Hike Date: May 10, 2014
Distance: ~ 6.5 miles
Trail(s): Deer Flat Road, Juniper Trail, Meridian Ridge, Prospector’s Trail, North Peak Trail, Summit Trail, Bay Area Ridge Trail
Where’s it at? East San Francisco Bay Area south of Concord and Clayton


I more or less grew up at the base of Mt. Diablo and have definitely hiked around on its trails more than any other place. It had been many years since I’d visited having moved away from the area around 2004 or 2005. I suppose I could contribute my love for hiking to these trails along with my early hike to Half Dome in Yosemite. Many good memories of hikes here with my friends Kevin, Paul, Andy, Julie and Rich on the Mitchell Canyon trails, Rock City trails, and Eagle’s Peak were brought back on this trip. Also one of my earlier memories of hiking with 4 of my sisters and my dad was reminisced.

This was my first hike of the full Grand Loop and I took the hike with a meetup group that is based in Sacramento with which I’ve been hiking a lot this year. The group provided good company as a backdrop to the massive panoramic views and abundant wildflowers. We parked at the Diablo Valley Overlook after paying the gate fee and winding our way up a good portion of the mountain. We took the hike in a clockwise direction and included a trip to the summit.

Most of this trail is wide fire roads with good signage. It’s definitely a good idea to look at a map before you go because if you take a wrong turn you can end up hiking much further than you’d planned. The hike doesn’t have a tremendous amount of distance (~6.5 miles) nor total elevation gain
(~1700 ft according to Mt. Diablo State Park website), but there are several long, steep sections that will definitely have you breathing hard and give your legs a little burn. I like this hiking difficulty rating chart, and it gives this hike a “challenging” rating (3 out of 6). We did have at least one really tired hiker at the end of it.

The wildflowers on this mid spring day were abundant. I didn’t bring a field guide and admit that I don’t know what many of the ones we saw are, but apparently there are some species that we saw that are only found on this mountain. As for wildlife, it is also abundant here but we didn’t see anything beside birds on this visit. A good portion of the north side of the mountain showed scars from a fire last year providing dramatic black tree skeletons against the green and golden brown grasses. We passed one spot that had a “Nerds for Nature” camera prop which I thought was an interesting concept. Find out more here: KQED Nerds for Nature blog post.

All in all this is a great hike. I would suggest doing it any time other than a really hot summer day, and it *does* get really hot here. There is very little cover except a few isolated spots for shade. Get out there and try this hike if you haven’t, the views are amazing!

Photos from Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail (click to enlarge)

Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail
Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail
http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-grand-loop-of-mt-diablo http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-grand-loop-of-mt-diablo http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-grand-loop-of-mt-diablo
http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-grand-loop-of-mt-diablo http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-grand-loop-of-mt-diablo http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-on-the-grand-loop-of-mt-diablo
Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail
Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail
Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail
Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail
Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail
Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail   Hiking the Mt. Diablo Grand Loop Trail

Name: Diablo Grand Loop
Total distance: 9.58 km (6.0 mi)
Total time: 4:01:16
Moving time: 3:59:41
Average speed: 2.38 km/h (1.5 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 2.40 km/h (1.5 mi/h)
Max speed: 5.47 km/h (3.4 mi/h)
Max elevation: 1094 m (3590 ft)
Min elevation: 595 m (1952 ft)
Elevation gain: 1393 m (4569 ft) (this is wrong, it’s quoted as 1700 feet elsewhere…)
Max grade: 27 %
Min grade: -31 %
Recorded: 5/10 10:26 AM

My Tracks from Mount Diablo Grand Loop Trail


View Hiking Mt. Diablo Grand Loop in a larger map

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