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Ask the Naturalist: Where are the Flowers on Mount Diablo?

by on April 15, 2016

The fields of Mount Diablo explode with color in the spring months, like this poppy field off North Gate Road. (Photo by David Silva)
The fields of Mount Diablo explode with color in the spring months, like this poppy field off North Gate Road. (Photo by David Silva)

Q: Where have you seen the most wildflowers on Mount Diablo this year? Is there a must-do hike for this time of year? – Natalie

A: Natalie, we polled some local naturalists and writers who know the mountain best. Here are some of their favorite wildflower spots:

Mike Woodring, President, Mount Diablo Interpretive Association:

“Pretty much everywhere has something to offer: The Mitchell Rock Trail below Twin Peaks has a rock garden full of flowers of all colors, North Peak Trail around Devil’s Elbow is also great, and Bald Ridge Trail has an outstanding selection as well. These are all hikes I’ve been on in the last few weeks. Further back than that is Camel Rock Trail, full of poppies that can also be seen from North Gate Road.”

 Seth Adams, Land Conservation Director, Save Mount Diablo:

“It changes as the season progresses, but here are my picks:

  • Mitchell Canyon
  • Drive Northgate Road to the summit
  • or, do one of the loops:
  • short loop: Mary Bowerman Trail at the summit
  • longer loop: Grand Loop from Juniper Camp.

Rich McDrew, Vice-President, Mount Diablo Interpretive Association:

“Wildflowers can be found on all trails in the park, but a ‘must-do hike’ is the Falls Trail loop out of either Mitchell Canyon or Regency Gate in Clayton.  This is the first of many years where water is flowing big-time over the falls.  Hurry, the flow of water won’t last long! For great poppy fields, send people up Northgate Road: They are spectacular.” 

Bay Nature writer Joan Hamilton, author of our Diablo series on the dramatic ecological rebirth of Mt. Diablo’s Perkins Canyon after the devastating 2013 Morgan Fire, likes:

  • Devil’s Elbow to Prospector’s Gap on North Peak Trail
  • Juniper Camp to Deer Flat on Deer Flat Road
  • Curry Point to Sycamore Canyon on Knobcone Point Road
  • Devils Slide Trail and Sycamore Creek Road

“Those are a few. But it’s so nice, you can’t go wrong right now!” she says.

Natalie, we hope this helps you explore the spring bounty on Mt. Diablo! Happy trails.

See more articles in: Diablo Recovery, Plants and Fungi

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