Mount Diablo SP

State Park

Water Shortage

With perhaps the worst drought that California has ever seen Mount Diablo is suffering from a severe water shortage. Most of the water in the park is produced through a series of springs that is fed to various water tanks, treated, tested and then is ready for the public to use. However, with the lack of rain the springs on the mountain have been reduced to a trickle.

In order to meet the parks’ basic water needs the park has been forced to take a number of drastic measures. Most of the park’s permanent flushing restrooms have been closed and porta-potties have been rented. The showers and water faucets in the campground have been shut-off. Many of the water faucets within the park have been shut-off.

In order to avoid dehydration please bring plenty of water to drink.

***Special Event Notice***

America’s Greatest Race, AMGEN Tour of California Returns in May! The Amgen Tour of California comes to park on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Fans and spectators will be able to line park roads in order to cheer their favorite riders and teams on the 10-mile ascent from the South Gate Entrance to the finish line at the Upper Summit Parking Lot. 

One of the nation’s largest and most successful cycling races, this eight-day prestigious cycling road race features elite professional teams and athletes from around the world.  The park hosts the  race’s Stage 3 finish. 

Similar to last year, the park will have use restrictions on race day to ensure public and rider safety. Click here for more information for Mount Diablo park visitors. For additional details on the AMGEN Tour of California, visit their website.

About the Park
This park is one of the ecological treasures of the San Francisco Bay Area. Every season in the park has its special qualities. Discover for yourself the mountain's beautiful wildflowers, its extensive trail system, fascinating wildlife and distinctive rock formations. View the stars from its lofty heights, bike ride to its 3,849 foot summit or explore the more remote trails by horseback. The park offers hiking, biking, horseback riding and camping.

The consumption of alcohol beverages is prohibited.

At Mount Diablo State Park, dogs are allowed only in developed areas (picnic sites, campgrounds, and paved roads) and must be on a leash at all times.  While camping, dogs must remain in a tent, camper or enclosed vehicle during the night.  Noisy, vicious, or dangerous dogs are prohibited.

The park may be accessed by vehicle from the Walnut Creek area (North Gate Road) as well as from the Danville area (South Gate Road).

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing
Summers are generally hot and dry. The rainy season is generally from November through mid-March. Visitors in the winter occasionally experience a snowfall on the mountain peak.


What is a Road and Trail Plan?

A Road and Trail Plan is a recommended management plan for the roads and trails within Mount Diablo State Park. At this time Mount Diablo State Park is developing a Road and Trail Plan for the park. The staff at Mount Diablo State Park is very excited to be able to a part of this process. This plan will be used as a long term guiding document and takes into consideration all of the elements of the park's values, goals and mission.

Key components in the Road and Trail plan are:
  • Maximize visitor uses and experiences.

  • Reduce potential safety conflicts.

  • Minimize natural and cultural resource impacts.

  • Coordinate with local and regional planning efforts.

  • Provide access to surrounding public lands.

Public input

An essential part of the Road and Trail Plan is creating an opportunity for the public to provide meaningful input. The park staff of Mount Diablo State Park will be setting up a series of public meetings during which time comments will be accepted. Times and dates of these meetings will be posted in the near future.

Facilities - Activities
Many visitors to Mount Diablo head straight for the summit to enjoy the famous view. Summer days are sometimes hazy, and the best viewing is often on the day after a winter storm. Then, you can look to the west, beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Farallon Islands; southeast to the James Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton at 4,213 feet elevation; south to Mount Loma Prieta in the Santa Cruz Mountains at 3,791 feet elevation, north to Mount Saint Helena in the Coast Range at 4,344 feet elevation, and still farther north to Lassen Peak in the Cascades at 10,466 feet. North and east of Mount Diablo the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers meet to form the twisting waterways of the Delta. To the east beyond California's great central valley, the crest of the Sierra Nevada seems to float in space.

Summit Visitor -
Open Daily 10am - 4pm
The Visitor Center is located in the historic stone building atop Mount Diablo's highest peak. The tower was constructed during the late 1930's of fossiliferous sandstone blocks quarried in the park. The Visitor Center highlights the cultural and natural history of the park. Visit the Mitchell Canyon Information Center on the north side of the mountain.

