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Mitchell Creek to Diablo Summit

HARD 273 reviews
#4 of 75 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

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

historic site

fee

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.

Beautiful, gorgeous hike.

hiking
rocky
8 days ago

Was fun, beautiful and difficult in parts. Good shoes recommended. Water at the camp ground at the top. We had a great day! Clockwise is the way!

hiking
12 days ago

Definitely recommend clockwise route. Great views . Good training for halfdome. Enjoy!

hiking
rocky
14 days ago

Hard. Went counter-clockwise. Challenging uphill. Great downhill

Beautiful, challenging trail!

Extremely hot. I started at 9am and it was hot off the bat. Not much shade until you return. Intense climb going all the way up and some rock scrambling with a nice peaceful partially shaded fire trail on the way back. Lots of dragonflies and butterflies no big animals. Overall challenging especially with the heat but you feel very accomplished. Make sure to start early and bring LOTS of water. Fountain at the visitor center, the other parking lot at the top, the fountain is broken.

Reviews are right. Hard, great views.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 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
4 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
4 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
4 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.

4 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
5 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
5 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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
rocky
6 months ago

Nice trail to the top of mount Diablo. Pretty rocky on the way up, but thanks to that there was virtually no mud. Mostly shady, which was a plus. It's definitely better taking Deer Flat Road down. Coming down on it was a bit boring, but I'd much prefer the consistent downhill over constant uphill. Lots of views and some wildflowers.

hiking
6 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
6 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.

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