This was a fun hike (not actually backpacking) that we did with Marya and Bernd. Bernd's leg had been injured several weeks ago during a car camping trip to this very mountain, so we took it easy and had a nice hike up the mountain's north side. We took our time to stop and look at all the extremely pretty wildflowers which were everywhere, and to remark upon how different everything was just from the last time we'd been up there. We hiked to some shade near the top of a ridge and then ate lunch. After lunch, we walked up to this nice overlook on the northeast side of Mt Diablo, where we watched turkey vultures do odd things way down below us, and we saw a golden eagle! And some parasailers, and a hang glider or two as well. It was a great viewpoint. We then went back down to the car and soaked our feet in the cool stream there and went to get burgers and beer at a place that had nice outdoor seating.
Mount Diablo in the spring is BEAUTIFUL! Lots of lush green grass, wildflowers bursting from the hillsides, etc. Plenty of birds and lizards and so on as well. Other times of the year, the place is brown and dry and supposedly full of snakes and tarantula spiders, but we don't go there usually, because it's just too hot. :-) But it's so close to the bay area! There are camping places and lots of nice hiking trails all over, and it's only 30-40 minutes away from Oakland, so it's really quite nice if you want to get out and do some hiking. There are some people around, but really, we only ran into maybe 4 groups of people the entire time, and most of them seemed to be birdwatchers, so got stuck early on the trail looking at birds in the trees. So it's not nearly as crowded as tilden park or even Point Reyes.
But we went just at the end of the nice part. Don't get me wrong. Dry and brown is nice too, in it's own way, but I'd rather be in the mountains where it's cool. :-) So here is our map, which actually only covers the last half of the journey. I forgot to turn the GPS on until we got to the top. DOH! So you'll miss the little detour we did at the start where we took the wrong path, etc. No big deal. And the pictures I took can be found here.
Back up to backpacking...