Mitchell Creek to Diablo Summit

HARD 126 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.

hiking
4 days ago

I completed the summit hikes yesterday. It was below 80 degree and the weather was perfect for hiking. I went up on Back Creek Trail, which is a strenuous steep ascend. But the trail is pretty well maintained and easy to negotiate, comparing to Eagle Peak Trail. And the trail continued to Bald Ridge Trail and Summit Trail. The view at the summit was excellent. It was a bit crowded at the main parking lot. I went to the other side of the summit where there are plenty of picnic tables and a clean restroom with hardly any people. That is the perfect place for a picnic after the thigh busting hike.

I took the Juniper Trail, Deer Flat Creek Road and Mitchell Canyon Road back to the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. This is an easier route as it is fire road most of the way, and it is wide, smooth and not as steep. As a bonus, I saw two tarantulas along the way less than a mile from the Visitor Center.

This is one of the toughest hikes I've ever done. It's definitely worth it.

hiking
5 days ago

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6 days ago

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13 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

The hike is amazing but very exhausting. The feeling of having conquered the summit feels amazing. On the way down, mitchell creek is a gorgeous place to sit on a bench and do nothing but relax.

Let be break it up based on experience of hikers.

If you are a novice or an amateur hiker, then I strongly recommend hiking the Summit via Mitchell canyon road and descending the same way back. I DO NOT recommend hiking up or down via Eagle peek trail or bald ridge trail. These trails are poorly groomed, very narrow, lots of poison oak with snakes and tarantula and has a lot of loose gravel making hiking in any direction harder. If you still want to do it, then I recommend ascending via eagle peek trail and bald ridge trail. The loose gravel makes descending prone to ankle injuries and puts a lot of stress on your knee. Hiking down Mitchell creek trail is easy and fun.

If you are a pro hiker, then it does not matter what I think. Do whatever pleases you.

To all hikers, carry atleast 4-5 liters of water because there are no water spigots along the trail till you pretty much reach the summit. This is specifically true if you plan on taking eagle peek trail and bald ridge trail because it's more strenuous. Also consume lots of electrolytes and salts. There are water soluble electrolytes that you can just add to your water. I did not do a good job of consuming electrolytes and my legs started cramping which made my ascent much more difficult. Try to avoid days where peak temperature exceeds 95F. Start early (8AM if you can) beat the heat.

it's a great hike and the views at the top are fantastic.

hiking
1 month ago

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hiking
1 month ago

This was such a great hike... but be warned: it is a difficult hike. Do not recommend this to a beginner. Avoid it on a hot day (that alone drained me!) and be prepared with the right shoes & lots of water. I must say, the feeling of accomplishment that comes from this hike is amazing.

hiking
1 month ago

If you go clockwise, the views of the hike till the summit are beautiful! I'd definitely recommend doing this trail but sincerely avoid the summer. We were more tired because the sun was burning down on us (we started at 9:45 am). The bad news is that there are handful of benches to rest on given the length of the hike, there weren't even enough rocks you could find to perch yourself on! Having said that, I can imagine how beautiful the views are when hiking this in spring! I'd definitely go again then :-)
Tip- Carry lots of water and snacks to munch on. The visitor center at the summit has beverages so that's a big plus!

hiking
2 months ago

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2 months ago

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2 months ago