Mount Diablo-Post Thanksgiving Ride

Friday, November 25, 2011

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It’s time to go up Diablo again! We meet up at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek. Parking is free with no time restrictions. Water and restrooms are available.

This out and back ride up Mt Diablo via North Gate Rd only has a few turns. We head out on San Carlos Dr to Las Lomas, Walnut Ave and Castle Rock Rd to North Gate Rd.  

Once you pass the North Gate entrance into the park, it’s a continuous 6.5 miles of sustained climbing up to the Junction Ranger Station.  The average grade is around 6%. The mountain always remains the same but the colors and surrounding landscapes changes along with the seasons. It’s consistently beautiful!

Once you approach the 1000′ elevation sign, the gradient kicks up to ranges of 9-11% for about a quarter mile. The road eases up and kicks up again as you near Diablo Ranch.

The next series of switchbacks takes us up and through a drifting bank of light fog; it clears up a bit as we reach the junction. The views along the way are fabulous!

I’ve just been spinning steadily on my heavy mountain bike and will continue to do the same as we go up to the summit. The climb up to the summit is 4.6 miles with an average grade of about 7%. As you approach Blue Oak and Oak Knoll picnic areas, the gradient increases to about 9-11%. The road eases up once you pass Pioneer on to Juniper.

You can see the thick blanket of fog covering the lower mountain from the Juniper parking lot. The sun is up and the skies are blue.

The climb up to the Devil’s Elbow is a steady 7-8% grade. It eases up to around 4-5% for the next mile up to the lower parking lot. The climb up “the wall’ is steep; it starts off at around 13% and maxes out around 17-18% near the top!

The sun is shining at the summit and the views are hidden beneath the dense shroud of fog. We layer up for the long chilly foggy descent down the summit and North Gate Rd.

There is a post ride stop at Peet’s for a hot cup of coffee and tea. Much thanks to everyone for joining me on this Post-Thanksgiving calorie burning jaunt up Mt Diablo!

15 people in attendance

31.54 miles with 3651′ of elevation gain

Weather: Cool and foggy; sunshine and blue skies at the summit. Temps ranged from the low to mid 50’s

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>WE HAVE SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Follow this route sheet for today’s ride:


  1. Nancy, This is getting very sophisticated!! Now it includes cue sheets. Good for you. Looks like you had a great ride. The trees along North Gate Drive before you enter the park really have some beautiful colors. Carole


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