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Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story on 09/21/2010 14:15:42 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story on 09/21/2010 15:15:57 MDT Print View

Wow! A real success story for the Bay area, plus an excellent and amusing article on your hike. Congratulations!

Although I'm not fond of them or their "leavings," I agree that cows (known as "slow elk" around here) are better than housing developments! Interestingly, in the Cevennes National Park in southern France, grazing is also allowed because it has been part of the environment for millenia.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Mt Diablo memories on 09/21/2010 17:05:43 MDT Print View

Growing up in Contra Costa county, I learned early to orient myself on Mt. Diablo whenever I wasn't sure where I was. This developed into an awareness of constantly orienting myself to land features which has had tremendous payoff in years of back country travel. How delightful to see that Mt. Diablo continues to be a referent and resource for outdoor oriented folk in the Bay area!

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story on 09/21/2010 17:12:31 MDT Print View

Very cool take on an urban-rural treasure. I can see Mt. Diablo through the autumn haze from my office window, as I type this. Thanks for the fine article!



p.s. How were the ticks?

Justin Carter
(orangebananas) - F

Locale: San Francisco East Bay
Awesome! on 09/21/2010 17:17:42 MDT Print View

Being only a short drive for me, this hike is now on my to-do list. Thanks for the write up. I'm glad to see that Save Mount Diablo is doing great.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story on 09/21/2010 19:22:43 MDT Print View

Nice report & photos. The mud looked like a hassle, surprised you didn't just go cross-country. Do you think a bushwack of the area would be an option?

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Mt. Diablo Trail on 09/21/2010 20:03:42 MDT Print View

Very nice you two!! Sorry I missed that trip.

Jeremy Pendrey
(Pendrey) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Re: Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story on 09/21/2010 21:09:11 MDT Print View

Rick: I don't recall the ticks being out in force like they sometimes are that time of year. Tony can correct me if I'm just forgetting.

Tom: Cross country might be possible in some spots where there is only grass and not chaparral, but it can get pretty tall and wet in early spring and be more of a hassle than it's worth (and per Rick's question, you'd definitely find the ticks that way, and sometimes poison oak). Where there is cattle there are often faint trails that make cross country possible, and I've sometimes followed those trails, but more in the fall than spring. But for this trip I wanted to hike the official trail, even as muddy as it was.


Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story on 09/22/2010 01:43:58 MDT Print View


No ticks that I recall....frankly, no bugs at all given how cool the temperatures where.

I definitely remember having dinner on that picnic bench and having that cold, wet feeling sink into my bones as we ate.

Pulling my socks off just before I got into my bivy, I remember wringing out mud water from them.

I will say that breaking in my Jacks R Better Sierra Sniveler quilt was feet warmed up fairly quickly.

The 2nd day, hiking out into the mud, I was helped a lot by slipping on UPS plastic bags over my Injinji Toe Socks.

I felt the chill of the wetness of the water and mud, but it was not bone chilling like before.

Winner in my book.

Was a great trip in that we both got a chance to hike in some really bad weather and test out the rain gear.

We really were fortunately that the weather/rain broke before we rolled into camp.

Had it been raining then, it would have been a whole different challenge.

For me, having a cheap 1 oz emergency rain poncho makes a huge difference when your rain gear/poncho becomes your tarp/shelter.

Great trip again Jeremy and enjoyed reliving it through your eyes and I learned something about the park that I have grown up around since I was 4 yrs old.

Good Job!


Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Diablo Trail on 09/22/2010 10:11:06 MDT Print View

I live within a mile of this trail and have run it many times. I've long considered an overnighter along the trail. The experience would be very different from running.

A fall weekend would have its advantages--no mud, a few colorful leaves, cool days and cold nights--though spring also has its charms.

Thanks for the report and a different perspective of the trail. I'm looking forward to the Diablo Grand loop and the Bay Area Ridge Trail completions.

sheila o
(bumpass) - F

Locale: The Far Left Coast? : /
Jeremy and Tony on 09/23/2010 09:20:08 MDT Print View

Great job guys......two new celebs! Love the cows.
When is the best time of the year to go next time? :)

John Coyle

Locale: NorCal
Mt Diablo on 09/23/2010 11:10:00 MDT Print View

As Huell Howser would say, "That's Amazing!" I've day hiked Mt. Diablo many times, but I wasn't aware of this particular trail. I am now. Thanks guys.

My feet on Mt. Diablo Summit

BTW the Mt. Diablo Summit is inside a building

James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Tony's hydration tube setup on 09/23/2010 14:26:34 MDT Print View

Sorry to be off topic, but I'm curious: Tony, could you explain the routing of your hydration tube/ bite valve? I've never seen anyone use this routing on the sternum strap & wonder what the advantages are. It looks like your pack is a GoLite Jam 2 & I wonder if your setup is peculiar to this pack?

