Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hiking the Summit Trail at Mt. Diablo

View from the trail

It had been more than a decade since I had visited Mt. Diablo so I was super excited when we decided to do a hike on Mt. Diablo. Our decision was to plan the hike sooner than later while the weather is still a bit on the cooler side. On the day of the hike, we started driving towards the summit of Mt. Diablo around 7 am from Hayward and got to the park entrance around 7:45 when the ranger was opening the gates. I was kind of glad we didn't arrive earlier as planned otherwise we would have just sat waiting (or roamed around the entrance area taking photos ;)) for the park to open.

Entrance to summit is another 10-15 min drive depending upon how fast you drive up. We were the first ones to arrive at the summit. Once there, we walked around the visitor center and checked out the roof promenade and the beacon tower, enjoying the view from almost 4000 ft height. It was picturesque from up there with the morning fog and clouds hugging the hills that surround the peak and golden rays of Sunlight kissing us all.

Summit Trail

We walked around for 5-10 min, used the restrooms and loaded our hiking bags with water and some snacks and headed down the mountain on the paved road. The map was showing the trail-head to be little away from the summit parking lot. After hiking around and getting lost for a few min (on Juniper trail) we finally found the Summit trail-head and started hiking down. It was pretty chilly even around 8:30 so I was glad we had layers on. Hiking down and pausing for a photo or few or refreshing our botany knowledge by checking out the exotic bushes and shrubs and hundreds of pine cones on and around the trail we eventually got to a picnic area after about two miles of hiking. We hung out at the picnic area for a while, had a snack and water and started heading up. By now it was around 10 and the sun was getting almost above our heads. Climbing up was a bit of challenge with the temperatures rising rapidly and we were happy to encounter the paved road by 11 am and get back to the summit around 11:15 and chilling a bit more in shade. We started heading back down the hill right afterwards. It was a beautiful drive down on a gorgeous sunny day.

Checking out the surroundings

If you're going, check out the maps and other info below. Also, start your hike early in the morning and take enough water with you. Not to forget a hat and sunblock.

Some useful links:

Hike date: Sunday, January 19th, 2014
Accompanied by: RP, AN, Nikon D5000

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