Mt. Diablo State Park is one of the ecological treasures of the San Francisco Bay Area. Every season in the park has its special qualities. During this time, the mountain should have beautiful wildflowers. It also boasts an extensive trail system, fascinating wildlife and distinctive rock formations. You can view the stars from its lofty heights from its 3,849 foot summit. Many visitors to Mount Diablo head straight for the summit to enjoy the famous view. Summer days are sometimes hazy, and the best viewing is often on the day after a winter storm. Then, you can look to the west, beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Farallon Islands; southeast to the James Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton at 4,213 feet elevation; south to Mount Loma Prieta in the Santa Cruz Mountains at 3,791 feet elevation, north to Mount Saint Helena in the Coast Range at 4,344 feet elevation, and still farther north to Mount Lassen in the Cascades at 10,466 feet. North and east of Mount Diablo the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers meet to form the twisting waterways of the Delta. To the east beyond Califomia's great central valley, the crest of the Sierra Nevada seems to float in space.
This circuit of 3,849-foot Mount Diablo will challenge even the most experienced hiker with what the Sherpas of Nepal call "many many up, many many down." We should get a cool spring day, but pack plenty of water to enjoy this premier, view-packed Bay Area trek!
This hike is a complete circle around Mt. Diablo, the East Bay's tallest peak, plus a trip to the summit make it one of the region's premier hikes and a great way to learn more about the trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that struggle for survival on the rugged mountain's upper reaches. This strenuous route uses Dear flat, Meridian Ridge, and Prospectors Gap roads and the North Peak, Summit and Juniper trails.
Time: 4.5 Hours
0.0 – Go northwest on paved road through Juniper Campground
0.3 – Straight on Deer Flat Rd.
1.4 – Deer Flat; right on Meridian Ridge Rd.
2.2 – Murchio Gap; angle right to stay on Meridian Ridge Rd.
2.4 – Straight on Prospectors Gap Rd.
3.5 – Prospectors Gap; right on North Peak Trail
4.6 – Devils Elbow; right on Summit Trail
4.8 – Lower parking area; right on paved road
5.0 – Mount Diablo summit
5.3 – West end of lower parking area; take Juniper Trail
6.5 – Back to parking area
NOTE: Don't be fooled by the shortness of this hike - Mt. Diablo is very steep in parts and can be quite challenging. In some areas, going down is just as tough as going up. Bring your poles!
Directions to Park:
From Interstate 680 in Danville, take the Diablo Rd./Danville exit and follow Diablo Rd. 3 miles east to Mount Diablo Scenic Blvd. Turn left onto Mount Diablo Scenic Blvd.—which soon becomes South Gate Rd.—and go 3.7 miles to the South Gate entrance station. Continue on South Gate Rd. another 3.2 miles to Park Headquarters and a junction with North Gate and Summit roads. Turn right onto Summit Rd. and go 2.3 miles to Diablo Valley Overlook, a large parking area at a sharp bend in the road, just left of the entrance to the Juniper Campground and the Laurel Nook group picnic area. The trailhead is on the north end of Diablo Valley Overlook.
Directions to the Carpool:
It is best to meet at the Mission Blvd Park & Ride at[masked] Mission Road, Fremont, CA 94539. I will be coming from San Francisco.
See map: http://goo.gl/maps/K51uB