Donner Creek Loop Trail

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Mount Diablo State Park

Donner Creek Loop Trail is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Clayton, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 5.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,161 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

fee

no dogs

This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access, meaning there are no parking facilities and parking on roadways is prohibited to protect public health from the COVID-19 pandemic. Beautiful hike along creek, multiple cascades, mountain views. This loop trail is a great short hike that allows you to escape into the wilderness for a few hours. Donner Creek Falls consists of a series of four separate cascades falling off the peaks of Diablo. During the winter months and after a good rain, the waterfalls are rather impressive. From the parking area, walk along Donner Canyon Rd to Hetherington Loop (1.0 mi). After about 1.8 miles, turn left at the Cardinet Oaks Rd., and follow this road across Donner Creek and up a steep section to a junction with the Falls Trail on the right. This trail leads down to the falls on Donner Creek and continues on to the Middle Trail, which then loops back down to the Donner Canyon Rd. Parking is available at Mitchell Canyon for $6.

Good hike

hiking
bugs
closed
off trail
rocky
6 days ago

Great hike. Main trailheads had parking restrictions so I parked in another neighborhood and made my way back via a fire road along the creek to Donner Trail to go up the waterfall loop. Pretty good climb up after an easy part of the hike up the valley along the creek. Great scenery with wildflowers, birds, and butterflies everywhere. Use some caution near the second and third falls that you can see from a distance. If you go off trail to get a better view of the falls there are a few spots where if you lost your footing you could have a real bad day and go off a cliff into the canyon. Cell reception was pretty good on most of the mountain but would fade out in some spots. Overall a great hike.

hiking
7 days ago

We hiked this trail today. Looking for parking was a pain but we finally found a spot. This was a great trail to hike. Quite a few turkeys roaming around. We bumped into a baby rattle snake on our way down. It gets hot quick so I would suggest to start early in the morning.

hiking
rocky
7 days ago

A little sketchy on the back side of the loop. We went clockwise on the loop so there seemed to be steep spots going down. The sun made the hilltops glow during dusk, beautiful!

Nice hike! Had to find new parking since it looks like most of it is blocked off right now. Nice hike, areas of shade, and a couple tricky areas but beautiful views, and wild flowers. Waterfalls are barely running now, probably will be dried up soon.

hiking
7 days ago

Incredible day to hike! It was so beautiful with lots of birds singing, turkey groups hanging out near the creek and even seen a Doe with her youngster! Lots of wildflowers though I’ve identified them all already on prior hikes, at the trailhead I found a new wildflower I have never seen before so what a highlight to the end of my hike!

hiking
over grown
rocky
9 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

Perfect day to hike! It was cool and cloudy which made it perfect for hiking. The streams were flowing from the recent rain which was so peaceful to hear. Many new wildflowers this week.

27 days ago

Beautiful waterfalls in the winter/spring. This is accurately labeled as a moderate hike, but there are a couple of sections that are technical and could be dangerous. I'm not sure I would bring young children or anyone not at least moderately experienced in hiking.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s very nice , I’m a beginner and it wasn’t hard at all . There are some steep areas other than that it’s a beautiful view at the top .

Beautiful beautiful views. Nothing technical but you need to be fit.

hiking
1 month ago

We waited a couple days after it rained to hike this trail. The mud dried just enough and the falls were moving. The hike is best counterclockwise!

hiking
off trail
rocky
1 month ago

Awesome nearby trail for a quick getaway. It was nice and green and there was water in the creeks with a few small waterfalls.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

This was a very beautiful but rather king and exhausting hike. There is a lot of uphill to get to the canyon sides where the waterfalls are and at one point the trail gets very narrow and rocky with the canyon just to the side of you. A little intimidating if you have any fear of heights. But there are simply breathtaking views on this trek. Very recommended!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

Super fun, pretty steep!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike.. had lot of fun..

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
scramble
2 months ago

I will be sore tomorrow. This is on the difficult end of a moderate level hike with not much payout. The foliage was nice, the overlook of the bay was nice, free street parking was nice, but if I’m doing this constant of steep inclines I want more than “nice”. I will be sore tomorrow. I would do it again because it is not a far drive for me, but I wouldn’t do this in the summer or if I had to drive far to get to it.

hiking
2 months ago

Not much water right now, some small cascades here and there. Tough but moderate ascent.

hiking
3 months ago

Take a look at my waterfall, it’s one of the five I’ve got. Not much of a waterfall, I never seem to get a lot

The waterfalls were underwhelming.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Beautiful views. Trail was very muddy in the morning but that cleared up around noon. Most of the trail is on large dirt roads. Waterfalls were nice but a bit underwhelming. Overall a very nice hike!

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