Mitchell Creek to Diablo Summit

HARD 100 reviews
#4 of 26 trails in

Mitchell Creek to Diablo Summit is a 12.3 mile moderately 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
12.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3759 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

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. take Mitchell Canyon Trail to Meridian Ridge Trail to Juniper Trail to the Summit Trail. Parking is $6 per car, 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.

6 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

10 days ago

16 days ago

Amazing hike! Be prepared as this is not an easy hike! Beautiful vistas. Best part of trail is the wrap around of the peak to Devil's elbow where you get the view of the south side and partial west side. Last part of ascent is taxing on the quads but the reward is the summit and the observation deck. It was a gusty day which was appreciated as it cooled us off. From Eagles Peak across Bald Ridge to Prospectors has a lot of bushes and trees to push through which make it more difficult and the up and down grades are challenging.

17 days ago

18 days ago

18 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

Harder than expected, and our GPS watch said 14.3 miles instead of 12.3.

Pros:
- proximity to Bay Area
- strenuous

Cons:
- loose ground
- bugs
- mostly unshaded
- scratchy shrubbery
- unrewarding - peak is easily accessible by car

24 days ago

24 days ago

25 days ago

The whole thing felt like an incline! 14 miles in 5 hrs, but that was with me running a portion. For a less strenuous hike take Mitchell Canyon to Juniper. Wear a hat and sunscreen cause it's in the sun the whole way. Great vistas which every way you choose.

hiking
1 month ago

I turned this into a 4 summit hike/run which looks just like a chicken. If you're strictly hiking this then it's definitely an all day hike and probably as hard as it gets but well worth it. You are able to summit all 4 main peaks in one day and get a leg burning workout since this involves about 5k in elevation gain. Great terrain (you only backtrack a little after the main summit) but watch out for the poison oak and bring plenty of water especially for the last Eagle Peak push since it's exposed and the sun will be fully up by that time. I would suggest bring at least enough water to reach the main summit where you can refill. Don't give up after the first peak, that's going to take a lot out of you since it's the furthest climb up but after that it's smaller ascends/descends.

1 month ago

1 month ago

This was the hardest hike I have ever done. We thought we would be fine since we are young and exercise regularly. I would only recommend this hike for advanced hikers who don't mind rocky cliff edges.

We started on the side towards eagle peak. I am glad we started this direction as it was the much harder side. It started out fine, going up and downhill but slowly more uphill. After about an hour though it was all a very steep uphill. I found myself walking much slower than normal and it was very hard mentally to keep going.

We finally reached the top of the mountain and took a quick break. I was relieved and thought the worst was over. Boy was I wrong. Right after was the worst.

Going down the mountain then we were on an extremely narrow path on the edge of the mountain and it was a very steep decline full of loose rocks and gravel. We had to get down on all fours and painstakingly crawl down to avoid sliding in all the gravel and falling off the side of the mountain. It was the most terrifying thing I've ever done. My hands are covered in tiny cuts from it.

Then, it's another steep climb uphill to the next peak. We took another break and decided then that we couldn't do the full hike. It had already been 3.5 hours and we weren't even halfway.

Luckily shortly ahead was where the trail split into a bunch of options. There was a nice wide, flat dirt road that connected with the Mitchell road and would lead us back. We took this. Wow it was incredibly easy after what we had just down. It was basically just a gradual decline on a huge road the rest of the way back.

Even so the hike we did was 11 miles and took us around 5 hours. There was no way we would have made the full hike. I don't know how people do it.

1 month ago

Great hard hike. Steep

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Mitchell Canyon is such a lively place early in the morning! I saw so many bunnies, quail & deer having breakfast... always a nice way to start the day. The hike in isn't too bad, especially in consideration of the elevation gain. However, as other hikers have stated - making your way down is a beast! Summit & North Peak trails are fine... but Bald Ridge was fairly challenging to navigate. If I wasn't dodging poison oak, I was trail surfing on loose gravel. By the time I got to Eagle Peak, I opted to travel down Back Creek Trail before cutting over, which was a little kinder & gentler + wider. Might try this again in reverse, taking Juniper/Deer Flat/Mitchell Canyon back instead - assuming Eagle Peak & Bald Ridge are easier to navigate heading up & when I'm less tired. The views and wildflowers were spectacular!!

hiking
1 month ago

Well, it's a hard hike. Climbing up, the trail breaks into three distinct section: (b) the start is flat for a couple of miles, so you are barely getting warmed up; (b) the middle section is an even-graded climb to 2,900 ft, not too difficult, and (c) the final 1 mile is a steep path up to the top that is bound to slow you down and burn some calories.

But the bigger deal is actually getting down. It is unexpectedly hard and took us by surprise. It took us LONGER to get down than to come up! The path alternates between steep, rocky and quite difficult descents with frequent raises in elevation to take you through the hilltops of every nearby peak along your way. It took me and my companion 4 hours 12 minutes to get to the top and 4 hours and 30 min to get down.

The hike is beautiful and massively rewarding. Just make sure you are prepared for what it has to offer.

hiking
1 month ago