We hadn’t hiked in months.
Work and the holidays had consumed our lives.
We were itching to get outside.
To hike again. Rain or shine.
A friend joined us for a 14 mile loop hike in Mt. Diablo State Park.
With rain in the forecast and it being a Friday, no one else was in the Mitchel Canyon Visitor Center parking lot at 10am.
We laced up our shoes and headed for the fire road, hopeful the rain would hold off.
The fire road twisted and turned up the mountain. The forest was green, fragrant and alive.
As we gained elevation, it started to sprinkle. Then, the skies opened up. It felt as if we were were being pelted by the driving rain.
Gusts of wind up to 40mph made for slow going on the really step sections of road.
After three hours, we reached the Mt. Diablo Summit and sought shelter inside the visitor center.
Once inside, we look off our rain gear and had lunch in the video viewing area.
At 2pm, we left our cozy shelter to re-enter the windy, wet gray world. We took the North Peak Trail and loved wandering down a narrow path lined with manzanita trees and mushrooms.
Though we’ve never been, we imagined this is what hiking in Ireland must be like. For moments the clouds would part and green rolling hillsides popped into view.
Shortly after, we turned into Bald Ridge Trail – another fabulous but steep trail. Soonafer we found ourselves on the muddy and slippery Back Creek Trail. If you want a good workout, take these trails up to Mt. Diablo.
Our last turn was onto Bruce Lee Road. It was stunning!
But then it turned muddy for about a mile. But no matter. We hiked with heavy boots until we reached our car.
Feeling accomplished, we cleaned our shoes with the scrubs provided by the park (thank you state park!!) and headed home.
Elevation gain: 3,479 ft
Trail: Mitchell Canyon Road > Deer Flat Road > Juniper Trail > Summit Trail to Mt. Diablo Visitor Center
Return: Summit Trail > North Peak Trail > Bald Ridge Trail > Back Creek Trail > Bruce Lee Rd > Mitchell Canyon