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Donner Canyon Waterfalls - California, United States

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Story:
This is a shorter and somewhat less strenuous version of the Waterfall Loop at Mount Diablo State Park described by tommangan.  The trail is wide and there is little elevation gain in the first mile.  This portion of the trail is mostly in deciduous oak woodland with a lot of shade.  The trees are replaced by chaparral and switch backs begin about 1.5 miles from the trail head, and portions of the trail beyond are steep and narrow.    The waterfalls were spectacular after 6 inches of rain in 3 weeks.   We hiked on a cool, sunny Sunday morning.  I wore my fleece vest and windbreaker for most of the first mile, but had stuffed them in my day pack before we had hiked a mile.  There were only about 20 cars at the trail head when we began hiking at 0930, but more than 200 by the time we got back to the car at 1430.  The trail did not seem crowded in spite of the heavy use of the trail head.   There were more wildflowers than we had expected after the very dry winter.  .  This is one of my favorite trails for spring hiking in Contra Costa County, California

You can learn more about the Donner Canyon Waterfall trail at BRT's 1 April 2012 blog entry, and the Mount Diablo State Park page at the Walnut Creek wiki.  
Tips:
Poison oak is abundant, but easily avoided in most places.    If you are very sensitive to poison oak, you might want to have soap and water in your car so you can wash up when you get back to the trail head.  There are no rest rooms nor running water at the at the trail head.   Although I didn't find any, it is probably a good idea to look for ticks too.   It is usually cool here from November through April.  It can get very hot from June through September, take plenty of water on the trail and have some more in the car to drink on your return.  You might want to put it in an ice chest so it will be cold.  The trail can be very muddy after a rain.  It dried out a lot in the 5 hours we were hiking on a cool, breezy, sunny day.  This is the first time I have used the track from my iPhone EveryTrail app.  I found it much easier to use than the iPhone track than the track from a separate GPS.  It does use a lot of battery power making it important to start the day with a fully charged iPhone. 
Tags:
waterfall, wildflowers, Mount Diablo, state, park, Contra Costa, Concord, Donner Canyon, oak woodland
Photos: See all pictures and videos from Donner Canyon Waterfalls
Trip Info
April 01, 2012
Trip Location: Clayton, California, United States
Length: 5.6 miles
Duration: 5 hours
Activity: Hiking
Trip viewed 1,288 times
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