Impressive exhibits chronicle the history of the mountain and capture its majesty. A rock wall with instructional video examines the geological forces which created the mountain. A diorama, complete with sound, offers an overview of the park's ecosystems, and its cultural history. A model of the mountain acquaints visitors with important park locations. Splendid artwork and photographs enhance the visitor's experience. A gift shop and audio-visual room are also located in the building.

Accessible parking and ground level entry are provided and a generally accessible restroom is available inside the visitor center for use by persons with mobility disabilities.  Additional non-compliant restrooms are located outside of the visitor center.  Beginning in early October 2012 portions of the Visitor Center including the Observation Deck will be closed in order to make repairs to the building for weatherization and upgrades to accessibility. Please call the park to inquire about the current status at 925-837-2525.

Observation Deck
Telescopes are mounted on the deck to help visitors enjoy one of the finest views in the world. On the walk up the circular stairway to the observation deck, visitors are treated to a look at ancient marine fossils embedded in the sandstone walls of the summit building. In the rotunda they are reminded of Mt. Diablo's importance as a survey point. Above the rotunda is a beacon, historically important to aviators and now lighted once a year on December 7 in memory of those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor.

Mitchell Canyon Interpretive Center

The Mitchell Canyon Interpretive Center, located in Mount Diablo State Park at the south end of Mitchell Canyon Road in Clayton, California, is staffed by park volunteers. The gift shop is supported by the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, which works with the park to provide visitors with information so they can better enjoy Mount Diablo State Park and its natural wonders.

The Center has displays about various aspects of the park, such as geology, wildlife, trails, and plant life. Interpretive materials about the Park, such as geology, wildlife, and plants, are for sale. There are also postcards, note cards, trail maps, and water for sale.

A ramped entry is usable, and exhibit and sales areas are tight but staff is there to help. Restrooms. Parking. A designated accessible space is near the office but the surface of the space and the path to the trailer are covered in loose gravel.

Mary Bowerman Trail
Just below the summit, this trail offers spectacular vistas that can be enjoyed along the way. The first half of the gentle 0.7-mile loop trail is accessible to visitors in wheelchairs. Pick up a copy of the trail Nature Guide at the trailhead.

Rock City

You'll find unusually large sandstone formations and small caves here.

Boy Scout Rocks and Sentinel Rock

These are popular places near Rock City for rock climbing. Check with the ranger for regulations and the best approach.

Fossil Ridge

Evidence of previous residents is embedded in these rocks. Please leave them for future visitors to see.

Deer Flat

You are likely to see some of the mountain's natural wildlife as you take this moderately strenuous 1.6-mile hike from Juniper Camp.

Mitchell Canyon Staging Area

This is the main access point to trails on the mountain's north side. From here you can hike to Deer Flat (3.7 miles) or all the way to the summit (6.8 miles) by way of Juniper Camp.

Diablo Valley Overlook

From here near Juniper Campground, 3,200 feet above sea level, you can see the Golden Gate.

·Park Information

  • Hours of Operation:

    Gates open 8:00am and close at sunset. Visitors should plan to be in their vehicles by sunset and headed out to avoid being locked in.

  • Park Office Telephone:

    (925) 837-2525

  • Region

    San Francisco Bay Area


    Contra Costa

  • Max Camper Length:

    20 Feet

    Max Trailer Length

    20 Feet

  • Purchase Annual Passes


General park information.

Operating Hours

Gates open 8am and close at sunset. Visitors should plan to be in their vehicles by sunset and headed out to avoid being locked in.

The Visitor Center will be open 7 days a week from 10am - 4pm

Mitchell Canyon Interpretive Center is open Weekends only and some holidays.

Summer Hours
8am - 4pm

Winter Hours
10am - 2pm

Mailing Address

Mount Diablo State Park
96 Mitchell Canyon Road
Clayton CA 94517

(This is not the actual physical address of the park)