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.
Pilot car recommended
Information booths will showcase the park’s fascinating wild creatures, history, and ways people enjoy visiting it today. Volunteers will be on hand at the Summit Visitor Center to answer questions as you step onto the observation deck to take in the incredible views.
You can also get out and explore the park. Volunteers will lead hikes for all levels of ambition and ability. You can choose to take a short walk at the event, or start your day by hiking to the activity area from another location on the mountain. More hike details are available at www.mdia.org/Events.
Vehicles may reach the Summit and hike locations via the North Gate entrance in Walnut Creek or the South Gate entrance in Danville. There is no fee for the event, but the usual a day use fee of $10 per vehicle applies.
Check the weather, bring water and wear layers.
Obey park rules.
Park in designated areas.
Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you plan on returning.
Help us keep animals wild by viewing them from a safe distance. Do not touch or feed them.
Drivers and Cyclists:
Observe posted speed limits.
Stay in your lane on blind curves and do not cut corners.
Do not pass on double-yellow lines and pass only when you have a clear view of oncoming traffic and it is safe to do so.
Be prepared for equestrians, pedestrians, joggers, wildlife, rocks, tree limbs, etc. in the roadway. Share the Road!
Wearing headphones that cover both ears is illegal. Wear only one headphone if you have to.
Stop at all stop signs.
Use the “buddy system” – hike with a friend or family member.
Drink and carry plenty of water (a minimum of 1 quart every 2 hours).
Wear sturdy, comfortable, closed-toed shoes to help prevent injury.
Stay within designated trails. Do not walk off-trail or enter closed areas.
Check the weather, bring water and know where to find water. Bring snacks for you and your horse.
Know your level. Trails can be beginner, intermediate and advanced.
Groom and condition your horse before leaving the barn.
Bring your own first aid kit and cell phone. Attach it to your body, not your horse or saddle.
Ride with a buddy.
Wear a helmet and protective clothing. Don’t forget sunscreen.
Carry a compass and a trail map.
Although the rule is that cyclists and hikers yield to horses, be prepared for that not to happen.
If your horse kicks, tie something red in its tail.
Make sure to leave enough distance between horses. You should be able to see the hooves of the horse in front of you.
Please contact Park Interpreter Sharon Peterson via email (Sharon.Peterson@parks.ca.gov) for information regarding School Group Programs and/or Education Tours. Permits are required for groups, and due to the fact that these groups often arrive in oversized vehicles, information must be provided to drivers in advance of their arrival that will help make the roads safer for all visitors at the park.
Summit Visitor Center Elevator
The elevator at the Summit Visitor Center is out of service until further notice. Repairs must be made in order to make the elevator reliable and safe for continued use.
Use of Model Aircraft / Drone / Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
Despite the fact that there has been a recent and dramatic growth in the popularity of model aircraft / drone and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) within the Bay Area, it has been determined that the use of these devices has numerous negative impacts to the special resources, park operations and the unique visitor experiences afforded to visitors at Mount Diablo State Park. Therefore, the use of model aircraft / drone and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at Mount Diablo State Park is prohibited pursuant to District Superintendent's Order 660-16-038.
Dogs at Mount Diablo State Park
Dogs are allowed only in developed areas of the park. They must be kept on a leash during the day and in an enclosed vehicle or tent at night. Dogs are NOT permitted on trails or fire roads.
Facilities - Activities
Many visitors to Mount Diablo head straight for the Summit to enjoy the famous view. As mountains go, Mount Diablo isn't particularly tall - only 3,849 feet. However, it is surrounded by low, rolling hills and broad, flat valleys, so the view from the Summit is remarkable. When conditions are best, you can see almost 200 miles. 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. All in all, you can see over 8,539 square miles and parts of 40 of California's 58 counties from the Summit of Mount Diablo.
Note that all plants and wildlife within the park are protected. Collecting or destroying anything in the park, including mushrooms, is prohibited.
Summit Visitor Center - 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.
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. The elevator at the Summit Visitor Center is out of service until further notice. Repairs must be made in order to make the elevator reliable and safe for continued use.
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 Mount 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.
Explore Rock City!
Located off of South Gate Road approximately one mile north of South Gate Kiosk. Features include the Wind Caves, Elephant Rock, Sentinel Rock, Artist Point and Fossil Ridge. Native American grinding rocks are located near Grotto. A great place to picnic.
Make a trip to the Mitchell Canyon Staging Area!
Located on the north side of the mountain, Mitchell Canyon is accessed by taking Ygnacio Valley Road to Clayton Road to Mitchell Canyon Road. A number of trails take off from Mitchell Canyon that range from easy to difficult. A small visitor center is located here, open on weekends and holidays. The Mitchell Canyon area is noted for its wildflower displays during spring.
Diablo Valley Overlook
From here near Juniper Campground, 2,900 feet above sea level, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge.
Fires are a continuing threat at Mount Diablo State Park. Weather conditions may restrict smoking, prohibit fires or even close the park during periods of extreme fire danger. See park staff for specific information. Fires are only allowed in the park's barbecues or in your portable camp stove. Collection of firewood is prohibited in the park.
Do you have feedback for Mount Diablo State Park? Questions? Suggestions? Report a non-emergency (tree down, broken park feature, etc.)? Tell us about your experience? Send an e-mail to Feedback.MountDiablo@parks.ca.gov and we will respond as soon as possible to your e-mail.
Castle Rock Seasonal Closure
The rock formation known as "Castle Rock" located within Mount Diablo State Park is closed to public access from February 1st through July 31st. This temporary closure preserves and protects sensitive peregrine falcon nesting habitat.
Castle Rock Closure Map and Posted Order