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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.

Length 13.1 mi Elevation gain 3,585 ft Route type Loop
Camping Hiking Mountain biking Nature trips Bird watching Running Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Historic site Fee No dogs
Description
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Facilities

Please note that the visitor center is currently closed due to COVID-19. 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.

Park at the Mitchell Canyon Staging Area

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Reviews (353)
Photos (3281)
Recordings (243)
Completed (1105)
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sukumar subburayan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingFee

3 hours to summit. 5 hours, 45 minutes out and back (including 30 minutes at the summit). Please Please do only clockwise, like many others have noted. Don't even know why AllTrails is suggesting counter-clockwise.

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Dustin Needham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 30, 2020
Hiking

One of my regular training segments. Starting off it’s a gradual gain of elevation in the first 2 Miles followed by a a lot more gain. Good news is it makes for a fast decent. Usually takes me about 90 mins up and 55 mins down. Keep in mind it’s about 6.75 miles to the Summit and about 3300 elevation gain. So, if you are hiking and not running it will take about 2- 3 hrs to the Summit if you are able to maintain a 18-20 min pace . Start early as some spots are extremely exposed.

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E W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2020
Hiking

Would highly recommend going clockwise-- the ridgeline trail is very narrow and steep with some loose rocks, and I wouldn't trust my ankles going down that. It was definitely nice to end on a gentler fire road grade. The trail is ~2/3 shaded, and we went on a day with some degree of cloud cover, but I would not advise going on a cloudless day during the summer. Overall, not a particularly special hike, but the elevation change alone offers some pretty great views. Plus, it's Mount Diablo-- you gotta go one time for the one time!

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Andrea Withers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 14, 2020
HikingNo shade

Though the hike had lovely views most of the way up (I went clockwise), it was too hot to really enjoy the scenery. It took me a grueling 4 hours and 20 minutes to make it to the summit (I took the route to the top instead of circumnavigating it). I made it down in 2 hours and 50 minutes. These are total times, including breaks. The direct trail to the summit itself was a bit of a scramble and was quite steep. A section of that particular trail is called "death slide". This route added to the overall adventure. There are water fountains at the top, where the lighthouse is, and near the bathrooms at the parking lot up top. (Yes, people drive up to the top...and there is also a decent sized car capsite close to the top.) I didn't see anyone going up as I hiked up to the top, though I did see some folks on the trail who had just come from their nearby campsite. I saw a few people at the top and a few people on the last mile by the parking lot. I would recommend this hike for a cooler season.

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Ani Mishra
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020
HikingNo shade

July 5, 2020 Started at 8:30am, reached summit at 12:30pm, back to the parking lot at 3:15pm. Total 6 hr 45 mins (including 30 mins of lunch break at the summit). Mitchell creek Parking lot was self serve where you have a fill a form with pen and drop off exactly $6 cash with the form in the locker. Trail was very lightly trafficked. Water is available at the parking lot and the summit. I drank 1L in the parking lot and carried another 1.5L for the trail. I did this trail clockwise and took the detour to the summit. Mile 2-6 were beautiful but last 5 miles were really boring. Heat was unbearable in the afternoon, so plan accordingly.

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Praveen Suggala
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
Hiking

This is the toughest one for me so far in the Bay Area and it’s took us 9 hours to complete the loop. It’s an amazing experience 2/3 rd shade there is water on the summit point and worth the view from the top. All hikers must experience and it’s not easy though.

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Thomas Pham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2020
HikingNo shade

7/10. I took the advice of others and went clockwise. Today was hot super hot so it was slow going. Very little shade, every little patch I had to take advantage of on the way up. Pretty darn challenging. I only had 2liters of water with me and would highly recommend bringing more than that as I ran out towards the end. Thank God there was a little viewing area with a bathroom at the top. I was able to cool myself off a bit which gave me a second wind for the second half. Views weren't bad I thought on the way up was the best. On the way down was pretty boring and honestly if I did this again I would just go out the same way instead. Not much to see and it just dragged on. Not that steep just long. Took me 6.5hrs in total about 3.5ish to the top. Lots of breaks.

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Xiaoyue Wu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingMuddyRocky

Started from the left hand side as recommended definitely make sense!!! It took me more than 5 hours to get to the top, feeling quite good, then just enjoyed my way down slowly.... totally took me 7 and half hours!!!

