Cycle to the Summit of Mt. Diablo
All photos by Eric Londgren Photography.
If you’re looking to burn off the extra pounds you accrued over the holidays, there’s no better way than a nice, long bike ride. A challenging, but rewarding, ride for moderately experienced riders is Contra Costa County’s highest peak — Mt. Diablo.
At 3,848 feet to the summit, this is a great bike ride for someone who wants to test their legs and enjoy some amazing views.
There are two routes up the mountain and both are within an easy pedal of BART stations. Pleasant Hill BART is the jumping off point for the north route and Walnut Creek BART is the jumping off point for the south route.
It can be chilly on Mt. Diablo in January, especially on the way down, so be sure to dress in layers.
The route from Walnut Creek BART:
Head due east out of the BART Station and find Arroyo Way just on the other side of the Target store, follow Arroyo way about a half mile to the Iron Horse Trail. Ride the bike/pedestrian only trail all the way to Danville (about 8 miles of level riding). Make a quick stop in downtown Danville where you’ll find many options for coffee or snacks before heading up the mountain. Head east out of town on Diablo Road for about 3.5 miles and turn left on Mt. Diablo Scenic Boulevard (near the Athenian School) where you enter Mt. Diablo State Park. This eventually turns into South Gate road and then Summit road at the Junction Ranger Station — follow the other cyclists all the way to the top.
Build in some time to linger at the top, have a snack and enjoy the views in all directions. You won’t be the only cyclist at the top so it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie with others who just made the climb.
The ride down is also a great reward for the effort you expended on the climb. It’s a quick trip down (roughly 2 hours up and 30 minutes down) so make sure your brakes are in good working order.
Visit bart.gov/bikes to check BART’s bike rules, then strap on your helmet and get out there!