Flat Road and Mitchell Canyon Road when you are exhausted! Even though the roads are as flat and stable underfoot as unpaved, fire roads can get.
Budget a lot of time for Back Creek Trail, even though it is very arduous, it has amazing views! So give yourself time to relax and take it all in.
There is a lot of Poison Oak on this trail, stay away! Brigitte educated me that the easiest way to recognize this plant is their leaves are in clusters of three and that they are one of the first to turn color (green to red) in fall. Every Poison Oak plant I saw had bright red leaves.
I didn't especially enjoy hiking alone, so bring a buddy along!
The Visitors Center up at the Summit closes at 4 PM. Get there before then of you are planning to buy a snack there.
Though they have restrooms at the Summit, and they are fairly clean, I think the restrooms at Juniper Campgrounds are cleaner and better, so you may want to use those.
Lastly, enjoy your time on the mountain! This was my first experience of hiking Mt. Diablo, and I have done only 2 hikes over 10 miles in the past, so this one was one tough mudder for me, but I am stoked that I persisted and got to the Summit, the sense of accomplishment you feel when you get back in the car is indescribable!

Portions of this trail are *very* steep. Who needs switchbacks anyways, right? But hey, you can buy cold drinks and snacks halfway through at the summit. Went clockwise - second half after Diablo summit is almost entirely on a fire road. Fun one! Great for backpacking training. Would not recommend for trail running due to the nature of the first half of the trail.

This was a great quick hike with a little one.

Good trail, not too hard but coming over Eagle Peak trail it is loose footing the last 2-3 miles in a lot of places so be cautious. Gentle upward climb with a few steeper places but the descent areas on Eagle Peak are the tricky ones with loose shale and rocks. Cooler day so windy but nice. Being from the south east I enjoyed the trees on this trail that are often lacking in this area of California on hikes I have taken. May try a spur that does not go over Eagle Peak if anyone can recommend one that returns to parking lot. Took 3 hours with the slowdown on slip-slide descent lol