Mt. Diablo 3x P2K CC / NN

Mar 16, 2016

With: Don Brunnett

  Etymology Story Map GPX Profile
previously climbed Jun 22, 2006
later climbed May 28, 2016

A bike and hike outing with my cousin, though very little hiking on this one. We started from Crow Canyon and rode through the exclusive Black Hawk neighborhood before starting up the south entrance road to Mt. Diablo. The ride up to Mt. Diablo is exceedingly popular - we passed by dozens of riders in both directions on a mid-week morning. While vehicles are charged a $10 entrance fee, bikes are free, a decided bonus. In mid-march, following recent rains and a pretty decent rainy season, the hills are exceedingly green and the flowers are just starting to come out in droves. And while the views are also pretty outstanding, I didn't take any photos on this one - sorry - but trust me that it was quite scenic. At the summit we parked the bikes and walked into the Visitor Center, mostly to get out of the wind that was whipping pretty good at the highest elevations. Mt. Diablo, because of its unrestricted views in all directions, was used as the initial point for most California surveys following its surrender to the United States. The initial survey was conducted in 1851 and is preserved as a centerpiece of the summit Visitor Center, last rennovated in 1993.

On the way back I was ahead of Don on the downhill ride, stopping where the south and north entrance roads fork off from the summit road. Don road right by me, down the wrong way, oblivious to my shouts. A handful of other riders resting there at the old entrance station got a pretty good laugh from it. It was several miles before I was able to catch up to Don and then only because he had stopped because another rider had told him he'd gone by me unaware. He still hadn't realized he'd gone the wrong way though he admitted the landscape wasn't looking all that familiar. We decided to continue down the north entrance and take the long way back to Crow Canyon. Using Google Maps to find a return route, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it took us down parts of the East Bay trail system that I didn't even know existed. The longest stretch was along the Iron Horse Trail, an old railroad grade, paved and converted to bike/pedestrian use which goes more than 20mi between Walnut Creek and Pleasanton. We both agreed that was a far better route than the one we'd taken in the morning through Black Hawk, even if it was 5-6mi longer. Stats were about 47mi and 3,500ft of gain - a very fine outing indeed!

Allan comments on 06/21/16:
Hi Bob,

I use your site often to gather info on hikes and scrambles in the Sierra, and am amazed and impressed at the speed you travel. Whatever amount of time it takes you to do a climb, we normally have to pretty much double it to be safe when estimating how much time it will take us.

I'm a cyclist first, and a "weekend warrior" hiker in Summer, so when I saw this Mt. Diablo bike ride, I downloaded this GPX to see how fast you ride. I'm sure you were going at a very leisurely pace, but I'm glad you're a little more human on the bike!!! :D
Anonymous comments on 06/21/16:
Please don't tempt him :)
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