The Mystique of Mt Diablo

Friday, July 15, 2011

Michael and I head out from Martinez to meet up with the group at Heather Farm for my listed ride up Mt Diablo. We ride through Walnut Creek on San Carlos and Walnut Ave to Northgate Rd.

The climb up Diablo from the bottom of Northgate Rd is about 7.8 miles. The average gradient is around 6%. During the ascent, the morning sun quickly gives way to overcast cloudy skies and fog.

The gradient increases to around 9-11% on the approach to the Burma Road Trail and the 1000 feet elevation sign. The surrounding scenery is fabulous! The golden slopes of the mountain seem to have beautiful movement.

The road eases up for the next few turns and picks up again to around 9-10% when you see Diablo Ranch. The next series of switchbacks brings us to the Junction Ranger Station. It’s foggy, cool and a bit breezy up here.

The majority of us are heading up to the Summit. Once we get above the cloud and fog line, the temperature up at the summit is forecasted to be around 77F with plenty of sun and zero winds. So, off we go! The climb up Summit Rd is 4.6 miles with an average grade of 7%.


The gradient increases to around 9-11% as you approach Blue Oak and Oak Knoll picnic areas. It eases up a bit once you pass Pioneer all the way to Juniper. The views are amazing and the sun is up above the fog line! It’s warming up quite nicely.

It’s a steady 7-8% climb all the way up to the Devil’s Elbow. The gradient drops to around 4-5% for the next mile up to the lower parking lot. The final climb up “the wall” is steep; it starts off at 13% and maxes out at 18% near the top! The views from the upper slopes of the mountain are spectacular!

The blanket of fog is very present below the inversion cap. It’s a balmy 80F up here with no winds. It’s amazing!

The Observation Deck is still closed until further notice.

The post-ride stop at Peet’s is located at the Ygnacio Plaza.

Michael and I hed back home on the Canal Trail.

Climbing up Mt Diablo is certainly one of my favorite rides in this area. The road always remains the same yet everything else changes around the mountain; from the people who come join me to the surrounding landscape and the ever changing weather. Each climb brings on a different riding experience and evokes a different feeling. This is definitely a “must-do” ride if you’ve never been up here; I’m certain you will grow to love it as much as I do!

Thanks to everyone who came out to join me for another wonderful ride up Diablo!

13 people in attendance
Original route: 30 miles with 3919′ of elevation gain
Extended route: 49 miles with 4545′ of elevation gain

Weather: Great! Morning sun giving way to cloudy overcast skies and fog on Diablo. Starting temp of 63F with temperature inversion at the summit; 80F with no winds.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>RIDE ON!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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