Dec 09, 2016 04:27PM
By Pam Kessler
Explore the wonders of winter on Mount Diablo with free, guided hikes courtesy of the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA).
WINTER SOLSTICE SAUNTER December 18, 10AM– 2:30PM
Celebrate the shortest eve of the year with a Winter Solstice Saunter in Mount Diablo State Park. Hikers on this four-and-a-half-hour, six-mile hike, search for signs of the season, such as mistletoe, Christmas berry and Coulter pines cones. Great views from atop Twin Peaks. Bring liquids, lunch, and snacks. Be prepared for mud and poison oak. Dress in layers and wear hiking shoes. Rain cancels.
Reservations required: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet: Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center
Parking: $6 per vehicle, $5 for seniors; exact change required
CHRISTMAS EVE ON THE SUMMIT December 24, 9AM– 4PM
Start a new family tradition with a hike to Mount Diablo’s Summit on Christmas Eve. This two-for-one hike begins with a seven-mile climb to the top, up Summit and down Juniper Trail. Bring liquids, lunch, and snacks. Be prepared for mud and poison oak. Dress in layers and wear hiking shoes. Rain cancels. No dogs; no reservations necessary.
Meet: Parking Area above Buckeye Group Camp
Parking: $10 per vehicle; exact change required
ROUND THE MOUNTAIN HIKE December 30, 10AM – 4PM
This classic loop features views in all directions as the trail circles the park’s namesake peak (elev. 3849’) via Deer Flat, Murchio Gap, Prospector’s Gap and Oak Knoll. Between Prospector’s Gap and Oak Knoll, this eight-mile, six-hour hike passes through sections that burned in the September 2013 Morgan Fire. Bring liquids, lunch, and snacks. Be prepared for mud and poison oak. Dress in layers and wear hiking shoes. Rain cancels.
Meet: Diablo Valley Overlook at Juniper Campground
Parking: $10 per vehicle
Stay: Turn the hike into a weekend retreat; find great Walnut Creek hotels athttp://www.visitwalnutcreek.org/hotels/.