Hike Mt. Diablo

San Francisco Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center

Added by Christian Arballo

If you make this hike you'll have bragging rights for reaching the top of one of the Bay Area's tallest mountains at 3,849 feet. This makes for a great training spot for Half Dome or Whitney. Heads up there is a small fee to enter the park.

Mt. Diablo has some of the most expansive views in California, despite it's relatively low peak elevation. It played a large role in the surveying the Bay Area during its early discovery.

Getting There:

To get to the staging area, take Interstate 80 to I-680 to Highway 4. Exit at Railroad Boulevard in Pittsburg. Drive 4 miles over the foothills. Railroad turns into Kirker Pass Road. Turn left onto Clayton Road. Go 1 mile to Mitchell Canyon Road and turn right. Mitchell Canyon ends at the trailhead.

Once you've parked and made it to the trailhead, get your backpack all set with water, snacks, optimism - it's going to be a bit of a trek. The leg to the summit is 6.8 miles and full of elevation change.

From the trailhead, head 4 miles on the Mitchell Canyon fire road. After 4 miles, you'll reach a fork leading to either Meridian Ridge or Deer Flat Rd. Head to the right on Deer Flat Rd for approximately 1.5 miles until you reach the Juniper Campground. Head through the campground parking lot and keep an eye out for the sign to the summit. Take the single-track trail to the lower summit. At the lower summit you may think to yourself, "why didn't I just drive the car up here?" The short answer is that it would be too easy! Take a couple minutes here to hydrate and grab a snack. Once you're ready to head back, go right on the Summit Trail, then hang a left on the North Peak Trail for about 3 miles. Turn left on Prospector's Gap, then right on the Meridian Ridge fire road. Turn left at the single-track Back Creek Trail for 2 miles to the Bruce Lee Trail. Head left from there and you will be back at the trailhead and your car shortly thereafter.

The Reward:

Now that you've accomplished this amazing feat, head to ØL Beercafe & Bottle Shop and treat yourself to a pint or two (they also sell bottles to take home). Not feeling a beer, you can get your sugar fix at A Sweet Affair

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes or boots
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Layers
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



13 Miles

Elev. Gain:

3323 Feet




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How to Get There

about 1 month ago

Very Peaceful & Filled With Nature

Liked every aspect of the hike. The environment & the challenge physically during the 100 degree weather were both intense. Bring lots of water & snacks. Very fun & interesting hike overall. I definitely recommend a trip to Mount Diablo. Trail is very clear & easy to see.

about 1 month ago

9 months ago

I've biked, hiked, and run Diablo and it's still one of the best for all 3

9 months ago

11 months ago

A challenging and rewarding day hike for both winter and summer. Start as early as possible - it'll warm up pretty quick and be difficult to hike in the extreme afternoon temps.

11 months ago

about 1 year ago

So Epic! I fly my paraglider from Diablo frequently! Such a great launch for cross country routes to the east over the central valley, and to the south along 680!

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Excited to use this site to have fun and adventure.

over 1 year ago

about 2 years ago

Beautiful views and a pretty easy hike

about 2 years ago

Added by Christian Arballo

↟South Lake Tahoe Native • Living in San Francisco 

 ↟Northern California Adventurer and Photographer

 ↟Connecting with Hiking/Backpackers

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