Some of the most spectacular California views of the SF bay area open up wide and far from the very top of Mt. Diablo. Fortunately, we had many ops to hike the golden slopes of this magnificent mountain. On one occasion I actually hiked all the way from the bottom of Clayton to the lighthouse at the very top – highly recommend the experience.
Check out this post if you’d like to see SF Bay from a planes wing view.
Interestingly enough, there is a functioning lighthouse at the very top of the Mt. Diablo. It was erected for a simple purpose – to ward off potential planes. The peak is almost 4000 ft tall. Considering that the lowest safe altitude (LSALT) is roughly 500 ft, there’s a possibility of a potential plane crash. In fact, it is not that common to see the mountain topping the cloud line. In fact, there was a student pilot who managed to crash his aircraft as recently as February of 2019.
On a clear day, you can see the golden gate bridge and bay bridge from the observation deck of the lighthouse. You will see a view with a horizon ending all the way past Napa and Sonoma county. Turn your viewpoint roughly a hundred and eighty degrees and you will see Yosemite National Park in the Sierra mountains.
The entire Contra Costa County will open up as a miniature map right in the palm of your hand.
Lighthouse Mt Diablo on the New Years
Hiking or even driving to the top of Mount Diablo while visiting the East bay, especially walnut creek should absolutely make it to the top of your destination points around San Francisco bay. There are two entrances to the park and you can drive either from Ygnacio Valley rd via Deer flat rd or Danville via Summit rd.
For many locals, it is a tradition to hike to the lighthouse at the peak of Mt. Diablo on January 1st. I think it’s a great way to start a year with a healthy habit. We always find it refreshing and pleasant to inhale the fresh morning breeze after a short ascent.
Side Note: Check out Howe Holmstead park in Walnut Creek for a short afternoon hike with kids
One of our favorite routes is from the Juniper campground to the observation deck. There’s plenty of parking near the camping sites and it will allow you to appreciate the Juniper trail and amazing views – see more in this post.