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Mount Diablo Summit via Mitchell Canyon Loop

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Mount Diablo State Park

Mount Diablo Summit via Mitchell Canyon Loop is a 13 mile loop trail located near Clayton, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching.

Length 13.0 mi Elevation gain 3,822 ft Route type Loop
Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Running Views Wild flowers Wildlife No dogs
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (128)
Photos (3830)
Recordings (137)
Completed (520)
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Tim Cerimele
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Hiking

Very hard if you do the whole thing. Avoid the hot days. I went counter clockwise because I like the harder/steeper route on way up. Close to the top, I cut across this unmarked trail by Ransom Point to save distance but trust me, this was a very hard, steep run to the top (felt good but still, rigorous), if I did it again I'd follow the recommended route. Took Deer Flat, fire road on way down. Left at 640am, got back at 1:30pm. Heads up the parking lot doesn't open until 8am, I had to find a neighborhood and short trail/fireroad to the parking lot to start... it added about .75miles on.

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Jeffrey Salang
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Hiking

Hard

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Rony Garber
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Hiking

Started this hike at 5am on one of the hottest days of this year. Nice and smooth, cool on the way up, coming down was steep and hot but with beautiful views. Wear good shoes. We all brought 3 L of water and ran out right at the bottom so we will bring a little more next time. Gorgeous hike, pretty difficult for the inexperienced hiker. Watch out for poison oak and slide outs coming down.

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Anon Ymous
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Hiking

I’ve always looked at mount Diablo and thought, wow that’s a big beautiful mountain, you’ve gotta be crazy to walk from the bottom to the top. I was getting back from work Friday and decided to walk up mt Diablo on Saturday. I just didn’t feel like it was that much of a struggle or was intense in the slightest bit. Ultimately I’m disappointed cause this mountain is so majestic and it’s non difficulty makes me look upon the mountain I loved as a bit of nonsensical journey for those who love real hikes. I’m think about walking Tilden to Briones to Diablo to Black Diamond to... not sure what comes after but that was nothing. If you really wanna make a trace on the world map you gotta moveeeeee

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Garrett Cowan
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HikingNo shade

This trail is intense. Steep. We decided to take the trail clockwise rather than counter. I would suggest doing the same. There seemed to be more elevation gain this way but the views broke up the pain. The other way is a largely exposed fire road that I would not enjoy hiking up. There is shade going up but there are exposed sections on Mitchell Canyon Road coming down. The view from the top is breathtaking and worth every second of pain. The trail itself is well maintained. I enjoyed this hike immensely and would recommend it for someone who is looking for a good challenge. I will admit that the trail possibly felt more difficult because I’m doing the NorCal 6 Pack in 6 days and this is day 4. Take that into consideration when gauging difficulty.

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Brittany Nix
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Hiking

I took this loop clockwise, I would recommend counter clockwise. If you go counterclockwise you start on a fire road and it is not as challenging of a climb. Going counter clockwise will also give you the best views on the hike down. Otherwise your back is to them on the way up.

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Refugio Gonzalez Ponce
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HikingBugs

Started at 9:30 (the parking lot was closed due to the SIP) it was about a mile hike to the entrance. I went clockwise, which leads you to a steeper elevation change, but the views are incredible. On a hot day, this route offers a bit more shade but it really kicks your butt. I ran portions of it and summited at around 11:30. The welcome center and bathrooms were closed as well but there is a water fountain as well as a beautiful overview look for the east bay and San Francisco. The route down wasnt too bad as you hike down towards the canyon. It gets incredibly hot as you near the base. Not much to see aside from some lizards and trees. Fairly nice burls in some. In total the hike took about 4.5 - 5 hours. Would definitely recommend.

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Suzanne Auchterlonie
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Hiking

Had to park off of Regency Drive down the street as no parking signs everywhere. Took the Back Creek Trail up and instead of going straight to Meridian Ridge Road took the 0.6 switchbacks to MRR. Then instead of going up Prospectors as I wasn't too interested in that long hot schlog joined Deer flat Road and only made it to Juniper campground. On the way back followed Mitchell Canyon and almost at the end took Oak Rd to Murchio and back to Back Creek trail. All in all it was 13.4 miles. I would have liked to reach the summit but the heat was getting to me.

