Nortonville & Black Diamond Trail Loop
ElevationAscent: 1,643' 501 m
Descent: -1,641' -500 m
High: 1,593' 486 m
Low: 482' 147 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)
Current trail conditions
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“Enjoy the steep climbs past historic mines with panoramic views on this challenging loop.”— Bob Gardner
Family Friendly The Railroad Bed Trail is the easiest and then it becomes more challenging climbing to the cemetery.
Continue south on the Nortonville Trail which begins climbing towards the Rose Hill Cemetery. The cemetery is half-way between the Somersville and Nortonville town sites and was the final resting place for miners and their families. It's an interesting spot to check out and catch your breath. The road climbs a bit more to the first junction with the Black Diamond Trail at Nortonville Pass.
Continue on the steep downhill to the Nortonville town site. At the bottom, past old mine tailings, is the second junction with the Black Diamond Trail. Turn left (south) on the gravel road then take a quick right near a rock outcrop which brings you to the Black Diamond Trail. Note: Going straight on the gravel road leads to the hiker-only Coal Canyon Trail.
The next 1.4 miles is all climbing, steep at times especially at the beginning. It eases off a bit just before the junction with the paved Black Diamond Way about half-way up. Continue up this narrow paved road and after a couple steep switchbacks the communication towers comes into view. When you reach the gate, the dirt section of the trail splits off to the left going east. This is the top of the climb with views over the Delta. It's a smooth descent most of the way back, with a short technical section past a sand mining area and a rocky climb to rejoin the Nortonville Trail and a downhill return to the start.
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We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, Features, E-Bikes Allowed
Land Manager: East Bay Regional Park District (CA)