Let's Hike Black Diamond Mines

From the 1860s through the turn of the last century, five coal mining towns thrived in the Black Diamond area: Nortonville, Somersville, Stewartville, West Hartley and Judsonville. As the location of California's largest coal mining operation, nearly four million tons of coal ("black diamonds") were removed from the earth. The residents of the mining towns were from all over the world, and their life was characterized by hard work and long hours. Occasional celebrations and a variety of organizations and social activities served to alleviate the drudgery of daily existence.

The coal mines had a significant impact on California's economy. By the time operations ceased due to rising production costs and the exploitation of new energy sources, much of California's economy had been transformed from a rural to an industrial base.

We will be exploring the mines of Black Diamond on Mother's Day. So bring your roses, shovels and hard hats.

Where should we meet:

There is a $5.00 parking fee. Bring cash, it could be cash only. We will be parking in the main parking lot of the Visiting Center.

What food to bring:

Bring a brown bag lunch and plenty of water. Feel free to bring some snacks to eat along the way. 

What to wear:

Wear comfortable shoes with good tread. I recommend hiking shoes that protect your ankles. We will be hiking mostly off paved roads which are dirt and rocky trails within a cave.

- Hat - a portion of the hike will be outdoors in open sky.

- Wear clothing in layers, it will be warm so be able to take off layers.

What is the difficulty level of the hike:  

This is a moderate hike. We will hike 1.5+ mi. outdoors to reach the caves - please wear good hiking shoes and bring water bottles. There will be steep inclines and rough surfaces in some spots along the trail. There will be great opportunities to take pictures.

Lessons Learned:

As good stewards and outdoor practice, we will be practicing "Leave No Trace" on this hike:

Dangers To Be Avoided:

Rattlesnakes: Please be cautious of where you're hiking and stay on the trail. Rattlesnakes are very common on and near the trails, so always watch were your hiking.

Poison Oak: Please be cautious of where you're hiking and stay on the trail. Poison oak can be identified by its leaves—they grow in groups of three and have gently lobed edges. These are commonly found along the trail. They have an oily shine on the leaves, please don't touch.

Ticks: Please be cautious of where you're hiking and stay on the trail. They commonly live in tall grasses, which can be found along the trail. Please check yourself several times along the trial.

Mountain Lions: are rarely sighted in Anthony Chabot Regional Park. Because of their size these animals could become dangerous should they be surprised. Hike with a companion and keep small children near you at all times. Do not run from a lion or crouch down or bend over. Do all you can to appear larger.


From San Francisco:


From San Jose:


From Oakland: 


From Sacramento:


****Please bring a signed copy of the OA waiver to turn in..Please click the link gain access to print the waiver...http://files.meetup.com/2045381/REQUIRED%20Outdoor%20Afro%20Trip%20Waiver.pdf.*****

                              *****I look forward to seeing you there*****

Join or login to comment.

  • Sara M

    Very enjoyable. Looking forward to going back when they've finished the stairs inside the mine!

    May 13, 2014

  • Clay

    Super event! Didn't expect to go back in cultural time by going underground. Lots of good info, and the cavernous rooms were awesome. thanks Cliff for organizing this trip. Looking forward to it next year also.

    May 13, 2014

  • Cliff S.

    I want to give a big shout out to the three Outdoor Afros that attended the extended version of the hike. We had great conversation and great views :-)

    1 · May 12, 2014

  • Cliff S.

    Many apologies for the mix-up. I really enjoyed hiking with familiar and new faces. Everyone was awesome and very patient. Many thanks to Teresa and Clay for the support. This event was extremely awesome and I believe we all learned a lot.

    May 12, 2014

  • Rebecca B.

    OA leaders - where are you? There are 12 of us waiting.....

    May 11, 2014

  • Cliff S.

    Hello Outdoor Afro family, our event is fast approaching. Be sure to wear layers. I'm looking forward to meeting you all.

    May 9, 2014

  • Cliff S.

    Wondered what it looked like?

    April 15, 2014

  • Cliff S.

    Have you ever wondered what it feels like in a cave?

    April 15, 2014

  • Andrea

    Is the start time really 10 at night?

    March 22, 2014

    • Teresa B.

      10:00 am

      March 23, 2014

    • Cliff S.

      My apologies for the typo...10 am it is.

      March 26, 2014

27 went

Our Sponsors

  • REI

    Shop REI through this link and a percentage goes to support our efforts!

  • KEEN Shoes

    Outfitting the Outdoor Afro Leadership Team

  • Clif Bar

    Snacks for our outdoor fun!

  • Klean Kanteen

    Product and training to support Outdoor Afro leaders

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sometimes the best Meetup Group is the one you start

Get started Learn more

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy