(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

The ecological gem of the Bay Area, Mount Diablo, is recognized as a rarity in nature for its far-reaching panorama at its peak in spite of its moderate height. The variety of topography plus sheer quantity of biking trails give Mount Diablo its well-deserved reputation as the best for East Bay mountain biking. Mount Diablo boasts exquisite vistas, encompassing unusual natural beauty and a variety of flora and fauna that captivate visitors passing through.

While Mount Diablo is an excellent site for mountain biking and features a span of biking opportunities all levels can enjoy, bike trails are best suited to experienced intermediate and better riders. Be careful to evaluate your cycling skills realistically and use common sense as some trails are quite challenging.

Cyclists need to keep a few points in mind for a safe and enjoyable Diablo ride. An official policy is that most single-track trails are off-use to mountain bikes, but they are welcomed on multi-use roads such as paved roads, fire roads and authorized trails. Check for signage to alert riders if a trail is multi-use.

From BikeMapDude Productions, a site dedicated to great mountain bike trails primarily in Northern California, the following are suggested intermediate to advanced-level Mount Diablo biking trails:

Intermediate Trails

Angel Kerley Road – Fire road, cuts across semi-open hillside
BBQ Terrace Road – Fire road descends into a wooded canyon; steep areas
Briones-Mt. Diablo Road – Ridgetop fire road through grasslands
Curry Canyon Road — Fire road through canyon
Dan Cook Trail – Fun, single-track section of Summit Trail (most of Summit Trail is closed to bikes)
Diablo Ranch Trail – Fun, single-track through semi-open oak woodlands
Donner Creek Fire Road – Fire road through scenic valley
Frog Pond Road – Fire road through grasslands
Green Ranch Road – Sometimes steep fire road through grasslands and scrub
Knobcone Point Road – Fire road through grasslands and scrub
Meridian Ridge Road – Steep fire road
Mothers Trail – Wide single-track road; steep in places
Riggs Canyon – Fire road that runs from shady canyon to open ridgetop

Advanced Trails

Wall Point Road – Steep though rideable fire road through mixed terrain
Burma Trail – Caution; ridiculously steep in places
Mitchell Canyon Road – Fire road starts gently through lush canyon, then climbs steeply towards Deer Flat
Prospector’s Gap Road – Fire road; loose and steep
North Peak Trail – Steep and very strenuous, single track

According to the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA), a non-profit organization that assists the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the following are supplies to bring along for a safe day of mountain biking on Mount Diablo:

  • Helmet and protective clothing
  • Plentiful supply of drinking water
  • Healthy snack
  • Tire pump
  • Spare tube, patch kit and tools
  • Mount Diablo State Trail Map

The Mount Diablo State Park Trail Map ($7.50) is published by the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA). It can be purchased at park entrance stations, the Summit Visitor Center, Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center and the Mitchell Canyon District Office. The map is also available to buy through the MDIA Online Store.

Where is Mount Diablo State Park?

Address: Mount Diablo State Park, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton, CA 94517
Phone: (925) 837-2525


Visit CBS Sacramento’s section Introducing Diablo Valley


to continue planning your next East Bay adventure


Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.