Mount Diablo, the once sacred mountain of the Miwok Indians, continues to be sacred to today’s Bay Area hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, and nature lovers. It is truly the pride of Contra Costa, its silhouette reproduced on local company logos and county stationery. Ask any longtime resident of the area and you’ll hear stories of summer camping in Juniper or picnicking near Sentinel Rock, taking a springtime Sunday drive up Mount Diablo Scenic Road, or sledding down sparkling white slopes after one of those rare and wonderful winter snowstorms. The state park and surrounding foothills offer much to see and do year-round. On this hike, you can watch rock climbers, scramble up a few boulders yourself, or search for ancient ocean fossils at Rock City; bird and butterfly watch and enjoy a hearty oak-laurel and gray pine forest on the Juniper Trail; identify wildflowers on the Summit Trail; barbecue at any of a number of picnic areas on the way up (there are fifty in the park); learn about Diablo and Contra Costa history, geology, and wildlife at the Summit Museum; and best of all, take in breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and of the snow-crested Sierras from the observatory tower at the 3,849-foot peak (bring binoculars). Exploring Diablo makes for a great day, though be prepared with plenty of drinking water, layered clothing, a hat, and sunscreen. It can be very hot in summer, muddy in winter, and the temperature varies up the mountain. This eTrail also includes suggested nearby attractions, camping & lodging, restaurants, and local outdoor retailers.
© Linda Hamilton/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.