Mount Diablo State Park Donner Canyon to the Falls Trail

Walnut Creek, California 94598

Mount Diablo State Park Donner Canyon to the Falls Trail

Mount Diablo State Park: Donner Canyon to the Falls Trail Professional Review and Guide

"While creeks running down Mount Diablo 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 the mountain. Because the trails here are 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 the Falls Trail, are spectacular. Trails Surface: Double-track, dirt trail; narrow, single-track trail with some rocks to traverse."

More Mount Diablo State Park: Donner Canyon to the Falls Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Best in early spring when the creeks are full, this scenic and strenuous semiloop, using the Donner Creek, Middle, and Falls trails, and Donner Canyon, Meridian Ridge, and Cardinet Oaks roads, gives you views of hidden waterfalls cascading down from Mt. Diablo’s North Peak. The Middle Trail takes you through an area that burned in 1977, providing a chance to see the regenerative effects of fire on manzanita and other chaparral vegetation. The lower part of Donner Canyon Road may be muddy during and after wet weather, but that’s when the falls are running. (The Middle and Falls trails/Cardinet Oak Road segment of this route can be done as a 2.3-mile extension to the “Back Canyon” route.)"

"This hike on Mount Diablo’s northeastern slopes is the perfect antidote to winter doldrums. Spring seems to visit Donner Canyon very early, gracing the rugged hillsides with fresh grass and blooming wildflowers and shrubs, even in February. Choose a clear day after a series of storms, and you may see Donner Canyon’s waterfalls."

Mount Diablo State Park: Donner Canyon to the Falls Trail Reviews

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1/23/2010
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4/13/2009
soooo beautiful! i would recomend it to anyone. everythimg was grean and vibrant and the wild flowers were amazing. a great addition to the hike that doesnt add too much distance is the "hetherinton loop trail" it is very beautiful and it keeps you next to the creek the whole time. two cautions, after the first mile there you do switch backs staight up a ravine, and then straight back down. the signs are also really tricky! my boyfriend and i are both experianced hikers and we got really lost! the large vertical writing on the trail marker tells you what trail that trail goes to, and the small horizintal writing tells you what trail it is.
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3/24/2009
5 stars on a beautiful spring day like today when the waterfalls are flowing and the flowers are blooming. If it was the middle of the summer I doubt I'd have the same feelings about this trail but nonetheless its still a good escape outdoors. Trail starts off flat then heads straight up about 1200 feet then levels out again for some amazing views of the falls and Eagle's Point (?) before descending back down. All things said come in the spring or after a good rain to get the most out of this trail.
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Mount Diablo State Park: Donner Canyon to the Falls Trail Photos

Trail Information

Walnut Creek
Nearby City
5.9
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
4 hours
Duration
Open daily year-round from 8:00 a.m. to dusk
Season
Waterfalls
Features
Mount Diablo State Park
Local Contacts
USGS Clayton; Diablo
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018