Mount Diablo SP

State Park

*** WATER SHORTAGE ***

California is in the midst of its third straight year of drought.  The entire state is in some stage of drought with more than 77% of the state experiencing “extreme” to “exceptional” drought conditions.  The majority of the water used by park visitors at Mount Diablo State Park is produced through a series of springs that is fed to various water storage tanks.  Once at the storage tank, the water is treated, tested and then is ready for the public to use. However, with the lack of rain the past three years the springs on the mountain have been reduced to a trickle and the water storage tanks are close to empty.

In order to meet the basic water needs of the park until the rainy season, the park has been forced to take a number of drastic measures in order to conserve water: 

• All of the water faucets in the campgrounds have been turned off as a result of the drought. The showers at Juniper and Live Oak Campgrounds have been turned off.  All campgrounds have portable toilets or pit toilets.  

• All of the water faucets located in the picnic areas and Rock City have been turned off as a result of the drought.

• Most of the parks permanent flushing restrooms have been closed and portable toilets have been installed. 

ALL VISITORS ARE ENCOURAGED TO BRING WATER FOR CONSUMPTION DURING THEIR VISIT.

If you are planning a long hike, run, walk, bicycle ride or horseback ride please bring plenty of water to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit. Dress appropriately, and consider hydrating the day before your activity. Know your limits.  Heat related illnesses (heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke) can occur at Mount Diablo State Park during the late spring, summer and early fall seasons. Unfortunately, some heat related illnesses have proven fatal to park visitors in the past.

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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 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. 

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 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.

Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center

The Mitchell Canyon Visitor 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 Visitor 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, 2,900 feet above sea level, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge.

·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

    County

    Contra Costa

  • Max Camper Length:

    20 Feet

    Max Trailer Length

    20 Feet

  • Purchase Annual Passes

Telephone

925-837-2525
General park information.

Operating Hours

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

The Summit Visitor Center is open 7 days a week from 10am - 4pm.

The Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center is open weekends only and some holidays.

Summer Hours
8am - 4pm

Winter Hours
10am - 2pm

Directions

North Gate Road Entrance
1300 North Gate Road
Walnut Creek, 94598
(Concord / Walnut Creek)

South Gate Road Entrance
2675 Mt. Diablo Scenic Boulevard
Blackhawk, 94506
(Danville)

Macedo Ranch Staging Area
3756 Green Valley Road
Alamo, 94507
(no vehicle access to the Summit)

Mitchell Canyon Staging Area
96 Mitchell Canyon Road
Clayton, 94517
(no vehicle access to the Summit)


Mailing Address
Mount Diablo State Park
96 Mitchell Canyon Road
Clayton CA 94517