Mt Diablo State Park

Mt. Diablo State Park

This past Saturday Michael, Chris, Sara, Ichigo, and I attempted Mt. Diablo State Park’s Grand Loop Trail. According to the website, the trail is a “moderate” 6.2 miles and should take 3-5 hours. Kara and Eric had completed the trail and Alex and Laura had made it to the summit earlier this summer and spoke highly of it. Excited to get hiking, we embarked on our journey.

The view from the parking lot.

Even if you’re not really into hiking, the views from the parking lot and Juniper Camp are gorgeous enough to make it worth the trip out.

The beginning was windy and flat.

More beautiful views.

As soon as we left the tree-covered camp, the 90 degree heat became oppressive. I was happy I had switched into shorts, but immediately regretted not bringing sunscreen. Chris, a seasoned bay area hiker, came totally prepared with a hat, 2 water bottles, a coconut water, and some peanuts. Being the sweetheart that he is, he gave me his hat so my scalp wouldn’t burn.

There was a mine that looked like an alien base.

Sara and Ichigo too hot too continue.

The beginning of the hike had been all downhill with some shade and a slight breeze. As we headed towards point of interest No.5 the trail went steeply uphill with little to no cover. Super hikers with walking poles passed us and asked if Ichigo to was going to make it (he was already falling behind). We thought so? Chris and I huffed and puffed our way up the Meridian Ledge until we couldn’t hear Michael, Sara, or Ichigo behind us anymore. We looked back to find Sara sitting and Ichigo refusing to walk any further. Fearing heat stroke, everyone took a break to drink water and eat peanuts. We decided to slowly go back out the way we came, taking breaks from time to time when we found shade.

Chris taking artsy photos in the little shade we could find.

Michael carried Ichigo most of the way back.

Uphill, uphill, and more uphill. 165 floors – to be exact.

Moon in the distance, we were almost back to the car.

Even though we didn’t complete the whole loop, I think this hike was a great learning experience. I want to return to Mt. Diablo in the spring to complete the Grand Loop Trail when the weather is better. Next time everyone will eat a big meal beforehand, bring multiple water bottles, and most importantly – know what we’re getting into (which I don’t think any of us did this time around). If you would like to see more photos from our hike and hanging out in Oakland, check out my Flickr set. The views are beautiful, the trail is fun (probably more fun when it’s not fucking hot out), and I would recommend checking it out – in the spring.