Mt. Diablo State Park

March 29-30, 2008
On Saturday March 29th I headed out of San Francisco and over the Bay Bridge to the
East Bay and the northern entrance to Mt. Diablo State Park.  I was hoping to meet
4wheelbob out there for a hike but turns out he had to work :p  So instead I headed up
myself and paid my campground fee at the entrance gate so I didn't have to pay a day
use fee and from there I went up to Juniper Campground.  I found a great spot with
fantastic views of the surrounding vast green rolling hills.  Once I set up my tent I was
off to the summit.  I parked at the wide turnout known as the Devil's Elbow and from
here hiked the last 500' or so up to the summit of Mt. Diablo.  You can drive to the
summit but I wanted to do at least a little bit of a hike to feel like I accomplished
something!  There is a nice visitor center at the top of this very significant landmark.  
Look on any USGS quad map for California and even some for Oregon and Nevada and it
will say "Mt. Diablo Meridian".  Mt. Diablo provided a base reference point for which
much of the west coast area was mapped.  From the top of Mt. Diablo you can see a
very large amount of California.  The only mountain in the world that is reported to have
longer-ranging views is Mt. Kilamanjoro in Africa.

I then headed down to the Mary Bowerman or Fire Interpretive Trail and scrambled up
the prominent chert outcropping known as the Devils Pulpit.  Here the clouds parted,
the sun came out, and the views were spectacular!  The wildflowers were also blooming
in this area and I saw Indian Warrior, Brewer's Rock Cress, Wild Mustard, and several
others.  I then found a use trail cutting back down to where I had parked and I headed
back to the campground for an early dinner.

While I was making dinner something flying through the air about scared the crap out
of me as it flew right above my table!  It was a hang glider!  Crazy people...  lol

After dinner I took a stroll up the Juniper Trail to Moses Rock Ridge to take in the
sunset views.  The evening started to turn very cold so I hiked back down and snuggled
down in my warm sleeping bag for the night.

In the morning I awoke to fog everywhere below me, sunshine above.  I packed up and
drove down to the west entrance of the park where I saw several deer grazing.  I then
headed on to I-5 where I headed south for home, not without a stop at the California
Poppy Reserve to see the poppies.  Stay tuned for those pics :)
The CCC left the very top of the mountain exposed when
they built the summit building and visitor center
Cool Chert rock that makes up the east side of the mountain
and the Devil's Pulpit
Climbing up the Devil's Pulpit
View of North Peak from the top of the Devil's Pulpit
View of Mt. Diablo summit from the Devil's Pulpit
Wild Mustard
Indian Warrior Pedicularis densiflora
Brewer's Rock Cress Arabis breweri
I was just minding my own business cooking dinner and I get
buzzed by these hanggliders, lol
Moses Rock Ridge from the campground, the Juniper Trail
leads to the top
The views from the ridge are magnificent, this is looking out
towards the delta
From left to right are Mt. Olympia, North Peak, and Mt. Diablo
Looking back down at Juniper Campground
Beautiful sunset, to the west is Mt. Tamalpais
where I was two days before
Hey, what happened to my views??  At least the sun
is out on top of the mountain!