Mitchell Creek to Diablo Summit

HARD 205 reviews
#4 of 74 trails in

Mitchell Creek to Diablo Summit is a 13.1 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: 13.1 miles Elevation Gain: 3,585 feet Route Type: Loop

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

historic site

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
2 days ago

Made Dipsea (MV, Stinson & back) feel like a walk in the park. Certainly the heat (83?) and little shade factored, but the 8 up (clockwise) was UP. An accomplishment for sure. Make sure to leave well before noon (we didn’t and got back in the dark) and bring a lot of water.

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

New favorite route to summit. Views along the way are great. Don’t recommend on a 90+ degree day

hiking
9 days ago

Stunning hike. Breathtaking views!!! Bring lots of water, the hike up is steep, but you can refill at the top. Lots of sunscreen because the top part is pretty exposed. Take the steep part along the ridge line up and take the fire road down if you like your knees.

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

Great, semi-secluded trail. Definitely not an easy hike. It's basically uphill the whole way with a pretty aggressive start.

Canceled due to my. Lion

hiking
1 month ago

Recommend starting right by the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center and using the map/trail instruction sheet they provide, makes for very easy navigation. folks on iPhone maps looked lost. $6 parking, bring exact $6 (no change, just an envelope you fill out). Challenging first half - steep climbs for the first 6.5 miles or so. Not horrible but definitely challenging. Started at noon, enjoyed the afternoon cool winds during the second half of the hike coming down from the Summit. Took 6 hours with 30 minutes of rest at various points of the initial climb. Great workout and diverse terrain with fantastic views.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! A couple of friends and I went counterclockwise on the hike and we loved all of the views, it was a great workout and definitely plan on going again

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic training hike. Wasn’t too hot, and some great views from the top (including a fire in Pittsburg). Highly recommend you do it clockwise to have it easier on the knees on descent. Also recommend you take a detour to avoid the Bald Ridge Trail by taking the Meridian Road to the Prospector’s Gap Rd after coming down off Eagle’s Peak - the Bald Ridge trail is extremely narrow with lots of poison oak and not great trail conditions.

hiking
1 month ago

Completed a version of this trek yesterday. I went up Eagle Peak trail and came down Mitchell Canyon. Going up was awesome. I wouldn’t come back down M.C. again though. Very little... and I mean very little views on Mitchell Canyon. I’ll do a figure 8 next time; intersecting at Eagle Peak/Bald Ridge & Meridian Ridge/Back Creek. Still lots of wild flowers and animals running around. Saw deer, turkey, rabbits, squirrels, lots of birds and a little snake. Saw no one on the way up, but a few hikers and bikers on the way down. Another reason to stay off Mitchell Canyon.

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice hike and a real workout! I did it clockwise today but have done it counter clockwise in the past and like both directions.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a nice hike and a great workout. Our totals showed 14 miles round trip and just under 3,500 feet of gain. Beautiful views of the Bay all along the way.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike clockwise. Beautiful views throughout, only bummer about this hike really is that the summit is a parking lot with day-trippers who have driven up. Makes for a bit of an anticlimax, but you can find beautiful spots to rest below the summit with equally pretty views and a bit more isolation. Trail conditions are great. Only other downside of this hike is that the entire back half of the loop is a wide dirt access road, some of which is used by mountain bikers and horses. Makes for slightly less beautiful (if easier) hiking in my opinion, although the views from this part of the trail are outstanding.

hiking
2 months ago

Do not forget to take $6 for parking (cash and exactly $6, or you might have to drive back a mile to get change). Take some Gatorade or some electrolytes. Watch out for snakes on the rocks. Its really a beautiful hike. I would recommend hiking poles.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike and definitely recommend it. we dis it counter clockwise going from Eagle creek and coming down from Deer Flat and that was the best thing we did. thank you for all the previous recommendations to do this way. it was great for our knees as coming down is much easier. mostly the steep part in only first 3 miles or so on way back and rest is an easy walk. Going up is very steep and you definitely feel it but I would rather get the harder part in at the beginning instead of after 7 miles :). lot of shade on the trail especially going up. we could still see some nice wild flowers. Beautiful views all along. highly recommend it. I and my friend did this as part of the Norcal 6 peak challenge.

hiking
3 months ago

The wildflowers are still doing their thing , but so is the poison oak. Definitely do it counterclockwise , you will appreciated the gentle descent after the never ending uphill.

hiking
4 months ago

We used clockwise direction to finish the trail in 8 hours. We started from 7:40am, it was very windy on the uphill ridge tail, but good challenge. The downhill trail might be too easy on wide trail. Great green spring view and still some wild flowers remaining.

hiking
4 months ago

Arrived at 8am on a Sunday to get an early start and headed in a clockwise direction. The first half of the uphill is somewhat steep and takes time but it preferable to going counterclockwise and saving the steep part for the second half of the uphill. Some wildflowers were in bloom along the way and the summer wasn’t too busy. Headed down the fire road which was more gradual and appreciated after hiking for so many hours. A solid hike in the bag area and one of the more challenging day hikes. 4/14/19

