Team members came together today for a beautiful and fun hike planned around the circumference of Mt. Diablo’s peak. This full-team training offered a one-time qualifying Type 2 fitness hike, while also giving team members the opportunity to socialize and enjoy Mt. Diablo’s splendid scenery.
Some team members used this to meet their Type 2 hike qualification for the year; some proctored; and others were just along for the experience. Some enjoyed the hike, whether qualifying or not, and others found it tested their mettle.
Those who were using the hike as a qualifier had their packs officially weighed (minimum 20 lbs.) and needed to finish approximately six miles in the 3.5-hour time limit.
Sweeps ensured everyone got safely off the trail at the end. The reward at the finish line was a lunch of chicken and veggie burgers served up with some hearty socialization in the Laurel Nook picnic area.
A description of the hike is as follows …
From the picnic area, the path ascends northeast over brushy slopes. After crossing paved Summit Road, the path climbs some more up to the lower summit parking lot. Plan to spend some time on the summit enjoying the view. A couple handy locator maps help identify cities and natural features near and far.
After you’ve enjoyed the view, join the trail heading east from the south side of the parking lot. The path parallels the road for a short distance, then reaches a junction. Summit Trail heads southwest down the mountain, but you join the eastward-trending trail to North Peak.
Enjoy the awesome view of the Central Valley as you march over a rocky, juniper-dotted slope. The red-brown rock formation above looks more than a little diabolical; the most prominent rock formation is known as Devil’s Pulpit. A half mile from the above-mentioned intersection, the trail, sometimes called Devil’s Elbow Trail, sometimes called North Peak Trail, angles north and descends to a distinct saddle, Prospectors Gap. At the gap is a junction with the rugged 0.75 mile long dirt road leading to North Peak.
Our path contours along the bald north slope of Diablo, passing junctions with Meridian Ridge Fire Road and Eagle Peak Trail, and arriving at Deer Flat, a pleasant rest stop shaded by blue oak.
Intersecting Deer Flat Trail, you’ll switchback up to Juniper Campground, then continue a short distance farther to Laurel Nook Picnic Area, where you began your hike.