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Tony Bucklen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2020
Hiking

The rating of difficult is accurate and mostly due to incline and length. The terrain itself is mostly smooth and was only sketchy in a few small areas. Not bad overall but if you are not used to steep and long inclines then you may struggle on this one. It’s a workout and a half. We completed it in slightly over 7 hours. Definitely recommend going clockwise as this tackles the steepest part first and has really great views. If you are a peakbagger you can snag about 7 on this trail alone. The second half is a gradual fire road without many views. It is really smooth and a nice reward to cruise down after the challenging first half. The route here doesn’t include the actual summit so the mileage is closer to 15 if you explore the top. And why wouldn’t you after all the work to get there? It was warm and dry so I drank about 4 liters of water so bring plenty. Visitor center was closed due to Covid.

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Kathy Yuh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2020
Hiking

This will seriously test your stamina, physical and mental. I went on a relatively cool Bay Area summer day (high 70s) but once I was on the ridge, it felt pretty hot. So be prepared for the heat. Like the below reviews, HIGHLY recommend going CLOCKWISE - start on Mitchell Rock Trail, to Mitchell Rock, Eagle Peak, and then to Mt. Diablo. The way up can get narrow and tricky, and I was glad to descend on the smooth and widely paved Juniper trail. My GPS recorded 14.7 miles. Started at 8:15AM, reached Mt. Diablo at 12:15PM, and finished the loop at 3PM. Body is definitely feeling it already!

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Alex N
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 2, 2020
Hiking

Challenging hike but a lot of fun! Beautiful views. I would STRONGLY recommend going clockwise (left at the beginning) and think a lot of the harsh reviews are from people who went the other way. The trail up if you go clockwise is still difficult but scenic and more exciting, whereas the way down is a large fire trail without much going on and sloped the whole way, so I imagine going up that would be a pain. $6 cash to park. Very well marked trails. Took about 5.5hrs but with plenty of stops/detours. This trail as marked doesn’t actually pass the summit of Mt Diablo, but it’s a short trip up the summit trail and pretty clear where to go when you’re near there. Had phone service basically the whole time.

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Noah Yuzna
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
HikingBugsFee
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Anika Holland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 17, 2020
Hiking

Hiked this 6/15/20 By my phone’s tracking this hike was more like 15 miles and 3700ft of elevation. It took us 8.5 hours with about an hour of that as breaks along the way and at the top. I drank the 3L of water I brought with me, and it was an overcast/breezy morning, so plan accordingly. Definitely recommend bringing some good snax (babybels!! Annie’s vegan fruit snax!! Wasabi chickpeas!!) It was a beautiful trail. It was fun going up to Mitchell Rock, Twin Peaks, and Eagle Peak on the way. Even this time of year we saw some gorgeous wildflowers—including some pea flowers on the way down. On the way up, me and my friend were completely alone. We saw some people going up the fire road when we were going down but felt like we had the trail to ourselves for the most part. Bottom line: this is a tough hike, but very rewarding. I’ve been hiking a lot lately in Tilden, Briones, Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, and Marin and this was HARD for me. But fun. It was difficult to gauge how this would be from reading the other reviews between the “I’m gonna lap this twice” guy and the “this was so demoralizing and I couldn’t finish it” guy. Just know it’s a real mountain that takes real preparation of some kind, but you can do it! Don’t listen to either of those knuckleheads. One other thing to consider would be to park a car at the top and skip the hike down (it was a little boring compared to the way up, and LONG).

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Liz Burger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 16, 2020
HikingNo shade

Hiked 6/7/20 Believe the reviews on this trail that say it’s brutal. By the 5th hour and third peak I was questioning all of my life choices that had made me attempt this hike. I am physically very fit and had a lightly weighted pack, and still was extremely challenged by this loop. Mt. Diablo is gorgeous. I had cell service for more time than I expected, and the trail was pretty easy to follow. I only worried once that I was headed in the wrong direction, and I asked someone who looked knowledgeable for help and was right on track. Trailmaster said to watch out for ticks. I drank 3 bottles of water and ate all the food I brought with me. Super fun accomplishment and beautiful day for hiking an exposed trail.

