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Waterfalls of Mount Diablo Loop

HARD 393 reviews
#2 of 75 trails in

Waterfalls of Mount Diablo Loop Trail is a 7.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Clayton, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 7.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,709 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Winter and spring rains create scenic waterfalls in this hike at Mount Diablo, the East Bay's signature peak. While Mount Diablo State Park is best known for towering vistas from the mountain's twin East Bay summits, the seasonal rains that visit the San Francisco Bay Area every year create several scenic waterfalls in the mountain's rugged canyons.

A beautiful day to hike, seizing the day before the prediction of rain soon! I started my hike at the Mitchell Canyon Staging Area, parking was $6 and the parking lot filled up fast. It was around a mile before getting on the Waterfall hike and the first mile the trail was very muddy. Thereafter, the trail conditions were good, dry enough that the mud didn’t stick to your boots. Even though the wildflowers are done for the season, the mountain still was stunning with a lot of oak woodland, open grassland with extensive areas of chaparral, various pines such as; foothill pine, knobcone pine and coulter pine, and abundance of endemic plant species. The trail accompanied hikers, cyclists and equestrian riders. Unfortunately, the tarantulas are done mating for the season (August-October) and I wished I had been around to see this. Apparently, the male tarantula fully matures into adulthood between 8-10 yrs old. Once an adult, this cold blooded arachnid with its eight long furry legs, will go on a quest to find a mate. Once the male mates with a female, sadly he will die within 6 months. Female tarantulas live up to 30-40 yrs! How many times a female can mate is unknown.

hiking
29 days ago

Dont recommend parking on Regency Drive. Regency Dr is all restricted parking where you need permits. Clayton Police are actively ticketing non-residential parking violations on weekends and holidays. save your $ and support the State Park system by parking over at Mitchell Canyon for $6.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing trail beautiful views through the valley, Lots of very steep parts. Make sure to wear shoes with good grip the descent has gravel parts that are easy to slip on. The total trail is actually 10.1 miles though there are plenty of shortcuts if you don’t want to do the whole thing. Definitely in my top 5 hikes in the Bay Area.

hiking
1 month ago

It was great and challenging for kids, but they were happy and proud. The view is amazing and having lunch on top is miracle. I wish the waterfall could be active, but...be almost alone on trail at this period is magical.

hiking
2 months ago

I love that mt diablo doesn't allow dogs. They are a nuisance

no dogs :(

hiking
3 months ago

Bring lots of water and make sure you keep checking the map, it’s real easy to go off your trail

hiking
3 months ago

WARNING This trail is 10 miles long! Not 7.9. But if you bring about a gallon of water you will be good. YOU NEED A MAP! This app does very well for navigating the trail. Decent amount of shade. The 1 mile straight away at beginning and end is brutal thought. Might want to take the short cut to cut off the top half of the loop. Its summer so i saw no water. But i saw where the waterfalls would be. I saw a tarantula and some deer. Great experience. AND Bring a friend and walking sticks. Just in case.

hiking
off trail
4 months ago

I really enjoyed the varied levels during this hike. There was shade when I needed it and plenty of sun to require sunscreen. I was a little confused by the trail markers because they didn’t match the all trails name for where we were. I ended up going off trail because my phone was low on battery and I wasn’t looking at the map the whole time. The hike was beautiful and challenging, just what I was looking for. Next time I’ll bring my extra battery and follow the map!

hiking
4 months ago

Great day for a hike! A little hot and definitely glad we heeded the warnings to bring a lot of water. Also glad we had service and carefully followed AllTrails because we nearly took wrong turns a bunch of times. Keep a close eye on the map! No waterfalls really but still nice scenery.

hiking
4 months ago

It was a very nice trail, we went in summer so the waterfalls weren’t flowing as much but we still went and it was a great time, it is also better to go in the morning in my opinion

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
washed out
6 months ago

This should be a great trail in the spring. The trail when I completed it was mostly exposed in 90^+ weather and little relief throughout the entire loop. If you plan to do the trail during the summer months bring PLENTY of water and expect a 2- mile pace average. The falls were sparse despite all the rain this year. Rates as moderate but I would rate it a low difficult. Elevation gain over a short distance and exposed trails with sporadic shade being the reason. Plan to visit again winter/spring with cool weather to reassess.

hiking
no shade
scramble
6 months ago

It’s a good hike for a windy day

hiking
7 months ago

Loved it, completed the hike on April 28th 2019. Scenic views, wild flowers, birds. Reached at 08.00 am so found parking quickly, entry fee deposit in envelope. Wonder how they monitor it. Learn to read the navigation pole quickly, lost the trail 2 times and hiked 400 meter of elevation wasting energy. But had beautiful views of wilderness In the end its worth. If you are just focused on waterfalls, you might want to start the trail opposite way. Trail could be slippery and risky at few places in rainy season.

hiking
7 months ago

beautiful hike, small waterfalls and lots of wildflowers. easy to get off track

hiking
no shade
7 months ago

Pretty cool trail with wildflowers...the Falls Trail via the Middle Trail is more like a detour but there is a nice little creek that runs along the trail. This trail is good for wildflowers, falls (however modest), hiking through rolling green hills. From the perspective of a moderately experienced hiker. It’s more of a moderate intensity trail. Probably not a good summertime hike.

hiking
snow
7 months ago

Sunny hike, sun block and lots of water needed. The whole hike is a little above 10 miles.

7 months ago

Mitchell Canyon is where you should drive and park. Regency Drive is a residential area and parking nightmare. besides, there are facilities at Mitchell as well as plentiful parking and trail maps.

hiking
7 months ago

its nice hiking place whit extraordinary views,hard but good!!

Nice walk with little baby waterfalls. Elevation gain gives you a little bit of a burn. Very enjoyable walk.

hiking
off trail
rocky
7 months ago

Haven’t done the falls trail in a few years and was really excited to give it a go this spring with all our rain! My boyfriend and I are avid hikers so we followed the guidelines above and let me just warn you- this was NOT 7.9 miles! We tracked our mileage on my bfs Fitbit and the total loop was 11.25 miles. The first 4 miles were the toughest, climbing elevation and a lot of switch backs but once you hit Meridian Ridge Road it’s a downhill fire road until you come across Middle Trail. Once we were on Middle Trail to Falls Trail we passed about 7 beautiful waterfalls and a variety of flowers. Lots of hikers out and it was a beautiful 75 degree day! Definitely recommend this hike and loop to anyone who is an avid hiker and is prepared to hike for 4 + hours!

Great trail with some decent views. The weather was clear and the trails dry, but with all the recent rain, the waterfalls were flowing very full! Like another hiker below, I also used the tick woods trail to shorten it a bit due to time constraints. Challenging hike with decent elevation gain and quite a few switchbacks. Definitely would recommend trekking poles, if for no other reason, for the downhill stretches. Would definitely do this again!

hiking
8 months ago

Really beautiful. Went today (April 6) and there are tons of wildflowers everywhere. Trails not really muddy despite dire warnings from the rangers and some recent rain although there are some stream crossings, and on one of them it's hard to avoid getting wet. Lots of options to make things shorter or longer depending on which trails you take and lots of people getting lost -- bring the app! I shaved off about half a mile on the way back by taking Tick Wood Trail (which is beautiful) rather than the long Donner Canyon Road loop. Not fully sure why that isn't just the suggested route anyway.

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