6.2 miles, Half day
The Grand Loop offers a bird's-eye view of the Bay Area, and sometimes glimpses far beyond, of the Farallon Islands, Mount Lassen, the Sierra Nevada, and the Santa Cruz Mountains. It's also a a hotspot for wildflowers in the spring.
At each of 12 stops in this audio guide, naturalists point out the sights and sounds, tell tales of the mountain's past, and suggest what to look for around the next bend. Photographs help identify plants and animals.
Sponsored by Save Mount Diablo and the California State Park Foundation, this moderately strenuous tour features interviews with Seth Adams of Save Mount Diablo, Ken Lavin of Greenbelt Alliance and Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, and Mike Moran and Beverly Ortiz of the East Bay Regional Park District. Music is by Phil Heywood. Narration and audio production by Joan Hamilton.
The Grand Loop is part of the Audible Mount Diablo series, which combines lively interviews and music with the rush of wind and the chirps, howls, and growls of wildlife. The mission of the series is simple: to help people see and hear (and care) more when they take a walk in nature.
You can rush through this walk in 2 or 3 hours. For maximum enjoyment, though, allow 4 to 5 hours, and plan for a glorious top-of-the-world picnic. Take plenty of water, especially on hot days in the summer. Spring temperatures and flowers are delightful. Views are generally best the morning after a winter storm. Bring layers of clothing in any season. In the winter you can even encounter snow and ice! Poison oak is a problem on some parts of the trail, but you can easily wriggle around it.