There are 3 links to make within this text.

8 Popular Hikes

These 8 hikes are some of the most popular in the park and provide glimpses of Mount Diablo's many treasures. They span a range of lengths and difficulty levels to suit people of all abilities.

If you'd like more information about hiking on Mount Diablo, the Trail Map of Mount Diablo State Park and the Hiker's Guide to Mount Diablo State Park are now available at the MDIA Online Store. The trail map is also available at the North Gate and South Gate Entrance Stations, the Summit Visitor Center, and the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

 
 
TRAILHEAD KEY
See map, above
DIFFICULTY
DISTANCE

Moderate

6 miles

Wall Point - Pine Canyon Loop

1

RATING:

Moderate

TRAILHEAD:

Macedo Ranch Staging Area

TRAIL STATISTICS:

6-mile loop with about a 1,400-foot elevation

gain. Follow the Wall Point Road up Pine Ridge. Turn left (north) on Secret Trail to Barbecue Terrace Road. Descend into Pine Canyon to Stage Road which intersects with Dusty Road returning to Wall Point Road; east of the trailhead.

DESCRIPTION:  This loop, featuring a variety of habitats including chaparral, riparian, foothill woodland and grassland, is a favorite with birders and botanists. East of Wall Point before reaching Secret Trail, you will be walking over vertical beds of sandstone of Eocene Age (45 million years old).
TRAILHEAD KEY
See map, above
DIFFICULTY
DISTANCE

Strenuous

7 miles

Mitchell Canyon - Back Creek Loop

2

RATING:

Strenuous

TRAILHEAD:

Mitchell Canyon

TRAIL STATISTICS:

7-mile hike with a 1700-foot elevation gain

Follow Mitchell Canyon trail to Deer Flat, turn left (east) at the junction and continue steeply up Meridian Ridge Road to Murchio Gap. At Murchio Gap, descend on the Back Creek Trail, to the Bruce Lee Road, to the Coulter Pine trail then turn left (west) and follow the Coulter Pine Trail back toward the trailhead.

DESCRIPTION:  Just about everything the mountain park has to offer: lush wildflower-strewn meadows, narrow canyons with characteristic streamside vegetation, magnificent groves of Coulter pines, some of the greatest birding areas, rugged mountain scenery, and endless sun-swept panoramas. An alternate return would be along the Eagle Peak Trail which traverses along the top of a high ridge line.

Easy

4 miles

Mitchell Canyon Nature Trail

DESCRIPTION:  This route follows Mitchell Creek and is extremely popular in

the spring and early summer when wildflowers are abundant. There are ten

identified stops following the Mitchell Canyon Trail Guide that can be obtained at

the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center. The route begins within an oak savanna woodland

and then enters a riparian community. The shaded north exposures are alive with wildflowers in the spring. Watch for the California quail and butterflies as well. You may alter a portion of your return by following the Globe Lily Trail, which parallels Mitchell Canyon Road to the west between Red Road and Black Point Trail, and offers a modest elevation gain and provides wider vistas.

DISTANCE
DIFFICULTY
TRAILHEAD KEY

3

TRAILHEAD:

Mitchell Canyon

TRAIL STATISTICS:

This walk follows the Mitchell Canyon - Back Creek Loop (above) for the first two miles where the trail begins climbing by switchback up to Deer Flat. At the point where the climb begins, turn and retrace your walk.

About 4-mile hike with a 500-foot elevation gain

RATING:

Easy

See map, above
TRAILHEAD KEY
See map, above
DIFFICULTY
DISTANCE

Moderate

6 miles

Falls Trail Loop

4

RATING:

Moderate

TRAILHEAD:

End of Regency Drive or Mountaire Parkway in Clayton.

6 mile hike with a 1700 foot elevation gain.

TRAIL STATISTICS:

From Regency Gate, take Donner Canyon Road up to Cardinet Oaks Road to the Falls Trail returning loop back via Middle Trail, briefly on Meridian Ridge Road, then back down Donner Canyon Road. In winter and early spring, roads at lower elevations may be muddy.

DESCRIPTION:  In winter (rainy season) and throughout spring, the Falls Trail offers fine views of one of the mountain's most spectacular attractions - several waterfalls up to 100 feet high. Spring also brings astounding displays of wildflowers. The colorful rock formations are worth the trip any time. The waterfalls dry up during summer and fall before the winter rains. Kindly refrain from scrambling to the falls. It is dangerous and damages the landscape.

