Best Trails in Mount Diablo State Park
At the eastern fringe of the San Francisco Bay Region, Mount Diablo, elevation 3,849 feet, stands alone on the edge of California’s great Central Valley. At this point, the Coast Range consists only of low hills, none high enough to block the view from the upper slopes of the mountain. As a result, the view is one of the best in the bay.
Many visitors to Mt. Diablo head straight for the summit to enjoy the famous view from the observation deck area. 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, 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 California’s great Central Valley, the crest of the Sierra Nevada seems to float in space. With binoculars, you may even be able to pick out Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.
Mount Diablo State Park is one of the ecological treasures of the San Francisco Bay Area with entrances in Walnut Creek, Black Hawk, and Danville. Every season in the park has its special qualities. Discover for yourself the mountain's beautiful wildflowers, its extensive trail system, fascinating wildlife and distinctive rock formations. View the stars from its lofty heights, bike ride to its 3,849 foot summit or explore the more remote trails by horseback. The park offers hiking, biking, horseback riding and camping.
Dogs must be on a leash under your control at all times. Dogs are not allowed on trails. Dogs must be in a tent, camper or enclosed vehicle during the night. There are plenty of picnic areas as well as camping at Juniper Campground. Road bikers enjoy rides up North Gate or South Gate Road and the descents are just as fun. Mountain biking is also possible on many of the single track trails.
Gates open 8am and close at sunset. Visitors should plan on being back at the parking area to be in their vehicles by sunset and headed out to avoid being locked in.