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Omkar Rao
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 16, 2020
HikingOver grownRocky

6/13/20 - 15.2 miles - 7 hrs Amazing views but near brutal hike! We opted for the clock wise route and went peak bagging starting with twin peaks , eagle peak and then on to mt Diablo. The summit visitor center was fairly crowded with lots of cyclists. Make sure you get an early start and carry lots of water!! Followed instructions on https://gurmeet.net/hiking/hikes/Eagle_Peak_Mount_Diablo_Mitchell_Canyon.html

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Hank Rubenstein
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 11, 2020

A great workout. Finished in just under five hours with a nice break at the top. beautiful views. next time we're going to lap it twice to kick our ass

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Lily Tang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 9, 2020
Hiking

Completed this hike on 6/5/20. It's a full-day hike that took us 6:50 hrs. I did the loop clockwise both times I've hiked Diablo. Clockwise means you take the fire road (7.3 mi) on the way down. The fire road is wider and the footing is more even, which I prefer for downhill when my muscles are already fatigued. The trail on the way up passes by Twin Peaks and Eagle Peaks. It's narrow and steeper than the fire road, but the trail spends a good amount of time on a ridge and you get great views on both sides. The uphill is unforgiving and it's a great workout. At around mile 5, you'll reach a junction for North Peak. It's a good shady spot for a snack break before the final push to the top. Parking at the trailhead is $6 cash only, so make sure to have exact change. There are bathrooms at the trailhead. There are two parking lots at the top. One is next to the visitor center and one is next to a picnic area, and both areas have bathrooms.

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Mike M
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 8, 2020
Hiking

Did this 6/6/20. Reading reviews made me optimistic about the trail. I have done Purisma Creek Trail across the bay multiple times. The trail backwards (counter clockwise) is a steep 2k ft climb and about 7.6 miles. I figured this 13 mile loop wouldn’t be out of my reach. I am young, active, and pride myself in pushing my boundaries. This loop killed me. It destroyed my body & morale. I attempted it clockwise, so starting off left. The first 3 miles or so were not difficult by any means. I was making great time. Maybe 45 mins in or so. We reached a fork in the trail, and had to take the high road to continue the loop. This was the beginning of the end. I was in very high spirits, I felt great, and wanted to conquer. The higher trail was ridiculously steep. It was exposed to sun most of the time, and turned into loose grave/ actual rocks. My partner was climbing up at one point. We had rested as soon as we got to a sliver of shade. I tried to keep our spirits high, stating we were pretty high up and we won’t have to endure much longer. I was extremely wrong. It kicked my butt the next couple of miles. It was like an endless incline. Inconceivably steep grades. Right before I got to the top, I was feeling pretty defeated, and pretty fatigued. Blind corners, that once you passed only lead to what you wouldn’t want, another steep incline. We finally got to leveled ground and there was a Hefty trail split. About 4 different trails to pursue. We were fatigued, but wanted the title. We were also making decent time, so we continued. The rest of the story I can only describe as pain and suffering. The steepest of climbs, and drops along side the mountain. There’s literally a point you have to grab rocks and climb them. It’s momentarily not a hike. It took us 5 hours to reach 3k feet, and about the half way point. I believe the top of this hike is 3850ft, so we wanted to continue, but the park closes at sundown. There was a point that we had only gone 1.5 miles in 2 hours. But we climbed a thousand feet or so. We decided we had to turn back if we wanted to get out of here before the gates were locked. It was super hard to swallow my pride and face reality that I was not going to do the next 1000ft & 7 miles in 3 and a half hours. We turned around. Went back the way we came... that same 1.5 miles or so only took us 15 mins to go back the other way. . . All in all it took us 8 hours and came out to 13 miles and some change. If you do this hike, and aren’t an advanced hiker.. please do it counterclockwise. We will be re attempting this hike, counterclockwise of course. I’ve been in sports a majority of my life and nothing compares.

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Kate Flowers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 17, 2020
Hiking

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.

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Hillside Hiker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 16, 2020
HikingNo shadeOver grownRockyScramble

Partial shade; very rocky incline.

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Kasra Rassouli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 20, 2020
HikingRocky

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 :)

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Elizabeth Larsgaard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 9, 2020
HikingFeeMuddyRocky

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.

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