Welcome to another Travel Tuesday! I’d love to tell you that we made it all the way to the top of Mount Diablo for this hike, but…we were running on rather limited time, (I think two of us had somewhere to be by noon), didn’t get started til around 9 a.m., and may have veered off trail a couple times…
So instead of talking about a specific trail, I’m just going to talk about Mount Diablo State Park as a whole! :]
Mount Diablo State Park
Mount Diablo itself is about 3849 feet tall, aka way over 1000 feet taller than Mission Peak! According to Miwok and Ohlone mythology, it was the point of creation.
The park covers 20k acres and there are lots of different points of interest to visit within the park–Rock City is filled with huge sandstone formations and small caves–there are a lot of picnic sites and campgrounds near here! :] There’s also Fossil Ridge (located off Southgate Road–accessible from Rock City), where you can see fossils embedded in sandstone!
Location: 1300 North Gate Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Hours: 8am – sunset (Plan to be in your vehicles + headed out by sunset to avoid being locked in!)
Parking: Day use fee per vehicle ($10; $6 if you use the Macedo or Mitchellor entrances)
The Summit Museum Visitor Center is open every day from 10 am – 4 pm.!
Make sure you pay attention to the fire danger signs! Check with the ranger, especially during fire season!
There are exhibits inside that chronicle the history of Mount Diablo and it also describes the Native American history of this region. There’s also an observation deck with mounted telescopes as well as a museum! (Entry to the museum is free, but you do need to pay for park entrance/parking fee, as illustrated above!)
My pictures don’t really do this justice in terms of how steep this actually was, but…it was steep. I was super glad I was wearing my hiking boots, and having a walking stick of some sort would probably have been monumentally helpful, but…oh well. We made it anyway!
But…with that picture above, we were only about halfway up that hill! Here’s how much we had left to go!
I tend to advocate for wearing a hat and sunscreen + bringing water on pretty much every hike, and this is no exception. The short stretches of shade are far and few in between, but they were very much welcomed!
- The game, Diablo, was named after this mountain (one of the co-founders grew up around there!)! :O I never knew this until I looked it up. In case you care, I got carded when I tried to buy Diablo III. ._.
- There are some claims of bizarre occurrences here (e.g. mysterious lights, hauntings, phantom black panthers)!
- If you’re not a fan of spiders, you probably want to come here when it’s not August-October, as that’s when male tarantulas leave their burrows to seek their mates (“March of the Tarantulas”). If that’s your thing, there are guided hikes available to observe their migration!
- Mount Chillad (featured in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) is based on Mount Diablo!
- What’s the tallest mountain you’ve ever climbed?
- Are you afraid of heights?