Mitchell Creek to Diablo Summit

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Mount Diablo State Park

Mitchell Creek to Diablo Summit is a 13.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Clayton, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from September until June.

Distance: 13.1 miles Elevation Gain: 3,585 feet Route Type: Loop

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

historic site

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. This is a difficult yet rewarding hike to the summit of Mt. Diablo. Be prepared for lots of elevation change and hot temperatures. Begin at the Mitchell Canyon Staging Area and take Mitchell Canyon Trail to Meridian Ridge Trail, Juniper Trail , and finally to the Summit Trail. Parking is $6 per car and you pay just before entering at a kiosk. Restrooms and a visitor center are available at the trailhead. The parking lot opens at 8 A.M and is accessible until sunset.

hiking
14 days ago

LP- went a few months ago.... This is one of my favorite hikes.... Worth every drop of sweat!!! Breathtaking views up on the summit. Totally recommend it.

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
scramble
16 days ago

Partial shade; very rocky incline.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Took us about 8 hours to do it counter clockwise. We stopped a couple times to shoot video and pictures on the way. The most challenging part was the way back on the second half, since it had gotten dark and the trail was very rocky/slippery. What an amazing experience though and just gorgeous. Definitely pack lots of water and food. Happy hiking :)

hiking
fee
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

Did the summit on 3/7 , it rain on us all the way to the top. On our way down dealt with fog and cold no more rain. Love the entire experience would do it again.

hiking
2 months ago

Definitely Challenging!! amazing feeling when you are at the summit and you know you HIKED all the way there!:) there are restrooms and water at Mitchell canyon staging area, Juniper Campground and Visitor center. it can get chilly and windy up on the top so bring a jacket, headband and earbuds. Hiking poles were helpful to climb the last ascent on the summit trail. Rock geology on the mountainside was fascinating! If you are doing the big loop recommend starting early in the morning so you won’t have to return in the dark :) Good Luck!

hiking
2 months ago

great hike, accidentally did it backwards, so was hit with more uphill than I wanted but still a beautiful home hike

hiking
3 months ago

Just finished. To give this a hard rating is an understatement haha. The first half of this hike, clockwise, kicks the heck out of you. Its some real hiking. Absolutely beautiful though. As beautiful as it is difficult. Spend a few mins up at the visitor center when you get to the top. Have a snack, fill your water bottles and enjoy the views, cuz you got a long boring hike all the way down on a fire trail for the second half. Youll get down twice as fast though. Enjoy the views and have fun! Enjoy icing those feet after too haha

backpacking
fee
no shade
3 months ago

Just did this as my first solo hike in forever and let me tell ya, it's a good one! Like everyone else said, going up clockwise you get the best views, and it's a nice, refreshing walk/run downhill alongside the stream of you go down deer flat Rd to Mitchell Canyon. Be sure that when you come to the showers in Juniper campground, you go to the left. There's a closed gate there, but you walk around it and that's deer flat Rd. There was a car parked in front of the sign so I missed it and had a lovely 45 minute stroll through the entire Juniper campground, just to end up back where I started at Laurel picnic area. That was lame. Anyhow, the hike was steep going up but well worth it; you feel like a million bucks when you reach the summit. And the staff was super nice. :) And lastly, watch for wild boar. I knew there were cougars and rattlesnakes but started when a huge boar bolted across the trail about 15 ft in front of me. Happy trekking!

hiking
3 months ago

Great loop. Not many flowers yet, but it's also not muddy. I highly recommend clockwise because coming down on the fire trail is much easier and faster after a hard hike up to the top!

hiking
3 months ago

2/8/20 - Good workout with a mix of inclines and flats up to the summit. Lots of sections exposed to the sun which could make this hike brutal in the summer. Fairly hazy day, so views at the summit weren't the best. Recommend doing this clockwise as your descent will be on a fire road with a gradual decline. Started at 11:30am and ended at 5:30pm, with a 30-min break at the summit. Exhibits in the visitor's center at the summit are worth a look while you're there, though it was pretty crowded with people who drove up.

