Donner Canyon Road

Mount Diablo State Park, California

Distance1.5mi
Elevation Gain674ft
Trailhead Elevation523ft
Top1,081ft
Elevation Min/Max523/1081ft
Elevation Start/End523/523ft
Donner Canyon Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Clayton, California. It is within Mount Diablo State Park. It is 1.5 miles long and begins at 523 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 674 feet. Near the trailhead there are benches. This trail connects with the following: Tick Wood Trail, Hetherington Loop Trail and Meridian Ridge Road.

Donner Canyon Road Professional Review and Guide

"Mount Diablo has a forbidding image to many, in part because of its name and the legends it has inspired. While creeks may dry in summer, the reality is that there are always cool canyons, and even on hot days cool breezes cross upper elevations. On the less-traveled north side of Mount Diablo are many shady, wooded canyons, and because they’re protected from the sun most of the day, Donner, Back, and Mitchell Canyons have among California’s best wildflower shows. The seasonal waterfalls in the upper reaches of Donner Canyon, especially in Wild Oat Canyon along Falls Trail, are spectacular. This eTrail also includes suggested nearby attractions, camping & lodging, restaurants, and local outdoor retailers."

Donner Canyon Road Reviews

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12/22/2012
Went after several big rainstorms and the falls were quite beautiful. As expected, the trails were very muddy and some stream hopping was required but nothing a good pair of boots couldn't stand.
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3/31/2012
Today the falls are beautiful after (or during :-)) spingtime showers. I went on this hike last May and they were little trickles with lots of algae.
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3/7/2010
Falls were flowing pretty strong, very nice day for that hike. Go early to beat the crowd !
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4/12/2009
Fun little hike. Around Middle Trail it got a bit technical and slippery as it had just rained only days before. All the miniature waterfalls were flowing nicely. The trail was a little busier than I like personally.
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4/5/2009
We were pleasantly surprised by the views and serenity that are so close to town. This hike gains about 1300 ft elevation. It is mostly up and then mostly down. A hiking pole would be handy; there are a few spots that are quite steep. We went 2 weeks after the last round of storms. There were some falls and we could hear the sound of rushing water through part of the hike. There were streams to cross, but none were very high. It took about 3 hours. There are long stretches without shade so it may be too much exposure on a hot day. Free parking on a residential street. Recommended, especially as a Spring time hike.
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1/7/2007
This hike is best enjoyed during the spring & fall months. Summer is just blazing hot and unless you know the side cut off trails, you're stuck on the open fire roads with minimal shade until you reach the fall trail. If hiked in the winter the trails are so muddy they'll suck your shoes off..... Spring and fall are just right... :)
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11/13/2006
This trail was a nice mix of sunny, open areas and dark, damp areas since it weaves in and out of a series of folds of the earth at the foot of Mt.Diablo. Although there weren't any falls to speak of, the trail going up to them hugs the side of the steep decline nicely, and affords great views of the town below and the distant waters. Going in fall allowed for some nice foliage both on the trees and on the ground. There were some really interesting silver tree/bushes that were gorgeous to look at. A nice network of trails allows one to make changes in your original hiking plan depending on how the terrain is treating you. Recommended.
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5/27/2006
Very nice hike for being so close to urban centers. Stream and waterfall volumes were pretty small, so I'd go earlier in the season next time.
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Trail Information

Mount Diablo State Park
Nearby City
Mount Diablo State Park
Parks

Activity Feed

Jun 2018