Feather in Your Cap!

Hike to Eagle Peak on Mount Diablo in the East Bay

Sure, the main summit of Mount Diablo offers one of the best views in the state, but if you’d rather hike than drive to a summit, lace up your boots for the mountain’s spectacular—and less-traveled—Eagle Peak. At 2,369 feet, it’s not as high as Diablo’s main peak (3,849 feet), but the 3-mile (one-way) journey to it is much more enticing.

Begin on the Deer Flat Road leaving from Juniper Campground; Diablo’s largest campground couldn’t be sweeter—set at 3,000 feet, it's got huge views of the Diablo Valley and Bay Area. Follow the trail while enjoying panoramas from San Francisco all the way to the sawtoothed Farallon Islands, 30 miles offshore. Wind down an exposed path and make a right on Meridian Ridge Road. Notice that burn in your thighs? The trail climbs at a fairly steep pitch for a few minutes, but the reward is getting closer.

The spur trail leading to Eagle Peak slips, scuttles, and scrambles across narrow Bald Ridge—a knife’s-edge thriller with drop-offs on either side (don’t worry, it’s very doable; just don’t wear flip-flops). This adventurous and fun part of the hike quickly reaches the summit with views bursting in all directions: the Delta, Suisun Bay, and Mount Diablo’s North Peak. Take it in as you take a breather. The Eagle has landed.

Park at Juniper Campground and start hiking northwest on Deer Flat Rd. After a half-mile, bear right at the first junction to stay on Deer Flat Rd. After another mile, you’ll reach the Deer Flat area; make a right onto Meridian Ridge Rd. and hike 0.75 mile. Turn left onto the signed spur trail for Eagle Peak; it’s another 0.75 mile to the summit. Return the way you came. No dogs on trails, but Juniper Campground is dog-friendly!

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