Visible from all directions of the Bay Area, the prominent Mount Diablo (3,849 feet) beckons visitors to traverse its ridgelines and admire its far-reaching panoramic views.
What Makes It Great
Hands down, Mount Diablo has the most impressive viewshed in the Bay Area. After a winter storm, the white-capped Sierra Nevada mountains are easily seen across the expansive Central Valley. Occasionally, Yosemite’s Sentinel Dome makes an appearance. To the north lie Mount Saint Helena (4,344 ft) of the Coast Range and the volcanically active Mount Lassen (10,457 ft) of the Cascade Range, while to the south, Mount Loma Prieta (3,791ft) of the Santa Cruz Mountains is clearly visible. This being said, when visiting Mount Diablo State Park, its summit is an obligatory destination that is accessible via foot, bike or motor vehicle. Numerous trails weave through the park and lead to bubbling creeks, waterfalls filled with winter rains, exposed ridgelines and shaded valleys. For an easy and quiet introduction to the area, take the self-guided tour of the local geology and flora along the 0.7 mile Mary Bowerman Interpretive loop 500 ft below the summit parking lot. Consider the 7-mile Back and Donner Canyon Loop in the winter season if you have a hankering for gushing waterfalls. Want to tag some peaks? Then prepare for a 10-mile trek via the Mount Diablo Grand Loop which visits Mount Diablo, Eagle Peak and North Peak. Climbers and children alike will love scampering across the sandstone wind caves of Rock City. With over 50 sites for picnicking and another 50 sites for camping with amenities, it's easy to see why this park is so popular with the locals.
Who is Going to Love It
Mountain bikers, hikers, campers, trail runners, climbers and families will all find an enticing experience within Mount Diablo State Park. Enthusiastic naturalists will fawn over the 400 plus species of plants and animals that thrive across the park’s 20,000 acres of varied terrain. And for those few arachnophiliacs, guided walks of the annual tarantula mating bonanza are offered by the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
There are many entrances to the park and these directions lead to the summit of Mount Diablo. Head east on I-80 toward Oakland. Take the exit toward Interstate 880S, then keep right and follow signs for West Grand Avenue. Get on CA-24E. Then merge onto I-680 S and head toward Walnut Creek.
Exit on Ygnacio Valley Road. Follow Ygnacio Valley Road east and turn right on Walnut Avenue. At the end of Walnut Avenue, turn right on Oak Grove Road for a quick second and then turn left on North Gate Road. Enter the park via this road. To reach the summit, turn left on Summit Road at the Junction Ranger office. Parking fees differ by parking lot: Macedo Parking $6.00; Mitchell Parking $6.00; Mount Diablo Parking $10.00.