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Spring Wildflowers at Mt. Diablo

OBJECTIVE:  Photograph wildflowers, especially the rare Mount Diablo Fairy Lantern (also called Mt. Diablo Globe Lily).  Another highlight will be the beautiful Butterfly Mariposa Lily. 

WHERE TO MEET:  In front of the visitor center at the Mitchell Canyon entrance to Mount Diablo State Park.  You must drive to the town of Clayton to access this entrance.

PLAN:  Our walk will focus on the Globe Lily Trail, accessed from the Mitchell Canyon Fire Road.  These trails are fairly flat and easy.  The entire walk is only two miles, which is shorter than the other meetups that I've hosted this year.  We should be back at the visitor center around 1:00 PM, where we can sit down at the picnic benches to eat our lunches.

TIPS:  Be sure to bring some lunch and plenty of water.  Some of the wildflowers are in shady locations, so a photo light can be helpful.  Also note that the Globe Lily Trail, while well marked in the field, does not appear on most trail maps.

PARKING & FEES:  The entrance fee is $6.  You place the fee into an envelope at the entrance gate -- so you must bring exact change!  Shortly after the gate, the road ends at the visitor center, which has a modest sized parking lot, picnic benches, and restrooms with running water.

THE ROUTE:  If you are more than 10 minutes late, then you can catch up to the rest of us by following these instructions carefully:  From the visitor center, head down the Mitchell Canyon Fire Road.  After one half mile, you will see a bench at the intersection of  Black Point Trail.  Turn right on Black Point Trail, and then just a few yards later take a left turn onto the Globe Lily Trail.  The Globe Lily Trail runs for a half mile, and it is along this stretch that we will see the most flowers.  At the end of the Globe Lily Trail we will make two left turns and then return to our starting point via the Mitchell Canyon Fire Road.

Here's a photo of the Mt. Diablo Fairy Lantern:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pbouchard/7213966290/

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  • Kristen K

    Sorry I missed this one. I had a navigation failure! By the time I got sorted out I had missed you all. Hope you had some great shots.

    May 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had a great time, was lovely to meet everyone!

    May 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    So sorry! I overslept!

    May 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hello! This is my first time meeting up with the group. Is it ok to bring a friend?

    May 10, 2014

    • Philip B.

      Yes, it's fine to bring a friend, but it would be helpful to update your RSVP to indicate that you are bringing a guest.

      May 10, 2014

  • Michelle G.

    Hi everyone. I'm looking for a ride from San Jose. Can anyone help? You can call me at[masked]-3497. Thanks!

    May 10, 2014

  • Kristen K

    Is it useful to bring a tripod or should we plan on handheld?

    May 8, 2014

    • Philip B.

      A very short tripod can be extremely helpful for photographing the globe lilies. These flowers are found mostly in the shade, and the globe shape means that you need a long depth of field to get the entire flower in focus. A tripod will allow you to lengthen the exposure time, and therefore decrease the aperture, increasing the DOF. Due to the shape and orientation of this flower, you will want to take mostly side views, not top views. Therefore your camera will be only about 6 inches above the ground -- hence a very short tripod.

      May 8, 2014

  • Hank

    Family coming in from out of town.

    May 8, 2014

  • Philip B.

    Yesterday (Wednesday) I scouted the route for our walk at Mitchell Canyon. The fairy lanterns are plentiful, as are the butterfly mariposa lilies -- which are quite spectactular. I've updated the details in the description of the meetup. Please note that the entrance fee is $6 per vehicle, and you need to have the exact change to put into an envelope.

    May 8, 2014

  • Susan Snyder R.

    Not going to be able to go - didn't realize that it was on Mother's Day. Sorry. I was just there today; there are lots of flowers. Have fun!

    May 7, 2014

  • Greg E.

    I went with some friends a week ago. Then the best outbreaks of flowers was on the North entrance road. Enjoy!

    1 · April 30, 2014

  • Kelly

    I can go if it's on a Sunday any time of day or a Saturday only in late afternoon/evening.

    April 14, 2014

  • Susan Snyder R.

    Would love to go if the date works.

    April 12, 2014

  • Deenie C.

    If the date works, I am in!

    March 23, 2014

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