Juniper to the Summit Loop Trail and Meridian Ridge

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Mount Diablo State Park

Juniper to the Summit Loop Trail and Meridian Ridge is a 10.1 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Diablo, California that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 10.1 km Elevation Gain: 599 m Route Type: Loop


mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching




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. 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 $10 fee at the gate.

2 months ago

Highly recommend going clockwise! It was an incredibly challenging hike with incredible views. I brought more water than I thought I needed and am so glad I did. The weather was perfectly chill for how hard the trail was, about 54 degree Fahrenheit.

2 months ago

Super beautiful views! There are some killer climbs, but worth it. I highly recommend going counter clockwise

2 months ago

Highly recommend to go clockwise starting from Juniper campground you can get the fire road out of the way first. Started at 9a on a nice clear day, went all the way to the summit visitors area, total mileage a little over 7.5 miles. Pretty exposed for most of the hike until the end back down to parking. Really nice hike on a clear and cool day.

3 months ago

The best thing that I enjoyed about this trail was looking at the wild flowers it was a challenged to complete the trail. It was a very hard one but we made it.

A Beautiful day to hike but definitely too hot after noon time. We started at 9 am and finished at 1:30pm and the hike at the end was the most difficult part, due to extreme inclines and too hot. We did this hike counterclockwise, though it would not matter which way you hiked this trail, you’ll be inclining up and down the entire hike. I would suggest going earlier than 9 if it’s going to be a warmer day. We crisscrossed onto Bald ridge trail which was very secluded. Bald Ridge trail was also very dry with lots of loose gravel causing us to slip often. Circling the circumference of the mountain offered panoramic views with stunning vistas in every direction. If your looking for those breathtaking views as well as beautiful spring wildflowers, this hike is a hikers paradise! However, this hike was very hard and an average hiker will likely struggle.

Very pretty but very odd trail. You actually reach the peak point very early into the trail. Then the rest of the loop is around the mountain back to the starting point. Also this trail technically doesn’t go up the summit, but you can do an extra and make a small detour. It’s a lot of steep up and down hills so do beware!

3 months ago

Steep but great views (:

Beautiful hike and the trail conditions were excellent! Due to time constraints, we decided to do a “out and back” instead of following the loop. It is $10 at the South Gate to enter the park, then plenty of parking lots to choose from depending on which hike your doing. Lots of outhouses throughout the park which was very nice.

5 months ago

This was a fantastic hike. I spent the night in the campsite and then did the loop in the morning. Pretty tough got lost a few times but overall an amazing experience.

8 months ago

Stayed the night in the Juniper Campground and headed out in the counter clockwise direction at 9 AM. The trail up to the summit this way was difficult but to the moderate side of the scale. Once we summitted Diablo we headed back down and found the North Peak Trail, we headed out that way and decided we would climb the North Peak Trail as well, it was a doozy! Had a bite to eat up at the top on a little metal platform and then headed back down. Very gravelly and steep, I ate it a few times! And then we hit the Meridian Ridge Trail to Bald Summit Trail. All the reviews said it was a shortcut compared to the Meridian Ridge Trail, but I will say it was extremely hard! Especially the last 2 miles or so were very difficult. Got back to the Juniper campground with sore feet and achy bodies, we each went through all 48 oz of water. Doing this Trail with the added North Peak made it a total of 9 miles, 2500+ ft. elevation change and it took 6 hours with a long stop at the observatory and for lunch at the top of North Peak. Do it again? Maybe a different Trail! Nice hike though!

9 months ago

If you’re like me and like a reward at the end of your hike, do NOT do this counter clockwise! Save the summit for the end. Get the fire road out of the way first. Some very steep parts, make sure there’s decent tread on your boots. Awesome workout with great views.

Challenging but fun loop. I would recommend this hike for anyone in decent shape.

Great hike. Amazing views. Starts out slow and then you hit the incline hard

Sun Dec 30 2018

Great hike. Amazing views. Elevation change can be a bit strenuous but totally worth it. I also really enjoyed going through the welcome center at the summit.

Mon May 28 2018

Great sweeping views, really awesome! We hiked counter clockwise. I recommend hiking sticks as many parts of trail are steep with loose rock. There was a lot of poison oak, sometimes very close to the trail. Take water! We started hiking at about 830am. Good to start early. Road to Juniper has lots of bikes and traffic. $10 per car fee at gate.

Sat May 05 2018

Counterclockwise. This was a very difficult trail. Not because of the length or up and downs. Bit because of the “slipperiness” of the trail. The down hills especially had to be traversed with baby steps because if this. And lots of brush overhanging the trails not good for ticks and poison oak. $10 self service to get in. All day never saw a park employee. I will not be back and don’t suggest this trail, not much fun.

Mon Feb 05 2018

If heading clockwise, your first 2+ miles are generally downhill. Then the (choose your adjective) begins. 3+ miles up. And on some stretches, it’s very steep, and doesn’t seem to let up. However, the vantage points near the summit are worth the weary legs (and lungs). Enjoy a savory meal and a beverage afterwards. You’ve definitely earned it.

Sun Jan 14 2018

Great views from above the fog line. Well maintained trail, half on fire road. Start counter clockwise if you want less steeper climbs.

Fri Sep 29 2017

Went with a group of guys and no one fell out but, people started to slow down closer to the top. Make sure to bring water, since we are young and stupid guys... we decided to start this trail at 11:00 AM local time and ended up exposed and in the open, which is 90% of the fire-trail. Good Exercise and awesome views, this is a definite!

Thu Aug 24 2017

A lot of this is on a fire road rather than an actual trail. We went clockwise, starting on Meridian Ridge and ending on Juniper. The bits that weren't on the fire road were nice, but the fire road itself was steep uphill and downhill all the way. Bring three-four water bottles on this hike and be prepared for a beating! I woke up with a nosebleed, and I'm going to be sore for days.

Mon Jul 03 2017

Hiking to the summit is hard and you will need plenty of water and a few snacks to keep your energy up. Don't forget your sunscreen and insect repellent. Hard hike but worth it!

Sun May 28 2017

Parked the car at the Juniper overlook (no signs that said you couldn't!). Went clockwise direction so I could finish downhill. Took the Bald Ridge Trail as a "short cut" - walked right by it the first time, it's a bit hidden. It's very goaty, steep, rocky, and lots of poison oak. But shaved a half-mile off the lower trail. Nice visitor's center at the summit. Hazy summer day, but still impressive views.

Sat Apr 22 2017

Definitely recommend taking the Bald ridge trail as a short cut. Lovely views.

Fri Mar 31 2017

Beautiful blooms this year. Challenging hike but worth the views.

Sun Mar 12 2017

first timer on this trail and ap.

Sun Feb 05 2017

This trail should be rated as HARD. Not moderate. Extreme inclines and declines. It's a GORGEOUS loop, just be prepared for the 6.5 miles of a solid hearty hike!

Mon Jan 23 2017

Great views on the way to the summit!

Tue Jan 03 2017

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.

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