Mt Diablo: South Gate-Junction Ranger Station-Summit

Friday, July 15, 2016

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This ride meanders through the estate homes and golfing greens around Diablo Country Club to the “hole in the fence” before ascending Mt Diablo on South Gate Rd to the Junction Ranger Station and on wards on Summit Rd to the summit.

Head out of Martinez on Arnold, Glacier and Center to Vine Hill, Morello and Taylor Blvd. Continue on the Contra Costa Canal Trail from Pleasant Hill to the Iron Horse Trail in Walnut Creek.

Exit the trail onto S Broadway to Rudgear Rd and roll along the flats on Danville Blvd to Stone Valley Rd.

Continue east on Stone Valley to Green Valley onto the multi-use path along Diablo Rd to Calle Arroyo.

Calle Arroyo is a private road that goes along the Diablo estate homes around the golfing greens at Diablo Country Club.

The turn onto Alameda Diablo meanders through the upscale neighborhood to the “hole in the fence”.

The dirt path leads up to the open fence area onto Mt Diablo Scenic Dr to Mt Diablo State Park South Gate Entrance on South Gate Rd.

From the South Gate Entrance, the climb up to the Junction Ranger Station is 5.7 miles with an average grade of 5%.

Enjoy the spectacular vistas as you wind your way up along the south side of the mountain!


South Gate Rd weaves around the chaparral covered mountain with spectacular valley views. Look over your shoulders to see the winding road from behind!

The road continues snaking its way up the side of the mountain and levels out when you round the curve to the South Gate Entrance Station.

From the kiosk, it’s 3.1 miles up to the Junction Ranger Station. South Gate Rd descends under a canopy of trees towards the sandstone formations at Rock City.

The road continues to drop down pass the picnic areas surrounding Rock City before tilting up again for the climb up to Curry Point.

The climbing continues and makes its way in and out of the woods to the open ridge line.

Enjoy the phenomenal views of the expansive grasslands along the upper slopes to the summit above and the fantastic valley views below.

The last half mile up to the Junction Ranger Station has grades of 7-9% with steeper pitches of 10-11%!

Summit Rd up to Mt Diablo summit is 4.5 miles with an average grade of 7%. Summit Rd to Livermore Valley Overlook.


Livermore Valley Overlook to The Pines Picnic Area.

Summit Rd to Toyon Picnic Area.

Steep 9-11% climb to Grapevine Picnic Area.

The road eases up from Grapevine Picnic Area to Juniper.

Enjoy the gorgeous Diablo Valley views!


Juniper to Devils Elbow.

Devils Elbow to summit lower parking lot.

Steep 13-17% climb up “the wall’ to Mt Diablo Summit.

Spectacular summit views!

Descend Summit Rd and North Gate Rd back to Walnut  Creek.

Going up Mt Diablo is one of my favorite local rides and it never gets boring! You always have the option of continuing up Summit Rd to Juniper and or to the summit. Go as far as you want and turn around at any time or simply descend the mountain from the saddle at the Junction Ranger Station. You’ll enjoy the beautiful valley views on the climb up the mountain!

Garmin Stats:
54.5 Miles with 4536′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 3670′
Max grade: 17%
Terrain: Extremely hilly with steep climbs

Weather: Sunny and HOT! Temps ranged from the high 60’s to the low 100’s with SW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile-ride from Martinez

South Gate Summit (2)

Follow this route for today’s ride from Martinez:

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile-ride from Heather Farm

SG Summit

Follow this route for today’s ride from Heather Farm: