This is the highest point in the Mount Diablo State Park, a large area of hill country just east of Walnut Creek, across the Bay about 30 miles (48km) east of San Francisco. It's fringed by suburban streets, but you soon feel you've found a bit of wilderness as you climb up the slopes through dusty, scrubby vegetation towards the summit. Like Mt Tamalpais, it has subsidiary summits, and a network of hiking trails which can get a bit confusing if you're in a hurry. Easier hiking routes are to be found close to Walnut Creek in Shell Ridge Recreation Area.
- I was surprised that even on November 1st it was hot and sunny during the day
- The best bit was being able to get into this contrasting wild scenery so close to the city
- The worst bit was running out of time on the descent, and getting lost before being found!
- Words of warning - take enough to drink, as there's nowhere to buy any on the route, and make sure you allow enough time to complete your route as it can take longer than you expect!
- And it's worth taking a compass with you even on a clear day - to work out which direction you're heading in, when you're in the middle of forest with various trails to choose from.
Story contributed by Andrew Llanwarne< Back to United States page for links to other stories
|Location||30 miles east of San Francisco, next to Walnut Creek|
|Date walked||1 November 1997|
|Walk type||High hills and mountain hikes|
|Difficulty||Requires good stamina|
|Distance||12 miles (8 miles to summit via Donner Canyon, then 4 miles to Rock City)|
|Height climbed||About 3300 ft (1000 m) starting from 700 ft|
|Time taken||7 hrs 0 mins|
|Map used||Trail Map of Mount Diablo State Park - Mount Diablo Interpretive Association|
|Walk source info||The Trail Map had descriptions of several numbered trails on the back|
|Getting there||BART services to Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and Concord. I think I got the 110c bus from Concord to Clayton, for the Donner Canyon entrance|
|Places to stay||I was staying in Berkeley - but Mt Diablo is accessible from anywhere in the Bay Area|
|Other features||Visitor Centre at the summit. Naturally sculptured rocks at Rock City|