“A tough ascent of Mt Diablo from the Clayton side, utilizing steep fire roads.”
— Leslie Kehmeier
A counter-clockwise loop with a long, steep climb and descent that can be loose and gnarly in sections.
There are great views from the summit area of Mt Diablo.
From the trailhead, the road rolls gradually up Deer Flat Creek for the first couple of miles until you reach a series of switchbacks, which are a low-gear grind up to Deer Flat overlook. The lower trail is smooth and shaded in oak woodlands then becomes rockier and more open as elevation is gained.
From the overlook, stay right and continue climbing steeply through switchbacks on Meridian Ridge Road
to Deer Flat Road
Stay left here and enjoy the views as you pedal to the intersection with a road section of Summit Trail - Mt. Diablo
. You'll top out just below the summit of Mt Diablo at the Devil's Elbow. You can reach the summit via the road.
The downhill portion of the ride begins on North Peak Trail
. The route starts off fairly mellow and level as a warm-up, but there are technical sections as you descend on the north side towards Prospectors Gap. Approaching Prospectors Gap, the trail splits, with most riders continuing straight while the actual trail branches to the left. Have no fear, both branches terminate on Prospectors Gap Road.
Bear left to descend Prospectors Gap Road to Meridian Ridge Road
. Turn right here and get ready for a loose and steep section of road just past the intersection. The road continues downhill with plenty of gnarly terrain.
At the bottom, turn left on Donner Creek Road
for a mellow pedal back to the beginning of the ride.