hiking
5 months ago

December seems like the perfect month of the year to hike Mt. Diablo, the Sun is mild, the air is fresh, the weather is humid and a little chilly after recent rains. I started out from Mitch canyon visitor center at 2:15pm, then followed along Mitch canyon fire road, crossed over to Back Creek trail, and finished the loop in 3 hours for 7.7 miles. I decided to not go on the Eagle Peak Trail because Winter daylight is short, and the trail has a pretty steep descent, which might be bad for the knees. I was happy to finish and get back to the car right at sunset. Overall, great setting and condition, will do it again during this winter time.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

done 12/20/19. Took docent's advice per the park map and went clockwise but also took oak trail to meridian ridge to bald ridge (so skipped eagle Creek trail). It's a great hike, as someone said below, it gets off to an aggressive start- funny but true. Hard climb for 3 miles, then respite for 0.5miles then gets hard but doable to the summit. Great little exhibition there so check that out. Started just before 11am, took 6h 20min, and stopped for lunch. It was cold and windy and we came back in the dark, but still work it. Next time we'll start earlier.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

After living in the shadow of Devil's Mountain for many years, I finally hiked it using the clockwise route via Mitchell Rock, Eagle Peak, Mt. Diablo summit, and Mitchell Canyon. Unlike hiking the Shenandoah Virginia trails which are often rock-laden, the majority of the Mt Diablo route was smooth. However, the previous days rains made the track muddy and slick. Therefore, a few uphill sections were difficult due to traction. A couple of small, brief scrambles. The trails was generally well marked, but a couple of clearings were confusing and could use some signage. The first mile and the four thru five mile portions have very aggressive, steep sections. Personally, I took an unusually log time ascending due to frequency stops to take pictures (118 total). Other than Mitchell Canyon and a few spots along Bald Ridge Trail, there is not an abundance of tree cover. This is an advantage since it makes for excellent picture taking. Great views of the surrounding Contra Costa and Solano Counties; on some points one could see San Francisco Bay (barely) and Sacramento.Several unique trees and plenty of rabbits.May have seen feral pig tracks (?). A surprising number of gnats. Did not encounter any hikers going thru Eagle Peak/Bald Ridge. However, there were plenty of mountain bikers going up and down Mitchell Canyon. The Deer Flat Creek was a nice surprise. While descending Eagle Peak, it was so quiet that I could hear the rushing waters of the stream in the canyon below. May save exploring the waterfalls for another hike.Plenty of foliage surround the creek until about the ten mile point, then the trail runs parallel with it almost to the trailhead. Do not miss the view of the tunnel opening on the slope of Eagle Peak as you descend Mitchell Canyon. When I started the hike, Mt Diablo was shrouded in cloud cover about 2/3 of its elevation. As I ascended, it burned off slowly, and you could see the rising fog from the ravines. Overall, a terrific hike, especially for experience hikers. Took me eight hours, but could have done it much faster. Check out the visitor center at the top.

hiking
5 months ago

completed on 12/14/19. Great views and workout.

hiking
6 months ago

Great day hike. Good workout, but not too difficult. Incredible panoramic views from the Golden Gate to Sacramento. Not sure whether better to do the loop clockwise or counter. Views better counter, but trail ieasier to manage clockwise.

hiking
6 months ago

OMG! Second solo hike as a beginner. I was able to do the hike and got more than I expected. This trail doesn’t just hit MT. Diablo Summit, it also hits Eagle’s Peak, Twin Peaks, and Mitchell’s Rock. You will go up, down, up again, over and up some more, depending which way you’ll start. Also, depending on your abilities and how long you sightsee, you may want to give yourself at least 6 hours to complete the trail.

hiking
6 months ago

This is a great trek to the peak of Mount Diablo. Make sure to start early enough as it gets hot much of the year. Would definitely recommend doing this hike in the winter. The trail is exposed most of the way, but does have some small trees to provide relief every now and then. Definitely a good workout and a fun hike.

hiking
6 months ago

I hiked this trail on Friday, 11/8, and consider it to be moderate to hard, but of course that is subjective and would be based upon fitness level. In any event the hike was excellent. It was a dry day with very few hikers on the trail. The temperature was chilly in morning, but warmed up nicely before midday. The hike included wooded, shady, sunny, and high dessert areas. It also included a number of steep areas with plenty of great views. Of note was a thin layer of smoke and haze to the northwest due to the recent fires. I drank 2 of the 3 liters of water I had in my water bladder during the hike, but had also been hydrated prior to starting the hike.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
fee
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked on a Sunday in late October. Hardly anyone on the trail and conditions and the temperature were both moderate. Saw a tarantula on the way down. Although it was dry it was a nice hike. 10/20/19

Beautiful, gorgeous hike.

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