Bay Nature magazineSummer 2006


Mount Diablo Resources

July 1, 2007


Several local nonprofit organizations work to protect open space on and around Mount Diablo and to inform the public about the natural and cultural history of the area.

Save Mount Diablo

Save Mount Diablo (SMD) was founded in 1971 to expand the existing state park and protect natural lands around the mountain through advocacy, land acquisition, land-use planning, public education, fundraising, and habitat restoration and preservation. It works in partnership with Mount Diablo State Park, the East Bay Regional Park District, Contra Costa County, and other public and private landowners to achieve these goals. SMD’s semiannual newsletter Diablo Watch contains information about the mountain’s natural and cultural history as well as the organization’s activities. SMD will celebrate its 35th anniversary in December 2006.

1901 Olympic Boulevard, Suite 220
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Mount Diablo Interpretive Association

The Mount Diablo Interpretive Association (MDIA) was founded in 1974 as a nonprofit volunteer cooperating association to work with the state Department of Parks and Recreation in interpreting Mount Diablo for the public. MDIA helped raise funds in the 1980s to renovate the deteriorating summit building for the mountaintop museum and visitor center. MDIA was also responsible for developing the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center and its educational exhibits on the geology, wildlife, trails, and plant life of Mount Diablo. MDIA publishes numerous resources on Mount Diablo, including The Mount Diablo Guide (2nd edition), Mount Diablo Wildflowers, and Trail Map of Mount Diablo State Park, all of which can be ordered through the organization’s extensive website.

P.O Box 346
Walnut Creek, CA 94597-0346

Lindsay Wildlife Museum

The Lindsay Wildlife Museum was founded in 1955 to teach neighborhood children about Bay Area wildlife. Over the years, the institution has grown from its grassroots origins in an elementary school to a 28,000-square-foot museum in Walnut Creek’s Larkey Park that connects people of all ages with wildlife. The museum houses a wildlife rehabilitation program and an indoor exhibit hall featuring non-releasable California-native species. The exhibit hall also features a one-of-a-kind replica of Mount Diablo’s Balancing Rock, with a display of plants and animals found on the mountain. The museum offers an extensive array of classes and outings for adults and children year-round.

1931 First Avenue
Walnut Creek, CA 94597

Resources for Recreation

Spring on Diablo and Autumn on Diablo are semiannual event listings published by Save Mount Diablo, available in hard copy or online (

Mount Diablo State Parkas Live Juniper, Live Oak, and Junction campgrounds provide visitors with an opportunity to camp out on the shoulders of Mount Diablo. To make reservations, call 1(800) 444-7275 or visit

The Mount Diablo Interpretive Association is collaborating with Mount Diablo State Park and the University of California Museum of Paleontology to develop a Trail Through Time, an 8-mile pathway linking sections of existing trails that take hikers to paleontological, botanical, and archeological points of interest, covering more than 100 million years of Mount Diablo’s history. You can learn more about the trail’s status at

The East Bay Regional Park District manages many of the parks and preserves around Mount Diablo, including Diablo Foothills, Sycamore Valley, Morgan Territory, Round Valley, Black Diamond Mines, Vasco Caves, and Brushy Peak. For additional information, visit

Upcoming Diablo Events

Moonlight on the Mountain, Saturday, September 2, 4:30 p.m.

Save Mount Diablo will celebrate its 35th anniversary at the 5th annual Moonlight on the Mountain: an elegant dinner, with live auction and entertainment, held outside on the south side of the mountain. For tickets ($200 per person) call (925)947-3535.

Mount Diablo Trail Adventure: Summit Challenge,

Sunday, November 5, 7 a.m.

Featuring a run to the summit of Mount Diablo starting at Castle Rock Park. Other events: half-marathon, 10k run, 10k speed hike, and interpretive hike. Lunch and T-shirt for all participants. Register online at; details at

Books and Literature on Mount Diablo

Flowering Plants and Ferns of Mount Diablo, California, by Barbara Ertter and Mary L. Bowerman, CNPS Press (, 2002, 424 pages, $19.95 paperback, $34.95 hardcover

Up and Down California in 1860-1864: The Journal of William H. Brewer, with Maps (Fourth Edition), by William H. Brewer (edited by Francis P. Farquhar, with a Foreword by William Bright), UC Press (, 2003, 628 pages, $24.95 paperback (Also available online at

The Mount Diablo Guide (Second Edition), by the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, Berkeley Hills Books (, 2003, 192 pages, $11.95 paperback

Morning Side of Mount Diablo: An Illustrated Account of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Historic Morgan Territory Road, by Anne Marshall Homan, Hardscratch Press (, 2001, 256 pages, $28.50 paperback

Mount Diablo Wildflowers, by the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. (, 2005, 55 pages, $9.00 booklet

Trail Map of Mount Diablo State Park, by the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association. (, 2003, $6.00 map

Articles on Mary Bowerman

Savior of the Mountain: Mary Leolin Bowerman (1908-2005), by Barbara Ertter, Fremontia, journal of the California Native Plant Society (, April 2006, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 3-10

In Memory: Dr. Mary Leolin Bowerman, January 25, 1908 – August 21, 2005, and Interview of Mary Bowerman, 1997, compiled by the California Native Plant Society (, 2005, 5 pages (

Parks, Preserves, and Open Space of the Northern Diablo Range

Open Spaces

Hidden Valley Open Space

Lime Ridge Open Space (Concord, Walnut Creek)

Shell Ridge Open Space (Concord,, Walnut Creek)

Regional Parks and Preserves

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve (

Brushy Peak Regional Preserve (

Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area (

Contra Loma Regional Park (

Diablo Foothills Regional Park (

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve (

Round Valley Regional Preserve (

Sycamore Valley Regional Open Space Preserve (

Vasco Caves Regional Preserve (

State Parks

Bethany Reservoir State Recreational Area

Cowell Ranch Open Space (not yet open to the public)

Mount Diablo State Park

Utility Districts

Los Vaqueros Reservoir & Watershed (

About the Author

Matthew Bettelheim is a freelance writer and a wildlife biologist with URS Corporation.