Review: Mount Diablo State Park

96 Mitchell Canyon Road
Clayton, CA 94517
(925) 837-2525

The Devil went down to California—he was looking for a view of the world. Presiding over Contra Costa County, Mt. Diablo may not stand all that tall, but the mountain offers the second-most expansive view in the world. From Diablo’s 3,849-foot peak, visitors can see more of the earth’s surface than from anywhere else except Africa’s 19,340-foot Kilimanjaro.

Yes, you read that right. On a clear day, you can glimpse not only San Francisco, The Golden Gate Bridge, the Farallon Islands, but Mt. Loma Prieta, Mt. Lassen, and the Sierra Nevadas. (With a powerful telescope you can even see Yosemite).

The visitor’s center, located at the top of the mountain, has great exhibits about the park’s fascinating history, from the geological forces that created it, to its 19th-century establishment as a base point for land surveys and its significance today. Other popular locations on the mountain include Rock City, a block of sandstone carved out and ready for exploring, Fossil Ridge (exactly what it sounds like), and Boyscout and Sentinal Rocks, which are great for more experienced climbers. There are is also a multitude of trails winding up and down the mountain for those who want an easier hike.

The mountain is also a popular camping spot, and home to various exciting events.

Read more about the best places to take a photo in the Bay Area

Take BART to Concord and catch the County Connection 10 bus to Clayton Road & Mitchell Canyon Road (the journey takes about an hour and a half). Or take BART to Walnut Creek or Pleasant Hill and bike from there (about a 2.5-hour ride).

Photos: sanbeijiimwilliam