If you are lucky enough to be living in Lafayette CA, you have access to one of the most beautiful state parks in the United States: Mt. Diablo State Park. The park is accessible via multiple routes — through Walnut Creek, Danville, or Clayton, and is open to visitors from 8:00 A.M. until sunset. Annual passes are based upon the type of vehicle, which selection of State Parks you wish to include in your pass, the time of year, and whether you are eligible for a veteran, disability, or senior citizen discount.
Right now, the Castle Rock Area is currently closed. The Peregrine Falcon nests in that area and the nesting season is February 1 through July 31. No worries, there are plenty of other areas in the park that are open for your enjoyment. One of our favorite spots is Rock City, where you’ll find numerous caves carved out of rock by wind, water and time. The colors are incredible and it is a photographer’s paradise. It’s also a fabulous spot for kids to explore. There are picnic tables nearby that allow you relax and recharge after hiking the trails and exploring the caves.
In the historic building at the top of the highest crest, the Summit Visitor Center houses cultural exhibits with information about the mountain. There are several informational displays explaining the history and ecosystems within the park. A gift shop is available for souvenirs.
If you’re looking for a more active experience, there’s plenty of opportunities for adventure. The Mary Bowerman Trail is a short hike that ends before the steeper trails begin. Hikers who would like a challenge can certainly find something in the more than 150 miles of trails and fire roads. On the north side of Mt. Diablo, Mitchell Canyon is the starting point for many of the trails for hikers and equestrians. Always keep safety in mind when hiking. Take water to prevent dehydration and bring a jacket or sweater in case of an unpredictable change in weather.
One of the most amazing experiences for those living in Lafayette is the Diablo Valley Overlook. The overlook is 2,900 feet above sea level. From this point, you have a fantastic view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
There are family and group campsites, along with hiking and biking campsites. Trails are available for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The park is not all about trails. Picnic areas, exhibits, scheduled programs, guided tours, and more. Visit the various family programs, museums, and vista point to fully experience the park. Mt. Diablo State Park is one of the most beautiful areas close to Lafayette.
All are Welcome
Whether you are living in Lafayette or just visiting the area, plan to spend at least a day at Mt. Diablo State Park. Bring friends or family for a picnic, hike, or just some relaxation amidst some of the most gorgeous views in California.