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

Love keep coming back this place specially this time of the year, the wildflowers are blooming! Hike it yesterday. 04/07 /19 One of the bay Area peaks at Norcal Sixpack challenge! Start early, if u want a great workout do counter clockwise highly recommended! Lol

hiking
4 months ago

A very long walk in a beautiful park. It's 14 miles (~22km) if you go to Mt. Diablo summit. Took about 7 hours walking relatively fast, so you should start early and just take it easy. Clockwise recommended to get the steeper half out of the way first. Bring a map so you don't take a wrong turn at the 5 way junctions.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a difficult but rewarding hike with great views. Most of the trail is shady, making it very comfortable even on the warmest days.

hiking
5 months ago

This review is not for the trail S written here: Took the Eagle Peak trail from Mitchell Canyon parking area to Bald Ridge and North trail to the summit, and back down via Juniper, Deer Creek and finally Mitchell Canyon. I can’t imagine a more perfect day for this hike - wore a Tshirt the whole way, not too hot or cold. Only small patches of mud but trail was good and not slippery. Took me 7 hours with only a brief lunch stop at the summit. Mitchell Canton is steep at the top and hard on this 57 year old’s knees but the last couple of miles in the canyon level out by the creek and are just beautiful. Deer, bunnies, butterflies, Red Tails and even a sweet ruby crowned kinglet were among the wildlife spottings. This is a hike for the prepared....but worth every step.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

Climbed out of Mitchell Canyon via the trail to the east of Mitchell Canyon trailhead to get up to the summit today. Took layers and anticipated weather but REALLY got weather. The trail was pretty steep all the way to the summit and it is best to climb down via the Juniper campground, Deer Creek to Mitchell Canyon to save the knees. Signage is tricky and there are lots of sign posts and lots of different trail names so have an idea of where you are going when you start. We had some great views but we were in the clouds with snow and hail for the top, which you have to understand will happen when you anticipate the weather. The ranger at Mitchell Canyon was helpful as was the ranger at the summit visitor's center. One thing to keep in mind, which I didn't catch onto until we were parked, there is about a 4 mile hike straight up (2800 plus feet) to get to the Grand Loop. We had wanted to do the Grand Loop but I decided last minute to park at Mitchell Canyon after reading reviews but no one said you are nowhere near the summit. Just so you know... Excellent hike and good for training for a big trip, checking out your gear, knees, etc. Loved it!

hiking
5 months ago

Omg! this hike was no joke! Nonstop incline! We started at Mitchell Canyon visitor center at 8:30 am. We went all the way to the summet. Spectacular views! Took us 3 hours and 46 minutes to climb to the summet. 11.9 miles my butt more like 14 miles.

hiking
no shade
5 months ago

Great hike! Did this when cloudy and in still had some pocket of ice at the top, would have been more gueling in a few more months. Long hike, take rests and it wll be ok.

6 months ago

enjoy the last month of free parking . Regency drive is going to be RESIDENTIAL Permit parking soon. While it was fun hosting all the hikers for several years. it will be nice to enjoy our quiet neighborhood again. Go to Mitchell Canyon to enjoy the park.

6 months ago

Hiked on 1/21. Well marked trail, slightly muddy conditions, but that's to be expected this time of year. Hiked counterclockwise and regretted it. Should actually read the reviews here more thoroughly...

7 months ago

A most excellent hike. 15 miles and about 3900 feet of gain. I hiked clockwise like other reviewers have suggested and glad I did. Not as rocky as I thought it would be though. Not much of a view due to clouds and fog but I was not disappointed. Only saw two other hikers. 6.5 hours with a half hour hanging out in the Visitor’s Center having lunch. Can’t wait to hike more trails in this stellar park.

hiking
7 months ago

This was a challenging one for sure. We started out from the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center around 10:30am and we went clockwise through Eagle Point Trail. This was the recommended route from many other reviewers, and we are so glad we took their advice. The incline to the summit was at times pretty rough with steep inclines. Especially when you're close to the summit, there were long stretches of just uphill. There is a really nice visitor center at the top for you to learn about the park's ecosystem, and pretty stunning panoramic views of the bay area. It's pretty windy and cold at the top, so dress accordingly. The route back down through the Campground Trail was, thankfully, not too rocky and not slippery, which can be really rough on your knees. It was actually a nice descend as the sun was beginning to set. By the time we got back to the visitor center it was about 5:30pm. My only minor gripe with this trail was that near the summit, you'll see that there are a bunch of cars and tourists that just made the drive up to the summit, and it just kinda takes away from the seclusion you get throughout the entire trip. Otherwise, its definitely a challenging but rewarding hike that you'll be proud to have completed. Just be prepared for it being chilly up top, bring food for the long hike, and bring head lamps just it takes longer than you expect and it gets dark.

10 months ago

It is longer than 12. Great hike overall. For the big ballers. Soreness is a virtue

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike for the ready and capable. Not a hike for everyone as seen by the hard eating. A nice thing to know is there are water faucets at the top to refill backpacks or bottles.

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