Saturday’s hike was our longest yet, 5.5 hours and a perfect round 12 miles (we walked a little extra distance in the parking lot to get it to that perfect 12).
Though I’m familiar with many Mt. Diablo hikes, this is one I hadn’t done before. We started in the Mitchell Canyon parking lot, on the “back” side of Diablo. The path took us up the Mitchell Canyon fire road to Deer Flat fire road, catching the Juniper Trail at the Juniper campground toward the summit. We didn’t quite make it to the summit (5.5 hours isn’t enough time for that), but we did get close. Thanks to a GPS device, we found the pace of our group to be around 23 minutes per mile, and considering the steep uphill, I feel pretty good about that.
I didn’t get any great photos this time (My excuse: it was so hot, and bright, and dry), but here are a few to give you an idea of the terrain. The last one is Judy – she’s our oldest hiking participant. She wasn’t in my hike group, but I caught this photo of her as we passed her on the way down. She’s one determined lady.
One really big pine cone.
The long steep ascent on a very exposed & hot hillside. This photo doesn’t do justice to just how steep and unending the incline was.
The hills are alive… (ok, maybe not quite alive with all the dormant grasses). Interestingly, unlike the Marin headland on the coast where there are still wildflowers blooming, Mt. Diablo just a bit more inland is much more dried out and sparse in the flower department this time of year.
Judy, our oldest and arguably most determined hiker.
All photos copyright of Johanna Hoadley