 
 
 

Moderate

4 miles

Juniper/Pioneer/Summit Loop
TRAILHEAD:

A 4-mile loop with total climb of 1000 feet.

TRAIL STATISTICS:
DISTANCE
DIFFICULTY
TRAILHEAD KEY

Park at Diablo Valley Overlook at Juniper

Follow Juniper trail as it follows the contours south along the

western slope of the mountain, to the Summit Trail, crossing

Summit Road, past the Old Pioneer Horse Camp, to the Summit.

Return on Juniper Trail down to the Juniper Campground by hiking crossing the Lower Summit Parking Lot to find the continuation of the Juniper Trail at the far western end. Allow about 2-1/2 hours (not counting stops).

6

RATING:

Moderate

See map, above

DESCRIPTION:  First leg (Juniper - Pioneer) follows the top of the landslide topography which rings the main peak, a steep grassy savanna, a showplace for poppies in spring. Second leg to summit penetrates chaparral areas in various stages of post-fire development; fine stands of buckbrush (very aromatic in early spring), and grey pines. Third leg (Juniper Trail) follows dramatic upper reaches of Moses Rock Ridge (Franciscan rock outcrops, dwarf wildflowers), plunges into an oak-laurel forest, a survivor of many fires.

TRAILHEAD KEY
See map, above
DIFFICULTY
DISTANCE

Easy

<1 mile

Mary Bowerman Trail

5

RATING:

Easy

TRAILHEAD:

Access on north side of road beside small

picnic site where Summit Road splits into two one-way routes just past exit to Lower Summit Parking Lot. Drinking water and toilets at lower summit parking lot.

Less than a one mile flat loop trail encircling

TRAIL STATISTICS:

the summit of the mountain. Allow half hour without stops. The first one third is paved and is ADA accessible up to the Ransome Point overlook.

DESCRIPTION:  This easy trail offers spectacular views as well as a journey through time. Discover how nature has created and altered this peak. There are 14 stops, following the Mary Bowerman Trail Guide (PDF) which can be obtained at the Summit Visitor Center or picked up at the trailhead.


This will guide you through the diverse flora, fauna, geology and weather which embraces Mt. Diablo's summit. You will be introduced to chamise, yerba santa, California native juniper, scrub oak and poison oak. Being careful not to step on the sagebrush lizard as you skirt the summit, you'll come across Devil's Pulpit, a great red-colored monolith, made of chert. Greenstone, an altered submarine volcanic rock laid down on the ocean floor, over 100 million years ago, is the most common rock exposed on the summit of the mountain. Banded red chert, blocky greywacke sandstone and patches of shale are also present along the route.

Moderate

3 miles

Sycamore Canyon Loop
TRAILHEAD:
DISTANCE
DIFFICULTY
TRAILHEAD KEY

Curry Point on South Gate Road

At Curry Point follow the fire road bearing right on Knobcone Point Road, at the junction of the Devil’s Slide Trail turn right (south). Follow Devil’s Slide Trail into the canyon to the junction with the Madrone Canyon Trail. Turn right on the

7

RATING:

Moderate

3 miles and a 500 foot elevation gain.

TRAIL STATISTICS:
See map, above

Madrone Canyon Trail and ascend to Rock City. Walk along Summit Road right (north) through Rock City and pick up the Summit Trail, at the north end of Rock City on the opposite side of the road, which takes you to the Camp Force Trail to Curry Point.

DESCRIPTION: This loop is attractive at any time of the year, but perhaps at its best in the fall, with colorful leafy carpets under towering sycamore trees deep down in the narrow canyons. It is also attractive in late winter when the creek flows with deep pools and miniature waterfalls.

 
 
 
 

Various

Various

6 miles

DESCRIPTION:  Like chapters in a book, the rocks of Mount Diablo

tell a story of previous landscapes, climates, and life forms as well

as epic journeys of tectonic plates. Trail Through Time panels are

placed along the trail to help you read the geologic story written in the rocks as you travel through 180 million years of geologic time. Interspersed with the geologic panels are panels on history, geography, and ecology.

DISTANCE
DIFFICULTY
TRAILHEAD KEY
RATING:

Depends on the length

TRAILHEAD:

Any of several parking areas.

6 miles and a 2800 foot elevation gain over the entire path.

TRAIL STATISTICS:
See map, above

8

© 2020 by Mount Diablo Interpretive Association