Mount Diablo State Park

Update April 20, 2021: With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted, State Parks is reopening campground sites for existing reservation holders. The department will be using a phased approach to reopen other campground sites for new reservations, starting January 28. The public is advised that not all campground sites are open to the public due to the pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues. Additionally, group campsites remain closed. Day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public remain open.

As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.

Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.

What is open now?
  • Most parking lots and trails.
  • Live Oak, Juniper, Junction, and all group campgrounds.
  • First floor of the Summit Visitor Center is open for inside sales with limited capacity.
  • Outdoor operations at Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
At this park:
  • The Upper Summit parking lot will remain closed during the weekends to vehicle parking.

Statewide:
  • Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?
State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:

  • Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time. 
  • Plan Ahead
    • The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
    • Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
    • SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS.
  • Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day. 
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
  • Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.

California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(925) 837-2525

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: Up to 20 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: Up to 20 Feet

Park Hours

Gates open 8:00am and close at sunset. Visitors should plan to be in their vehicles by sunset and headed out to avoid being locked in.
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Buses:

  Pilot car recommended

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
Dogs allowed only on paved roads, campgrounds, and developed areas. Dogs not allowed on trails or fire roads.

Driving Directions to Mount Diablo SP

Take Highway 680 to Walnut Creek.

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Bike Trails
Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Vista Point
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Museums
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available

Water Shortage at Mount Diablo State Park

ALL VISITORS ARE ENCOURAGED TO BRING WATER FOR CONSUMPTION DURING THEIR VISIT.

Due to unforeseen mechanical problems and having received approximately half the normal average rainfall this past winter, the springs on the mountain have been reduced to a trickle, and the water storage tanks are extremely low. This has required us to take a number of drastic measures in order to conserve water:

• All of the water faucets located in the picnic areas and Rock City have been turned off.
• Portable toilets and a hand washing station will be available at Rock City. Pit toilets throughout the park remain open.
• Flush toilets are available at the Lower Summit Parking Lot and the Upper Summit Parking Lot.
• Potable water is available at the Junciton Ranger Station, the Lower Summit Parking Lot and the Upper Summit Parking Lot.
• Showers and flush toilets at Juniper, Junction and Live Oak campgrounds are closed. Portable toilets and hand washing stations are available for campers at all three.
• Water and flush restrooms remain open at Mitchell Canyon and Macedo Ranch Day Use Areas.

PLAN AHEAD

If you are planning a long hike, run, walk, bicycle ride or horseback ride please bring plenty of water to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

Castle Rock Seasonal Closure
The rock formation known as "Castle Rock" located within Mount Diablo State Park is closed to public access from February 1st through July 31st. This temporary closure preserves and protects sensitive peregrine falcon nesting habitat. 
Castle Rock Closure Map and Posted Order

Safety Tips

Here are some tips to keep your visit safe and enjoyable:

In case of emergency while visiting Mount Diablo State Park, please call 911.


All Users: 
Check the weather, bring water and wear layers.
Obey park rules.
Park in designated areas.
Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you plan on returning.
Help us keep animals wild by viewing them from a safe distance. Do not touch or feed them.
 
Drivers and Cyclists:
Observe posted speed limits.
Stay in your lane on blind curves and do not cut corners.
Do not pass on double-yellow lines and pass only when you have a clear view of oncoming traffic and it is safe to do so.
Be prepared for equestrians, pedestrians, joggers, wildlife, rocks, tree limbs, etc. in the roadway. Share the Road!
Wearing headphones that cover both ears is illegal. Wear only one headphone if you have to.
Stop at all stop signs.
 
Hikers:
Use the “buddy system” – hike with a friend or family member.
Drink and carry plenty of water (a minimum of 1 quart every 2 hours).
Wear sturdy, comfortable, closed-toed shoes to help prevent injury.
Stay within designated trails. Do not walk off-trail or enter closed areas.
 
Equestrian Riders:
Check the weather, bring water and know where to find water. Bring snacks for you and your horse.
Know your level. Trails can be beginner, intermediate and advanced.
Groom and condition your horse before leaving the barn.
Bring your own first aid kit and cell phone. Attach it to your body, not your horse or saddle.
Ride with a buddy.
Wear a helmet and protective clothing. Don’t forget sunscreen.
Carry a compass and a trail map.
Although the rule is that cyclists and hikers yield to horses, be prepared for that not to happen.
If your horse kicks, tie something red in its tail.
Make sure to leave enough distance between horses. You should be able to see the hooves of the horse in front of you.

School Groups/Educational Tours

Please contact Park Interpreter Sharon Peterson via email (Sharon.Peterson@parks.ca.gov) for information regarding School Group Programs and/or Education Tours. Permits are required for groups, and due to the fact that these groups often arrive in oversized vehicles, information must be provided to drivers in advance of their arrival that will help make the roads safer for all visitors at the park.

Summit Visitor Center Elevator
The elevator at the Summit Visitor Center is out of service until further notice. Repairs must be made in order to make the elevator reliable and safe for continued use.

