Juniper / Summit Loop

Loop • 4.5 mi • 1291 ft

The loop explores the summit and upper slopes of Mount Diablo, passing through several different habitats and interesting geological features along the way. The north side of the mountain burned in a 1977 forest fire but is recovering nicely. And although the summit is only 3,849 feet high, fans claim you can see more of the Earth’s surface from here than from any other peak in North America. On a clear day, you can even make out Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, over 130 miles to the east. Terrain: Dirt path and dirt, gravel, and paved roads through oak- and chaparral-covered hillsides.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Walnut Creek
Length: 4.5 total miles
Elevation Gain: 1,291 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy to moderate
Duration: 2.5 hours
Season: Year round
Trailhead Elevation: 3,000 feet
Top Elevation: 3,849 feet
Other Uses: Cyclists
Local Contacts: Mount Diablo State Park
Local Maps: USGS Clayton, Diablo
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Recent Trail Reviews


Interesting view, not exactly remote (lots of people, cars, etc.), But a good semi-strenuous walk with some great long distance views. Very Colorful, Warm and Sunny with a slight cool breeze.


I can't imagine a more perfect hike as an introduction to Mt. Diablo and the varied terrain the park offers. Stands of Bay Laurel, pine and oaks line the initial portions of the hike and end with wide expanses of juniper. The trail is very well marked and at various portions enters campgrounds and picnic areas replete with bathrooms and water which can be handy at times. On the day we went (early spring), trees and shaded areas near the upper portions of the mountain were covered with ice, formed from the previous evening's rain storm and subsequent chilling winds. Regardless of the season, these upper sections can be quite windy, so be prepared with appropriate clothing, even in the non-winter months. The views from the observation tower is incredible as one can see in all directions for many, many miles. Even on a somewhat overcast day, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge are easy to spot. Be careful of vehicles as you cross the park's motorways. The trail crosses or parrallels the road many times.

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