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Mount Diablo State Park, California, United States

Waterfall loop at Mount Diablo State Park

Winter and spring rains create scenic waterfalls in this hike at Mount Diablo, the East Bay's signature peak.

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 (16 votes, 6 reviews)
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6.5 miles / 10.5 km
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly
Overview: While Mount Diablo State Park is best known for towering vistas from the mountain's twin East Bay summits, the seasonal rains that visit the San Francisco Bay Area every year create several scenic waterfalls in the mountain's rugged canyons.

This hike starts out from the Regency Gate in the East Bay town of Clayton -- parking is free in the neighborhood: be polite and do not abuse the privilege.

Thanks to EveryTrail user Edgar Stiles for tracking this route. His hike:

Regency Gate > Donner Canyon Road > Cardinet Oaks Road > Falls Trail > Middle Trail > Meridian Ridge Road > Meridian Point Trail > Back Creek Trail > Back Creek Road > Regency Gate.

Mount Diablo phone: 925-837-2525

Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset.

There is no drinking water at this trailhead, though you could filter water from the seasonal stream.

Tips: This route can be very muddy; try to wait a few days after the most recent rain to give the trails a chance to dry out.

Driving directions: From I-680 at Walnut Creek, take Ygnacio Valley Road east to Clayton Road, turn right on Clayton Road, and right on Marsh Creek Road. Turn right at Regency Drive and park at the end of the road.

Points of Interest


Regency Gate-Trailhead

The hike starts out here from Regency Drive in the town of Clayton.

Donner Canyon waterfall


Falls Trail first waterfall


Falls Trail second waterfall


Falls Trail third waterfall


Falls Trail waterfall from Donner Creek


Waterfall on Back Creek Trail

Pictures in this guide taken by: edgarstiles
Enjoyed the hike, and the waterfalls were beautiful, but this should be classified as a difficult hike, not moderate. The actual waterfall trail is technical single-track, some of it right at the edge of cliffs. Several of the trails involved are very steep. That being said, my friend and I had a great time, and would do it again - just with the knowledge that it's more of a strenuous hike than advertized.
Visited on Feb 14, 2015

by corradoborg on Feb 15, 2015
Beautiful hike thru grasslands, oaks, forest and sunny hill side. We hiked at a leisurely pace and it took us 3 hours. There are some spots that are a bit tough to maneuver, overall fairly easy. Definitely wet after rain, it was still damp in places even though it didn't rain for about a month.
Well worth the 1 hour drive from Berkeley.

Visited on Jan 25, 2015

by katharina.stuart.5 on Jan 24, 2015
Bring plenty of water. Too bad it's so dry and no waterfalls. Good workout and varied terrain. Narrow and steep in parts.
Visited on Jul 13, 2014

by on Jul 13, 2014
Loved the views and the kids enjoyed the geocashing. Will do again. Great Sunday hike with friends
Visited on Oct 13, 2013

by qbenluna on Oct 14, 2013
Parts of this trail are beautiful, don't get me wrong. However, the entire time I was walking the tree I noticed that the thick-brushed ledges overheard me were perfect hunting grounds for mountain lions. After walking four miles out on the path I realized I was being stalked by one. It was not until the last half mile that I made eye contact with the 200 + pound beast and luckily ran into a family of four when I started running. I will never do this trail again.
Visited on May 30, 2013

by huckleberryhank on May 31, 2013
Whew! I'm new to hiking and this trail was a doosy for me at some parts but the view was totally worth it. Once we got into the heart of the Cabinet Oaks Road, the incline got pretty serious and the sweating began! The trails were easy to follow but once on Falls Trail, it gets very narrow! Between POI #5 and POI#6, the trail is hard to distinguish and we were momentarily lost but picked it up thanks to my trusty GPS and the Everytrail App. The Waterfalls themselves were a little underwhelming since we haven't had a lot of rain but the view of the Clayton Valley was spectacular. The rest of the trail was great once down the hill, shaded and a slow steep. We cut back over to the Cabinet Oaks Road via the Fire Road and did not hike the Back Creek Trail, my group and I were worn out so we called it quits but it was a great route and a great workout!
Visited on Feb 18, 2013

by kelofro on Feb 20, 2013

Waterfall loop at Mount Diablo State Park Trail Map

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