Remarkable views of the valley from the Summit of Mt. Diablo, Clayton, CA
Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Summit trail via Mitchell Canyon is strenuous, but doable!
Mt Diablo State Park is one of the most prominent parks of the East Bay. The summit stands tall at 3,849 ft. The park itself have many popular trails which are not only used by day hikers, but cyclists, trail runners, horseback riding and overnight camping enthusiasts. The best time to take on Mt Diablo is spring or fall, summers can be very hot on this mountain.
Mt. Diablo makes for a great training hike or just a day to enjoy with nature
Before getting to the staging area on Mitchell Canyon, there is a parking fee to be paid at the gate. Ensure you have change and a pen, you will need to fill a form at the gate and put the money in the envelope before heading towards the staging area. Ample parking, but I would still recommend you arrive early. The tribe arrived around 6:30 AM and was ready to take on the 13.5 miles with elevation gain of 3,820 ft. The park is usually not very crowed, you can stop by at the ranger station to get the map and other information of the area, the staff is very friendly and loves to explain routes, options, watch-outs in detail.
The route via Mitchell Canyon starts off flat and then gradual with tree cover, for the first mile and a half. Depending on when you go, native flowers and grassy hillside will keep you company. Follow signs to Mitchel Canyon Road towards Deer Flat, this is a wide path and continues to climb up in the next few miles. The views on the initial part of the hike are not expansive, however this changes significantly as you continue to move towards Juniper Campgrounds. At this point on a Y- junction you have the option to take the loop towards Eagle Peak and approach the summit through there or continue on the Deer Flat Road towards Juniper Campground.
As you approach the campground, the trail will be flat again, go past the gates towards the campground. Good place to take a restroom break and continue across the grounds towards the summit trail through a narrow steep path till the summit. Summit at Mt Diablo has a visitor center, enjoy the exhibits, grab some water and treat yourself with an ice-cream sandwich. This has become somewhat of a tradition for the tribe, having done the summit a couple of time. The summit is accessible via cars as well, however the joy of working hard for those remarkable views is something else for this tribe!
Rich history, wildlife, wildflowers and waterfalls make this 'devils' mountain an incredible calling
Again there are couple of ways to get back, follow the maps, but the tribe retraced back via Juniper Campground, Deer Flat Road and Mitchel Canyon Road. Took us about 6.5 hours for the roundtrip on a sunny July afternoon!
Learning's from the tribe - The mountains are beautiful in every season, pick the time that best suits your body for a strenuous hike.