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Understanding the Trail Signs on Mount Diablo

by Robert H. Smith
Reprinted from the Mountain News - Summer 1999

The signs on the Mount Diablo trails follow the uniform format prescribed for use in all California State parks. The format has confused more than one visitor who has hastily read only the larger words on the sign.

Brosler and his colleagues on the Trails Signage Committee clarify the reading of signs this way: The name of the trail you are on is the trail name, specified in relatively small horizontal type near the top of the sign. The name that appears vertically in larger type (usually another trail but sometimes a park boundary) shows where the trail you are on leads to if you follow it in the direction of the arrow above the sign. The word “TO”, in small letters, is very important. The mileage to the destination is specified at the bottom.


Here is a simplified sample

The sign at the left shows that you are on Angel Kerley Road, and that if you go .43 miles to the left you will arrive at the junction Diablo Ranch Road.

While hiking on a trail, you may come across areas where it is unclear where the trail goes. At those points many trails have directional signs with the name of the trail and either single or double arrows.

If there is any possible ambiguity, refer to the MDIA Trail Map of Mount Diablo Park.

Happy trails!