Thursday, March 21, 2013

Prime time on Mount Diablo

If you live in the East Bay, it's very likely that you have seen one of our highest peaks--Mount Diablo. Mount Diablo, at 3,849 feet, is a dominant feature in east Contra Costa County. The mountain, which is part of the 19,000 acre Mount Diablo State Park, offers great hiking. (It also offers fantastic riding for equestrians and fit bicyclists, but that's another couple of topics!).

Waterfall in Mitchell Canyon, Mt. Diablo

Springtime on Mount Diablo is beautiful with the slopes turning green and the wildflowers bursting into bloom. If you haven't ever hiked on the mountain, or haven't for a while, maybe one of these upcoming guided hikes will appeal to you. 
The following are scheduled hikes by the Save Mount Diablo, an association that has been quite instrumental in acquiring and preserving lands that are part of, or near, Mount Diablo:

Indian Paintbrush

  • A beginner’s look at spring wildflowers. Tuesday, April 2nd, 10 A.M. -12 P.M. This walk will take participants along Mitchell Canyon Road to see what is blooming. Heavy rain cancels. Meet at the Mitchell Canyon Trailhead. Led by Mount Diablo Interpretative Assoc. leaders Christine Hagelin ( and Steve Beatty ( Fee: $6.00. PDF of park, click here.  
  • A beginner’s look at spring wildflowers. The above hike will repeat on Thursday, April 4th, but from 4-6 P.M.  
  • Irish Canyon. Saturday, April 6, 9 A.M. - 2 P.M. This hike will be led by Save Mount Diablo Ken. "An exclusive guided tour of the spectacular 320-acre Irish Canyon property. The property is marked by three spring-fed branches of Irish Creek, blue oak woodland covers northeast facing slopes and valley oak savannah and grassland climb toward Kreiger Peak. Steep slopes are sculpted by landslide slumps. The property supports more than 400 species of plants and animals, provides world class views very few living people have seen, and has a rich history including two homestead sites. Meet at the park-n-ride lot located at the corner of Peacock Creek Dr and Clayton Rd in Clayton. Six miles roundtrip, approx. 900 ft elevation gain/loss. No dogs allowed. Age is 14+. RSVP required (925) 947-3535 or Map, click here.  
Check out the Save Mount Diablo website for more guided hikes, the Diablo Challenge, the 4- Days Diablo, and many, many hikes that you can do on your own. 

Mudville Grille in Clayton
The mission of Save Mount Diablo is, "is to preserve Mount Diablo's peaks, surrounding foothills and watersheds through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain's natural beauty, biological diversity and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area's quality of life; and provide recreational opportunities consistent with protection of natural resources."

Come back soon to read about some of the self-guided hikes on Mount Diablo. Meanwhile, try the popular sports bar, Mudville Grille in Clayton.

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