Mt Diablo State Park: Vistas, Hikes & A Rock Forrest

This beautiful collection of mountains located 1 hour outside of San Francisco is an expanse of green rolling hills in the spring and yellow in the fall. It provides camping, hiking, and staggering vistas all in its over 19,000 acres of land. While I am by no means an expert on the area here are some if my favorite things to explore. The cost to enter this park is $10, and it is well worth it.

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Turtle Rock

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If entering from the north entrance, this will be the first point of interest you will see. While there aren’t any signs for it, you will know as soon as you see it. Often with sculptures like this, I can’t see why the name is what it is but this one is pretty obviously a turtle. A fun little stop for the whole family right off the road.

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Lookout Picnic Area

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There are a lot of picnic areas in this park, but my favorite is the Lookout Picnic area. About two miles from the top it has a couple of small benches with massive views. I could eat here often as it is very peaceful and there is only a couple of parking spots so it can’t get too busy.

Juniper Campground

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Located at about 2,800 feet, this campground has one of the best views ever! If you get an outer spot, you can wake up to a fantastic vista and just sit and relax there for the sunset. Easily worth its 30 dollars a night fee and one of my favorite campgrounds for a view in California.

Mt Diablo Summit

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By far the reason to visit this park is the summit, they say that it’s the 2nd  best place on earth at which you can see the most land from the top. The first being Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa. While that statement has been disputed a lot you can’t dispute how epic the view is from up here. There is also a visitors center open from 10 AM to 4 PM a couple of days out of the week, but it wasn’t open when we were there.

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North Peak

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If you are in for some hiking, you can head over to North Peak. Here is the view of it from Mt Diablo. The hike itself proceeds down from the summit to a single track that winds around and down to a saddle.

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There is a lot of fire damage in the area as well which is sad to see and when you reach the saddle you still have a good way up to get to the peak.

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From the saddle, the road is an old dirt path that is pretty well maintained as it heads up to the top of North Peak, which offers equally stunning views of the surrounding area.

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Mt Olympus

If you are feeling super ready for another hike, at the top of North Peak, you can take a single track down to Mt Olympus.

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Zac climbed this mountain as well and echoed that the views to the north are stellar, but you can see pretty much the same view from North Peak, as Mt Olympus is lower.

Rock Forrest

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On the way down, or up if you come in from the south entrance, do not miss this rock area. There are so many fun things to climb here and unique rocks to see, many of which have small wind caves forming in them. I didn’t spend a ton of time here, but this could easily be a half day adventure for a family with some younger boys.

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I saw on the map that there are waterfalls here. If anyone has a picture of them feel free to send it to me and I will credit you in this post.

All in all Mt Diablo is an amazing place to escape the city for a day or a weekend. It is beautiful year round and provides a ton of adventures. Leave a comment below letting me know if you have other things you like to also here.

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About JoshMc

Thanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. Also, follow along on Twitter here or read all of my posts on this blog here.