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Mount Diablo State Park

Overview:
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. 

Hike Details:
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.

Elevation: 2200'
Miles: 6.5 
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

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hope everyone liked my tags on the photos....Jane, or anyone else, if you can identify the flowers, please do so by simply clicking "tag the photo" and delete my "cute" description.

    May 14, 2013

  • MARCIA

    you sure did, and I thought it expressed it perfectly! Or maybe it got garbled with both of us having trouble with the heat...!!

    May 14, 2013

  • MARCIA

    FABULOUS!! I loved this trail, with A+ views (as Glenn said) the entire way. Thanks Monica, Julia, and Glenn!!

    May 13, 2013

    • Glenn N

      Are you sure I said that?

      May 13, 2013

  • jane b.

    Many thanks to Ronen for driving, Monica and Julia for planning and leading, and all of the wonderful Ramblers for surviving the heat! The visit to the Summit Visitor Center and ice cream was a true highpoint; and the vistas and wildflowers along the way were a delight, especially the many delicate yellow Mt. Diablo globe tulips which love the Clayton side of this park. Thanks to all for another memorable hike!

    May 13, 2013

  • Monica

    Thank you everyone for joining Julia and me to experience Many, Many Ups, Many Many Downs, Many Many Bugs, and Many Many Heat!

    3 · May 11, 2013

    • Das (Narendra D.

      Thanks Monika and Julia for organizing the great hike !

      May 12, 2013

  • Das (Narendra D.

    Strenuous but worth it ! Great views. Perfect for a march hike when it is cooler !

    May 12, 2013

  • Femy

    It was a hard hike only because it was hot. The heat just sapped my energy. I took shade every chance I got and drank lots of water. The vistas are fantastic.

    May 12, 2013

  • Monica

    Thank God, Neel. I was so worried. It's a good thing you turned back. It was straight up and way too HOT.

    Take it easy this weekend.

    1 · May 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you for your help!

      May 12, 2013

  • Femy

    I'll be there at 7:45 am.

    May 10, 2013

    • Ronen

      It will work out. I'll be at Camden/85 at 7:45.

      1 · May 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for driving, Ronen. I really enjoyed being a passenger and thanks to everyone in your car for the great conversations and friendship!

      May 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm fine

    1 · May 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      So glad to hear that you're okay, Neel. The hike became even more rigorous after you left so you made the right decision. Look forward to seeing you another time.

      May 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you Monica and Julia for planning the hike. Yes, it was hot and hard but great views and fun to be with everyone.

    May 12, 2013

  • Lori T

    Hardest. Hike. Ever. Just kidding! Well, maybe not...

    May 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am unable to make the hike this morning, and apologize for the late notice.

    May 11, 2013

  • jane b.

    I'll bring hiking sticks for Femy...see you at 7:45 at Camden/85.

    May 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Should I be at the Mission Blvd Park and Ride (or drive to Mount Diablo) ? What time are people meeting at the P&R? The hike starts at 9:30 AM.

    May 10, 2013

  • jane b.

    Hi Ronen and Femy! I would like to carpool from Camden/85 P & R and will meet you there. I can get there at 7:45. Let me know, please, if that works out. Anyone else want to join us? Thanks!

    May 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'd like to join you! Looking forward to seeing everyone again.

      May 10, 2013

  • jane b.

    I'll bring a state park pass.

    May 10, 2013

  • Michel A.

    Sorry, it ends up finishing too late for me.

    May 10, 2013

  • Femy

    Ronen - I would like to carpool from Camden and 85. Looks like Jane does too. Thanks.

    1 · May 10, 2013

  • Ronen

    What time is the carpool from Mission Blvd Park & Ride?
    It takes 55 minutes from there to the trailhead.
    Should we meet at the carpool at 8:30?

    Anyone want to carpool from another San Jose location such as Camden & Hwy85 park and ride?
    (We'll have to meet there at 8:00 or earlier)

    May 10, 2013

  • Kitty

    Waited two years to see this hike on the list again but can't make it! Take some pics of that Mt. Diablo unique wild flowers for me if there are any left. :(

    May 2, 2013

  • Dawn

    Sorry I'm sick. Can't make it.

    May 9, 2013

  • jane b.

    Is anyone carpooling from Mission Blvd. P & R? What time? Any carpools from other San Jose area locations...what time? Thanks.

    May 9, 2013

  • Monica

    Jeff, Mary,

    This is a different take on our usual hike. It should be fun. Sorry that you can't make it!

    April 29, 2013

  • Mary

    So sorry to have to miss this one! We have a Mother's Day BBQ to attend on Saturday, 5/11. Have a great hike and see you next time!

    April 29, 2013

  • Jeff A

    I'm disappointed I have to miss this one. I really enjoyed it the last time we did it.

    April 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I lived at the base of Mt Diablo from 1977 to 1983 and camped there several times but never hiked it. Look forward to this hike.

    April 28, 2013

16 went

  • Monica
    Founding Member + 100+ Hike Club,
    Event Host
  • julia
    100+ Hikes Club,
    Event Host
  • Glenn N +1
    100+ Hikes Club, Assistant Organizer
  • Lori T
    200+ Hike Club, Organizer
  • Femy
    200+ Hike Club
  • MARCIA
    Founding Member + 200+ Hike Club, Assistant Organizer
  • jane b.
    100+ Hikes Club
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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