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Summit Trail to Rock City and Sentinel Rock

MODERATE 30 reviews
#17 of 62 trails in

Summit Trail to Rock City and Sentinel Rock is a 4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Diablo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

4.0 miles
1,020 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly



nature trips

rock climbing

trail running




wild flowers


no dogs

The hike starts by the south entrance to Mt. Diablo State Park and follows the Summit trail past the Live Oak camping area. From there it's just a short walk to the Rock City area in the park which is marked by a wide variety of rock structures including the so-called 'wind caves'. These were actually formed through erosion by flowing water creating large hollowed-out areas in the sandstone. A prominent feature is Sentinel Rock that stands well above the surroundings and provides a panoramic view from its summit. There are steps carved into the rock and iron railings at key points for safety when climbing to the top.

13 days ago

Wonderful hike, went with 3 kids (9-11) who managed to make it with time. Would give it 5 starts but there was poison oak EVERYWHERE so keep an eye out. Aside from the poison oak there were wonderful views, will be going again (without kids

16 days ago

Parking was impossible at the start of this trail so we parked at Rock City and hiked the top loop and all around that location. Perfect for kids - lots of shade and great climbing and views. Glad we didn’t start at the bottom after all!

29 days ago


6 months ago

Pretty steep. Trail was washed out after the campground, so take the road to Rock City instead. It's very cool!

7 months ago

Sentinel Rock and Rock City are very cool sights to see at the turnaround of this hike. Good trails.
Parking is not good at all. There is no parking at all at the trailhead (which is right at the south entrance to the park). There are only a couple spots to park in the neighborhood just below the park

Monday, December 19, 2016

Yes, parking can be a little challenging since they put in rocks on small shoulder to stop people parking there. Park a little up the street or before.

Dogs are actually not allowed in Mt Diablo State Park - even leash.

Overall great hike, with mix of easy fire trail, good inclines, lower tree canopy for shade, and a ton of fun on rocks in Rock City. Be sure to climb up to top of Sentinel Rock! Can be a little nerve-racking, but you won't be disappointed.

This is typically a busy trail on weekends and need to watch for mountain bikes.

I would have given 5 stars, but agree parking is challenging. Looking at map, may be better to park in one of neighborhoods on left towards Stone Valley Rd.

1 month ago

mountain biking
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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Friday, July 18, 2014