Mount Diablo State ParkLeave review
About Mount Diablo State Park
Find some of the most expansive views in California at Mount Diablo State Park, where vistas from the top of Mount Diablo on a clear day span 35 of California’s 58 counties. Bring a pair of binoculars and you might even be able to catch sight of Yosemite’s iconic Half Dome. Mount Diablo stands 3,864 feet high and is considered to be an ecological gem of the Bay Area, with a recognisable peak that’s visible from most of northern California. Beyond the views, Mt. Diablo State Park's massive 20,000-acres offers plentiful opportunities for climbing, hiking, biking, camping, and horseback riding amidst colorful wildflowers and interesting rock formations.
If you’re looking for a northern California adventure, Mt Diablo State Park camping has something for everyone. Choose from 56 campsites at Mount Diablo Group Campground or more than 50 sites at Juniper and Live Oak campgrounds. All campgrounds offer picnic tables, bathrooms, drinking water, and fire rings. Showers are available at Juniper Campground.
Campgrounds in Mount Diablo
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Wouldn't recommend using the food lockers. They are terrible and do not close all the way. Raccoons will definitely get in. We kept waking up to them tearing open bags of chips, and even if you block the door, they'll get in. These raccoons are huge from all the snacks they steal! And there is trash everywhere in the brush from them.
Also, the rangers are not very chill. Alcohol is not allowed and they will make you pour it all out. We were threatened repeatedly of getting kicked out and they even made us take our hammock down for no reason.
So keep your beers and food in the cars.
There are amazing views so definitely worth a trip.
Great views, although you don't quite get the "isolated from civilization" feeling I like so much when camping. Easy drive-up spot, relatively dog friendly, we were able to get campsites that were relatively isolated. The raccoons are no joke- not afraid of humans, or dogs. Guard your food!
We woke up a couple times because of raccoons in the food locker. At one point there were baby raccoons inside the locker. The door to the locker was in pretty bad shape prior and they were able to squeeze in. We had to let them out then use the firewood box to try to block the door. 5 minutes after getting back in the tent, a bigger raccoon appears to try to open the box again. I would recommend wearing earplugs and not pitching too close to the food locker if you don't want to be disturbed. They are loud and not afraid to keep trying.
Took a 3.5 year old on the hike from Juniper campground to the summit. Found ice cream at the summit visitor center, the little one was pleasantly surprised.
It says no dogs on the trails, but we saw 2
Stayed st Juniper campground in Mid-February, it was super windy! We feared out tents would blow away when we left, and it was hard to sleep.. We all ended up in our cars by the morning. It has a great view on the western side of the city lights, but call a ranger and see how the wind gusts are for that night before you make the trek!
The park can be very hot and dry, so make sure you bring lots of water and sunscreen.
If you’re camping, bring your own firewood and check ahead of time to make sure campfires are allowed (this changes depending on weather conditions).
Camping here can offer a fantastic view at sunset, but the raccoons and park rangers make for a horrible experience in camp. Our group was harassed and interrogated at length about alcohol (which we didn't have). It seems to be too big an ask to be treated with some decency rather than presumed as hooligans. Be prepared for rudeness (and maybe get some names to report back to the CA Parks admins.)
History of Mount Diablo State Park
Mount Diablo is a sacred mountain to California Indian people. Just about every California Indian community who viewed Mount Diablo would, at one time or another, make a pilgrimage to the summit area for ceremonies. The reason Mount Diablo is so sacred to the California Indian people is that it was the creation point for the Miwok people or genesis for some California Indian people.
In 1851, the mountaintop was selected as the starting point for a survey of the public domain. Ignoring the excitement of the Gold Rush, Leander Ransom and his men erected a flagpole at the summit of Mount Diablo and began to extend the base and meridian lines that we use to this day in our official land surveys. As a matter of fact, Mount Diablo base and meridian lines are referred to in legal descriptions of real estate throughout two-thirds of California and parts of Nevada and Oregon.
Toll roads up the mountain were opened in 1874, and for many years there were two stagecoaches every day connecting Walnut Creek and Danville with Mountain House, a 16-room hotel about three miles from the summit. The Stage Road, near Pine Canyon, was one of the original stagecoach line routes. The hotel offered all conveniences and was known for its excellent food. Wedding ceremonies were a frequent occurrence at the hotel, and celebrities from all over Europe and America were among the visitors. In those days, it was widely held that you hadn’t seen the West if you hadn’t watched a sunset, sunrise, or full moon from the upper slopes of the mountain.
Business at the hotel declined after the summit observation platform burned in 1891, and shortly thereafter the hotel burned down as well. The toll roads were reopened in 1915,so that the view from the summit was once again available to all.
In 1921, a parcel of land on the mountain was designated a state park, and much of the rest of the mountain was declared a game refuge. Standard Oil placed a ten-million-candlepower aerial navigation beacon on the summit in 1928.
The beacon was so powerful that it could be seen by ships 100 miles at sea. Finally, in 1931, the state acquired more land for Mount Diablo State Park, and the park was formally dedicated and opened to the public.