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Mount Diablo


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.


  • 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.

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Back to San Francisco Intro Page

Contributed by:  Andrew Llanwarne


Mount Diablo – California State Parks: http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=517

Describes the view and points of interest in the park

BART - http://www.bart.gov/index.asp

Bus from Concord BART - no 110:



View from the summit of Mount Diablo

View from the summit of Mount Diablo

Key Facts

Location 30 miles east of San Francisco, next to Walnut Creek
When it was walked 1 November 1997
Walk type High hills and mountains
Difficulty Requires good stamina
Distance approx 12 miles (8 miles to summit via Donner Canyon, then 4 miles to Rock City)
Height climbed approx About 3300 ft (1000 m) starting from 700 ft
Time taken approx 7 hrs approx
Map used if any Trail Map of Mount Diablo State Park – Mount Diablo Interpretive Association.
Source of info on walk 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
Places to eat/ buy food Walnut Creek or Concord
Any other local attractions or facilities Naturally sculptured rocks at Rock City