Best trails in Clayton, California

7,696 Reviews
Looking for a great trail near Clayton, California? AllTrails has 72 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Mount Diablo State Park or San Bruno Mountain State Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like San Pedro Valley County Park or Lafayette Reservoir Recreation Area. Ready for some activity? There are 40 moderate trails in Clayton ranging from 1.5 to 11 miles and from 252 to 3,825 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Clayton, California
Top trails (72)
#1 - Donner Creek Loop Trail
Mount Diablo State Park
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Length: 5.1 mi • Est. 2 h 50 m
Please note that parking at the trailhead is for residents only and you may get a ticket. Paid parking is available at the nearby Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center for $6. Beautiful hike along creek, multiple cascades, mountain views. This loop trail is a great short hike that allows you to escape into the wilderness for a few hours. Donner Creek Falls consists of a series of four separate cascades falling off the peaks of Diablo. During the winter months and after a good rain, the waterfalls are rather impressive. From the parking area, walk along Donner Canyon Rd to Hetherington Loop (1.0 mi). After about 1.8 miles, turn left at the Cardinet Oaks Rd., and follow this road across Donner Creek and up a steep section to a junction with the Falls Trail on the right. This trail leads down to the falls on Donner Creek and continues on to the Middle Trail, which then loops back down to the Donner Canyon Rd. Show more
#2 - Mount Diablo Grand Loop Trail
Mount Diablo State Park
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Length: 6.8 mi • Est. 3 h 58 m
The Grand Loop offers a bird's-eye view of the Bay Area, and sometimes glimpses far beyond, of the Farallon Islands, Mount Lassen, the Sierra Nevada, and the Santa Cruz Mountains. It's also a a hotspot for wildflowers in the spring. Show more
#3 - Waterfalls of Mount Diablo Loop
Mount Diablo State Park
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Length: 7.9 mi • Est. 4 h 20 m
Note: This hike has two starting points. This route follows the trail's alternative trailhead off of Mitchell Canyon Road. The main trailhead begins at the end of Regency Drive and Mountaire Parkway. Limited parking is available on Regency Drive. Parking at Regency Drive is for residents only and you may get a ticket. Paid parking is available at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center for $6. 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.Show more
#4 - Mitchell Creek to Diablo Summit
Mount Diablo State Park
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Length: 13.1 mi • Est. 7 h 42 m
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.Show more
#5 - Eagle Peak Loop
Mount Diablo State Park
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Length: 7.6 mi • Est. 4 h 33 m
The lush greenery of Mitchell Canyon leads to an invigorating climb to Eagle Peak (2,369'), a favorite of local hikers. Everybody loves to visit the summit of Mount Diablo, but many seasoned San Francisco Bay Area hikers prefer this hike to Eagle Peak via Mitchell Canyon, which takes in all the features that make Mount Diablo State Park unique. Mitchell Canyon is shady with abundant wildflowers in the spring; Eagle Peak culminates a rugged hike to jaw-dropping vistas of the East Bay and surrounding terrain. On a clear winter day you might be able to spot the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada.Show more
#6 - Nortonville and Black Diamond Loop
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 5.7 mi • Est. 3 h 13 m
When the parking lot is closed, the lower parking lot at Sydney Flat is open but you will have to walk extra mileage to the trailhead from there. There are fees for parking and for bringing pet dogs. Once a booming coal mining area, the hills are now quiet and peaceful. Yet, they still offer a glimpse into the past mining history. Five coal mining towns once occupied the Black Diamond area from the 1860s until the early 1900s, the most famous being Nortonville and Somersville. Almost four million tons of coal were removed before coal mining stopped and sand mining began by the Hazel-Atlas glass company. Part of these underground mines are still accessible via guided interpretive tours. This route takes you through the heart of the Black Diamond Mines historic area, and offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and delta. As you initially ascend the ridge, you will pass the Rose Hill Cemetery, which is a grim but fascinating reminder of the town of Nortonville and the challenging lives its citizens lived. Past the graveyard, you will come to a lookout point that offers the first of many panoramic views. Later, descending the Black Diamond Trail, colorful sandstone rock walls tower above the scattered oak woodland. As you make your way down Black Diamond Way keep your eyes open for the giant Coulter Pines, and see if you can find “Jim’s Place”, where the “door” is always open! A little further up Black Diamond Trail is a small side trip to the Air Shaft. Make a right on Cumberland Trail, go about 100 yards and it’s on your left. Turn around and return to Black Diamond Trail to continue uphill on main route. Enjoy other beautiful views and rock formations on the rest of the hike. Park at the parking lot .8 miles up the road from the Visitor Center. Walk up the trail, past the restrooms, and continue straight and slightly to the right onto Nortonville Trail. Follow the trail posts, staying on Nortonville Trail as it begins to climb towards Rose Hill Cemetery. You may wish to explore the cemetery or bypass it by staying on the main trail. Once past the cemetery, continue uphill and over the ridge, and drop down into Nortonville. Stay left on the trail straight into Coal Canyon and head up the single track trail, straight ahead at the base of the canyon. At the top past Jim’s Place make a left on the paved Black Diamond Trail. Continue uphill until you reach a closed Park Gate. Take the left just before the Gate on a dirt road which is Black Diamond Trail. Continue on this all the way back to the ridge above the cemetery and make a right at the fork onto Nortonville Trail and retrace your steps down past the cemetery, descending back to the parking lot where you began. Fees: $5 Seasonal, weekends and holidays, $4 per trailered vehicle, $2 per dogShow more
#7 - Juniper Trail
Mount Diablo State Park
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Length: 1.9 mi • Est. 1 h 15 m
#8 - 6 Peaks Loop
Mount Diablo State Park
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Length: 16.7 mi • Est. 9 h 43 m
Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center $6.00 parking Difficult and challenging loop trail primarily on single track with lots of elevation change. Bag 6 peaks in a day (about 10 hours comfortable hiking speed); Mount Olympia, North Peak, Mt. Diablo Summit, Eagle Peak, Twin Peaks, and Mitchell Rock. Bring lots of water and plan on refilling at the picnic area/parking lot right below Mt. Diablo Summit. Excellent loop trail to experience the mountain. Please note: California State Parks has reopened all of the state park units affected by the recent wildfires and public safety power shutoffs. A few may have limited services. However, situations can change rapidly with the threat of future wildfires and PSPS. Please consult the park's website before visiting.Show more
#9 - Chapparal, Manhattan Canyon Black Diamond Mines Loop
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
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Length: 5.6 mi • Est. 2 h 15 m
When the parking lot is closed, the lower parking lot at Sydney Flat is open but you will have to walk extra mileage to the trailhead from there. There are fees for parking and for bringing pet dogs in this preserve. It wasn't always like this: In the 1800s, a coal economy ruled the region. When the coal ran out, the miners moved on, leaving tombstones where towns once stood. Mining resumed years later: this time they dug sand for a local glassmaker. Tours of the old silica sand mines are a popular fixture of Black Diamond Mines. This route starts out in the parking lot on the old Somersville town site, passing the Rose Hill Cemetery and moving on to Nortonville, another town site lost to time. Show more
#10 - Back Canyon
Mount Diablo State Park
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Length: 5.9 mi • Est. 3 h 12 m
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