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rob Holliman
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Takes a bit of time and very hard because of elevation gain...go super early and catch a sunrise

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Gloria Lee
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Hiking

We hiked this back in January and went counter clockwise. We also did an out-and-back. This trail is all uphill from the car lot to the visitor center, save for a few dips. The incline isn’t so bad; adjust for speed depending on your experience/intended activity level. The trail is wide until you get up to the camp site, which is where it narrows until you reach the summit. No issues with poison oak, though. You’ll enter different climate zones with some areas being wide-open and sunny and others having dense tree cover. The visitor center is a nice reward if you want to stand on the ACTUAL summit (which is inside) or want some ice cream/snacks. They also have water bottles, but be prepared and bring at least 2L of water as well as food.

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Sarah Linden
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HikingRocky
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Thi Luong
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Hiking

Well maintained trail. Took docent’s advice and went clockwise, it was great. Nearly continuous climb to the summit but gradual descent the whole way. Brisk but sunny. Overall beautiful hike and great workout.

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Victor Matskiv
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Hiking

This trail is quite enjoyable and is not nearly as steep and challenging as nearby Mt. Olympia/North Peak trail. I went clockwise. It took me 5 hours 30 mins with a few tiny breaks to complete it. Lots of shade in the first half of the ascent. Saw tarantulas few times. Pretty decent views starting from Bald Ridge trail and up to the summit. And no, the parking lot at the top doesn’t bother me at all. I usually grab an ice cream at the summit store as a llittle reward for the long ascent. If you want views all the way up (and very little or no shade), try the south route from Macedo ranch. Mitchell Canyon road on the way back is extremely boring but easy on your knees. I definitely recommend this trail.

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Jenni Buchanan
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Hiking

I absolutely loved this hike! We took the route described on SoCal hiker, going up via Twin Peaks and Eagle Peak, and then returning via the Mitchell Canyon fire road. The views on the way there were spectacular. The trail was mostly single-track, varying from tree-covered to open, from rock scrambling to soft dirt. The day was sunny but cool and windy. The summit was a bit anticlimactic, mostly because we had so many amazing views on the way up, but also because the summit is inside, and surrounded by tourists who came up in cars. I'll be honest, if anyone had offered us a ride to the bottom we would have accepted, we were so tired after our ascent, but I'm glad we hiked down because the fire road was lovely and pleasant.

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Vineet Gadodia
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Hiking

I would recommend this trail because of amazing valley views. Trail is a bit steep but totally worth it. Make sure to carry 3-4 L of water. They have a well maintained visitor center at the summit that tells the history of the mountain and its formation.

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Natalie Hewitt
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Hiking

We went the clockwise direction, started at 830am and finished at 330pm with a short break at the summit. Quite the hike! Some nice views. Definitely a good workout and our legs will be feeling it tomorrow. The grade was quite steep on the way up, not for the inexperienced hiker. Glad we went clockwise so that we could take the fire road down but it was quite hot and didn’t offer a lot of shade. Highly recommend Sunscreen, 5L of water, and ample snacks. Also: we clocked closer to 16 miles.

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Josephine Di Laura
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HikingNo shade
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Scott Feuer
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Hiking

Excellent challenging hike to the summit via Mount Olympia. Unusual steady rain on the way down, but kept the crowds away. Good workout!

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Erin Flores
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Hiking

Definitely hard the way my friend and i went. We lost the trail, we must’ve missed a sign... but we eventually found the trail head to prospectors gap. The views were beautiful and right now the wild flowers are BREATHTAKING!!!!

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E Thomas
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Hiking

Clockwise (starting with the single track trail, ending with the fire road down) is easier on the knees for the descent. Nice long hike with great views! Watch out for poison oak, it was prevalent along the trail.

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Kevin Sanchez
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HikingMuddy
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Cyndi E
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Hiking

Great workout! I was grateful for the recommendation to go clockwise to start with the single track uphill- would have been very difficult down that way. Beautiful views! Didn’t see another person until the visitor center

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Amar Pai
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This was a death march

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Mounika Kiranmayi
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The return loop was pretty steep and was very sliding, Going to the summit trail was good.

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Luis Mercado
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Hiking

Great hike! The ascent is steep but manageable mostly on fire roads. The descent is mostly single track.

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Dustin Rogge
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First to Review

This is an easy walk with some nice views but there were alot of people on the trail (midweek in winter)and far from secluded.

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Takaaki Obata
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Hiking
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Leela Teggimani
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Hiking
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Karthik Iyer
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Hiking
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Bin Shen
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Hiking
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