Points of Interest
Of the park's nearly 700,000 annual visitors, about half head directly to Mount Diablo's summit, elevation 3,849 feet, to enjoy the spectacular view. Blessed with a crisp, clear day--particularly after rains have freshened the air--visitors delight in remarkable panoramas of faraway lands and waters more than 200 miles in all directions, reaching across thirty-five counties of northern and central California.
The Mount Diablo Guide, 3rd Edition
Mary Bowerman Trail
Just below the summit, this trail offers spectacular vistas that can be enjoyed along the way. The first half of the gentle 0.7-mile loop trail is accessible to visitors in wheelchairs. Pick up a copy of the trail Nature Guide at the trailhead or at the Summit Museum. The trail was originally built to showcase views of the recovery from a 6,000-acre fire that occurred in 1977. Today, little remains of the devastation.
You'll find unusually large sandstone formations and small caves here, as well as numerous picnic sites.
Valley view from the top
Gibraltar and Sentinel Rocks
These are popular places near Rock City for rock climbing. Check with the ranger for regulations and the best approach.
These rugged rocks are located in the Northwestern portion of the park and are also popular rock climbing sites.
Fossil Ridge (off Southgate road)
Evidence of previous ocean residents is embedded in these rocks. Access from Rock City. Please leave them for future visitors to see. Blocks of these sandstones were quarried from this site to build the summit building in the 1930s.
You are likely to see some of the mountain's natural wildlife as you take this moderately strenuous 1.6-mile hike from Juniper Camp.
Mitchell Canyon Staging Area
This is the main access point to trails on the mountain's north side. From here you can hike to Deer Flat (3.7 miles) or all the way to the summit (6.8 miles) by way of Juniper Camp. Visit the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center here. This is a major equestrian staging area.
Diablo Valley Overlook
Pull out on the Summit Road at Juniper Campground. From here, 2,900 feet above sea level, you can see the Golden Gate.
Valley View from the Top
Most first-time visitors to Mount Diablo travel straight to 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 much farther, Mount Lassen in the Cascades at 10,466 feet. To the north the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers meet to form the twisting waterways of the Delta, and across the Central Valley the crest of the Sierra Nevada seems to float in space. If you have binoculars, you may even be able to pick out Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. From here, you can see parts of 35 of California's 58 counties. The view is unsurpassed in the United States.