Gain striking mountain views and find adventure at Mount Diablo State Park.
Mt. Diablo State Park casts an adventurous spirit over the Pleasant Hill area. Featuring a rich history and an abundance of things to do, we’re here to help you navigate this ecological treasure’s recreational activities, remarkable geological landmarks, plants and wildlife, and the nearly 20,000 acres of explorable ground.
1. History of the Park
The history of Mt. Diablo is vast and plays an active role in the area’s community and culture. Mount Diablo is sacred to many California Native Americans for various reasons. According to Miwok mythology and Ohlone mythology, one reason is that the mountain stood as the point of all creation. Many believe that Mount Diablo and Reed’s Peak used to be encompassed by water, and from these two islands, the creator Coyote and his assistant Eagle-man created Native American people and the world. Now, people worldwide visit the mountain to learn about its detailed past and get connected with the significant landmark.
2. Blaze a New Trail
Mt. Diablo State Park offers numerous hiking and bike trails that are waiting to guide you through breathtaking waterfalls, peaceful creeks, luscious forests, and fields of wildflowers. Hikers can take it easy on a stroll through the .7-mile Mary Bowerman Trail or break a sweat on the 6-mile Mount Diablo State Park Waterfall Loop Trail. For mountain bikers and cyclists, the 23.5-mile out and back to the mountain’s summit is equally challenging and gratifying for both beginners and seasoned riders. Whether you’re new to the park or visit often, it’s important to remember to use the buddy system (hiking with a friend or family member) and to bring plenty of water no matter the weather.
3. Climb into a Cave
Located off of South Gate Road, about one mile north of the South Gate Kiosk, Rock City is one of the best places to explore and climb within Mt. Diablo State Park. Rock City features fantastic geological wonders like ancient wind caves, Elephant Rock, Fossil Ridge, Native American grinding rocks, and so much more. Get out and climb, hike, or have a picnic surrounded by unbelievable views and beautiful flora and fauna.
4. Take a Seat in Nature
Spend a night or two at one of Mt. Diablo State Park’s campgrounds for cozy campfires and a front-row view of the night sky’s stars. The park has a few grounds to choose from, including Mount Diablo Group Campground, Juniper Campground, and Live Oak Campground, and most sites offer access to fire rings, picnic tables, and toilets. Some areas even have showers so that you can enjoy a more comfortable outdoor experience! Whether you’re planning to stay with a large group or you’re searching for a more tranquil vacation for you and a loved one, Mt. Diablo State Park’s camping has what you need.
5. Mount Up
Mt. Diablo is known for its horseback riding trails and accessible staging areas for equestrian use. Equestrians can find the Mitchell Canyon staging area on the north side of the mountain and the Macedo Ranch area on the west side of the park, and most trailheads are suitable for unloading horses as well. Horses are welcome on a majority of the trails, except for The Mary Bowerman Trail and the Summit Trail above the lower summit parking lot. While water troughs can be found throughout Mt. Diablo State Park, they are not always full, so make sure to carry enough water for your animal (and yourself!)
6. A Rockin’ Museum
The Summit Visitor Center sits within a historic building built in the late 1930s using fossiliferous sandstone blocks quarried in the park and is located atop Mount Diablo’s peak. The building was renovated in 2010 to feature the Summit Museum, which highlights the cultural impact and history of the area. Visitors can explore impressive exhibits that chronicle the history of the mountain and offer an overview of the park’s ecosystems. The museum also contains a gift shop, an audio-visual room, and an observation deck to help guests enjoy one of the most fantastic views in the world.
7. Views from the Peak
At 3,849 feet above sea level, Mount Diablo stands out from other mountains nearby. When the conditions are ideal and the sky is clear, you can see nearly 200 miles off from the summit. According to rangers at Mt. Diablo State Park, 35 of California’s counties are visible from the top! This panoramic view is unparalleled, so make sure to bring your binoculars and spend some time taking in the scene.
For more information or help planning your trip, contact Stay Pleasant Hill here.