Use of Model Aircraft / Drone / Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
Despite the fact that there has been a recent and dramatic growth in the popularity of model aircraft / drone and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) within the Bay Area, it has been determined that the use of these devices has numerous negative impacts to the special resources, park operations and the unique visitor experiences afforded to visitors at Mount Diablo State Park. Therefore, the use of model aircraft / drone and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at Mount Diablo State Park is prohibited pursuant to District Superintendent's Order 660-16-038.

Dogs at Mount Diablo State Park
Dogs are allowed only in developed areas of the park. They must be kept on a leash during the day and in an enclosed vehicle or tent at night. Dogs are NOT permitted on trails, fire roads or in park buildings.

Additional Visitor Services
  • John Pereira (Demonstration Cattle Ranch)
  • East Bay Regional Park District (Operate Old Moraga Ranch Trail property)
  • Save Mount Diablo (SMD) (Mount Diablo Beacon restoration)

Facilities - Activities
Many visitors to Mount Diablo head straight for the Summit to enjoy the famous view. As mountains go, Mount Diablo isn't particularly tall - only 3,849 feet.  However, it is surrounded by low, rolling hills and broad, flat valleys, so the view from the Summit is remarkable.  When conditions are best, you can see almost 200 miles.  Summer days are sometimes hazy, and the best viewing is often on the day after a winter storm. Then, you can look to the west, beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Farallon Islands; southeast to the James Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton at 4,213 feet elevation; south to Mount Loma Prieta in the Santa Cruz Mountains at 3,791 feet elevation, north to Mount Saint Helena in the Coast Range at 4,344 feet elevation, and still farther north to Lassen Peak in the Cascades at 10,466 feet. North and east of Mount Diablo the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers meet to form the twisting waterways of the Delta. To the east beyond California's great central valley, the crest of the Sierra Nevada seems to float in space.  All in all, you can see over 8,539 square miles and parts of 40 of California's 58 counties from the Summit of Mount Diablo. 

Note that all plants and wildlife within the park are protected. Collecting or destroying anything in the park, including mushrooms, is prohibited.

Summit Visitor Center - Open Daily 10AM - 4PM
The Visitor Center is located in the historic stone building atop Mount Diablo's highest peak. The tower was constructed during the late 1930's of fossiliferous sandstone blocks quarried in the park. The Visitor Center highlights the cultural and natural history of the park.

Impressive exhibits chronicle the history of the mountain and capture its majesty. A rock wall with instructional video examines the geological forces which created the mountain. A diorama, complete with sound, offers an overview of the park's ecosystems, and its cultural history. A model of the mountain acquaints visitors with important park locations. Splendid artwork and photographs enhance the visitor's experience. A gift shop and audio-visual room are also located in the building.

Accessible parking and ground level entry are provided and a generally accessible restroom is available inside the Visitor Center for use by persons with mobility disabilities. Additional non-compliant restrooms are located outside of the Visitor Center. The elevator at the Summit Visitor Center is out of service until further notice. Repairs must be made in order to make the elevator reliable and safe for continued use.

Observation Deck
Telescopes are mounted on the deck to help visitors enjoy one of the finest views in the world. On the walk up the circular stairway to the observation deck, visitors are treated to a look at ancient marine fossils embedded in the sandstone walls of the Summit Building. In the rotunda they are reminded of Mount Diablo's importance as a survey point. Above the rotunda is a beacon, historically important to aviators and now lighted once a year on December 7 in memory of those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor.

Explore Rock City!
Located off of South Gate Road approximately one mile north of South Gate Kiosk. Features include the Wind Caves, Elephant Rock, Sentinel Rock, Artist Point and Fossil Ridge. Native American grinding rocks are located near Grotto. A great place to picnic.

Make a trip to the Mitchell Canyon Staging Area!
Located on the north side of the mountain, Mitchell Canyon is accessed by taking Ygnacio Valley Road to Clayton Road to Mitchell Canyon Road.  A number of trails take off from Mitchell Canyon that range from easy to difficult.  A small visitor center is located here, open on weekends and holidays.  The Mitchell Canyon area is noted for its wildflower displays during spring. 

Diablo Valley Overlook
From here near Juniper Campground, 2,900 feet above sea level, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge.

Park Safety!
Fires are a continuing threat at Mount Diablo State Park.  Weather conditions may restrict smoking, prohibit fires or even close the park during periods of extreme fire danger.  See park staff for specific information.  Fires are only allowed in the park's barbecues or in your portable camp stove.  Collection of firewood is prohibited in the park.

Feedback
Do you have feedback for Mount Diablo State Park? Questions? Suggestions? Report a non-emergency (tree down, broken park feature, etc.)? Tell us about your experience? Send an e-mail to Feedback.MountDiablo@parks.ca.gov and we will respond as soon as possible to your e-mail.

Mount Diablo State Park
Mount Diablo is a dominant topographic feature in northern California. It was established in 1851 as the initial point of the Mount Diablo Base Line and Meridian for land surveys spanning two-thirds of California and all of Nevada. The mountain’s summit boasts spectacular panoramic views.

Mount Diablo SP
(Photograph by Mike Fuller)

The full Geo Gems report  |  Geological Gems of State Parks

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