It was pointed out to me a month ago that my stat page on the PB app showed an
ascent for every day of the year except Feb 29 and Jan 3. There wasn't anything
I could do about Feb 29 until 2024, but I could probably find something for
Jan 3. It wasn't easy, however, since I've climbed most of the
publicly-accessible summits in my home area. I ended up driving more than an
hour to Contra Costa County to find a P300 I hadn't climbed, and it was still
on private property. Not too difficult according to the PB reports I read, so
it seemed my best opportunity.
The peak lies in the grassy hills separating the cities of Concord and
Pittsburg, primarily used for cattle grazing. I followed the same route posted
by others on PB, about 1.5mi each way with 850ft of gain. I started in
a suburban neighborhood
off Bluerock Circle, immediately going over an unsigned
barbed-wire fence on the east side of the last row of houses. The ground was
damp, sometimes muddy from all the recent December rains, but the hills were
a vibrant green. Skies were mostly overcast from an approaching storm, but
some sunshine managed to sneak through in the early morning. I followed
old ranch roads no longer driven, so I felt pretty safe tucked into the
folds of the hills. I went over a few other fences, including a very short
stretch of regional park, though I don't think this parcel is open to
the public. After about 40min, I found myself at the rounded summit, a
few cattle grazing on one side with views stretching north across
Suisun Bay. After taking a few photos, I returned via the same route, coming
across a group of ferral pigs on the way.
This unnamed summit is located a few miles northwest of Mulligan Hill, also
on private property. Again, I followed the route others had posted to PB
starting from the north at the end of Shadybrook Ct, another
suburban neighborhood. A gated but unsigned paved road
leads to a buried water tank above the neighborhood. I slipped
through a barbed-wire fence to start up the grassy slopes on more unused ranch
roads. The hike is only half the distance of Mulligan Hill and one I thought
would be a slam dunk, but not so. When I had covered half the distance and
most of the gain, I spied someone several hundred yards ahead working on a
fence. I dropped back down out of sight and waited about 20min, reclining on
the slope and taking in the views overlooking the Pittsburg
neighborhoods. Finding he was still working on the fence, I decided to head
back down and come back another time.
This is the highpoint of Lime Ridge Open Space, located northwest of
Mt. Diablo, very popular with mountain bikers. Rather that start from the TH
parking off Ygnacio Valley Rd, I used a neighborhood access corridor
off S. Montecito Dr.
to save a bit of hiking. The park is pleasant enough,
again with very green hills, though there are oaks and other trees
found throughout the park. A number of spur trails have been closed with
signs and downed branches
to discourage use, with limited success. I didn't see a single cyclist until
I had reached the summit a half hour later, then found five of them resting at
the summit, bikes leaning against a fence. One of them was crouched
the others, but quickly stood up and pulled his pants back on when his friend
greeted me. Was this guy taking a shit, right there at the summit? Really
quite unbelievable. He could have walked a few dozen yards for more privacy and
off the trail, but decided the open dirt at the top would suffice. Luckily I
interrupted him before he could drop his load, and I hung around long enough
to make him uncomfortable and seek relief elsewhere. I love people. Sigh.
This is a very small park in Pleasant Hill, west of I-680. Clement had posted
a track for this on PB, so I thought it might be worth checking out. It's
rather neglected and graffiti-ridden, but has nice views.
It takes all of 30 seconds to climb the steps to the highpoint from
the small parking lot off busy Taylor Blvd.
This is another small park, this one in Walnut Creek near the I-680/SR24
interchange. It is very clean and appears to be well-maintained.
Clement and others had been to this one as well, starting from the end of
Peaceful Lane. The park boasts four miles of trails, but the highpoint is
reached in only a few minutes. One walks up a paved road to
a water tower, then above that to the highpoint on a trail. There is
a small bronze plaque to the bureaucrats that made the park possible,
and a nice view bench at the summit.