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Tony's hydration tube setup on 09/23/2010 16:37:14 MDT Print View


Yes, my pack is a GoLite Jam2...2008 or 2009 model.

In the photo, I have the water blader positioned sideways inside my pack at near the top of the pack about where my shoulder blades are.

The Tubing tends to be long as a result and I have run it through a port built in on the pack and down the shoulder strap. (And I loath the idea of cutting my tubing to make it shorter....I need it long too as it is part of my Sawyer gravity filter setup).

I am using the supplied clip that came with my Platypus Hoser 1.8 L hydration system to attach to my sternum strap.

I do this for a couple of reasons:

* I find it convient to be able to easily grab it and take a drink on the reaching around to find a dangling hose

* The most important one for me is that I don't like the tube hangings straight down and flopping around as I hike or slapping against my body or leg while walking, where droplets of water can leak out of the bite valve.

Depending on how empty or full my pack is, this will cause my hydration bladder to sink higher or lower inside my pack and therefore shorten or lengthen how much tubing you see at my sterum strap.

As of now, I have moved to using two 1 Litter Playtpus bottles on the outside of my pack, using the two pockets on the sides of the pack. The bottle that is hooked to my tubing is inverted so that water will flow smoothly while using the hyrdration tube. I then run the tubing up the side of the pack, using the side compression straps to hold the tubing in place and then down the strap and to the sternum strap, as you see here.

I changed because in cases where I was using a Bear Vault, I found that having the bladder inside the pack made it very top heavy, so moving them outside and down low made my load more comfortable to carry.

Is this setup unique for the Jam2? Don't think so. All of my traditional backpacks had a hydration port for routing the tubing out of the main pack to the shoulder strap.

The Jam2 makes it easy with the black and gold GoLite strap to hold the tubing in place on the shoulder strap....again, think that other manufactures of traditional gear does this too.

Hope this answers your question.


Edited by Valshar on 09/23/2010 17:12:01 MDT.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Nice Report on 09/24/2010 16:12:18 MDT Print View

I'll have to try this one sometime. Seeing the photos reminded me a little of Henry Coe and Marin Headlands, both of which I've hiked in that sort of weather.

Are ticks usually rampant out there? I've had bad luck with them any time I'm in a "foothill" setting.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Hiking The Diablo Trail: A Conservation Success Story on 09/24/2010 18:39:43 MDT Print View

Great report and pictures. Will add the Diablo Trail to my To Hike list.


Jeremy Pendrey
(Pendrey) - MLife

Locale: California
Re: Jeremy and Tony on 09/24/2010 21:08:36 MDT Print View

Sheila: Spring and fall are the best times to go hiking in the East Bay. Summer gets very hot. This was a very wet spring so things got a bit saturated and thus muddy, but typically the ground soaks it up fast and trails are dry within a couple days of rain. Though Tony and I actually enjoyed the wet and sloppy conditions. Made it much more of an adventure than a typical Bay Area hike.

Jacob: Ticks are often an issue in this area during the rainy season, but this time they weren't. Maybe due to the cold. I'm not sure.

To all: I should mention that as far as campsites go, there are two options, Morgan Backpack Camp in Morgan Territory, where we stayed (8 miles from the Round Valley end of the trail) and Live Oak Campground, which is a car camping campground about 8 miles from the other end of the trail, near Rock City in Mt. Diablo State Park. For a leisurely 2 night/ 3 day trip, you could do 8/14/8 miles and stay in both places. That way you could get in a side trip to the summit, or just take it slower, or hike with a bigger group, etc.

John Murtiashaw
(murda) - F

Locale: Ashvegas and beyond
Looks like a fun one on 09/27/2010 10:52:59 MDT Print View

All those grassy trails and tent sights look like a dewey equation, but an interesting trip indeed. The trail reminds me of the scottish highlands. It's funny how a nice pair of socks and experience can make you forget about your wet feet.

Frank H.

Locale: California
nm on 11/28/2010 13:58:51 MST Print View


Edited by porker110 on 11/28/2010 14:07:11 MST.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
yes. lots of ticks. on 09/06/2012 22:30:00 MDT Print View

there are ticks aplenty in the Mt Diablo Mt area. i have right now a granulating wound from where my buddy dug one out of my upper back 5 years ago. that's a long time to have a hole keep erupting. we dug nearly 1/2" deep and still found necrotic tissue.
it was a mess. (deep cooled the zone with ice, it did not hurt to dig it out)
this particular tick was acquired on the east side on the east side of the hill overlooking the waterfall. regardless, it is wise to Not Lay Down when in the area.
great article. did not find the map though. sometimes the diable people a kind'a picky about their maps and it's hard to find them on the net.

i have lived my entire life in the shadow of this exceptional mountain.

round valley gives access to a fine mountain bike downhill run off volvon ridge.

there;s poison oak on the hill too !

peter v.