Mondo Mount Diablo

Two Spectacular East Bay Bike Rides
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Excerpted from East Bay Bike Trails by Conrad J. Boisvert

Mount Diablo dominates the landscape of the East Bay as its summit towers to an elevation of 3,849 feet above sea level. The roads on each side of the mountain are a cyclist's delight, carrying little car traffic and exposing backcountry scenery, which belies their proximity to the dense population centers nearby. The hill climbs are challenging and the remoteness is extraordinary.

State Park Ride
Region:
Central
Ride Rating: Difficult
Total Distance: 28 miles
Riding Time: 2-3 hours
Total Elevation Gain: 2100 feet
Calories Burned: 1100
Type of Bike: Road Bike

Morgan Territory Road Ride 
Region: Central
Ride Rating: Difficult
Total Distance: 52 miles 
Riding Time: 4-5 Hours 
Total Elevation Gain: 2700 feet 
Calories Burned: 1600 
Type of Bike: Road Bike

Starting Point

Start the rides in Alamo at the Alamo Plaza shopping center on Danville Boulevard, just north of the intersection with Stone Valley Road. To get there, take Highway 680 to Danville and get off at the Stone Valley Road exit. Proceed west on Stone Valley Road, turn right on Danville Boulevard and look for Alamo Plaza on the left side along Danville Boulevard.

State Park Ride
(Difficult)

This route heads north into busy Walnut Creek along wide bike lanes on Danville Boulevard. Hectic surface streets in Walnut Creek are followed by the rural northern access into Mount Diablo State Park along stunningly scenic North Gate Road. The population centers below expand into view as you climb steadily through the oak-studded hillsides of the eastern slope. At the park headquarters and ranger station at the intersection with Summit Road and South Gate Road, riders with extra energy can challenge themselves with an optional climb to the mountain top about 4.5 miles away and 1800 feet higher on Summit Road.

From the park headquarters, South Gate Road leads downhill along a winding descent to leave the park and meet with Diablo Road. Diablo Road, Green Valley Road and Stone Valley Road take you back to the starting point in Alamo.

Terrain

Expect substantial car traffic from Alamo and through Walnut Creek, but fewer cars in Mount Diablo State Park. There is a long, sustained climb of about 2000 feet in elevation gain into the park, followed by a long descent out the other end to Danville.

Ride 15A: Ride Details and Mile Markers

0.0 Proceed NORTH on Danville Boulevard.
 
2.0 Cross Rudgear Road and begin South Main Street.
 
2.6 Cross under Highway 680.
 
3.5 Cross Mount Diablo Boulevard in central Walnut Creek.
 
3.8 Turn RIGHT onto Civic Drive.
 
4.2 Turn RIGHT onto Ygnacio Valley Road.
 
4.4 Continue STRAIGHT across Walnut Boulevard.
 
5.9 Turn RIGHT onto Walnut Avenue.
 
7.5 Turn RIGHT onto Oak Grove Road and then LEFT onto North Gate Road.
 
8.9 Park entrance booth - no fee for bikes.
 
15.1 2000-foot elevation marker on right side.
 
15.5 Turn RIGHT onto South Gate Road (Summit Road continues straight ahead to the top of the mountain).
 
18.8 Park entrance booth on South Gate Road.
 
22.5 Turn RIGHT onto Diablo Road.
 
24.1 Turn RIGHT onto Green Valley Road.
 
24.8 Turn LEFT onto Stone Valley Road.
 
27.7 Cross under freeway and turn RIGHT onto Danville Boulevard.
 
28.0 Back at the start point.

Morgan Territory Road Ride
(Difficult)

Ride 15B follows Danville Boulevard north to Walnut Creek and busy Ygnacio Valley Road east through Walnut Creek to Clayton, located due north of Mount Diablo. From Clayton, the route heads south along Clayton Road and then suddenly gets more peaceful along Marsh Creek Road. Some of the most remote country in the entire East Bay is experienced on Morgan Territory Road, as it climbs steadily along the eastern slope of Mount Diablo to an elevation of about 2000 feet. About 2 miles of road at this elevation is followed by a very steep and winding descent. Manning Road, Highland Road and Camino Tassajara take you past isolated ranches and country residences toward the impeccably manicured estates of Blackhawk. Blackhawk Road, Green Valley Road and Stone Valley Road complete this long and difficult loop.

Terrain

You will encounter significant car traffic from Alamo and through Walnut Creek and into Clayton before it thins out when you reach remote Morgan Territory Road on the eastern slope of Mount Diablo. Along Morgan Territory Road, there is a long and steady climb up to 2000 feet elevation and a steep descent down the other side. There are no services along Morgan Territory Road, so be sure to carry adequate supplies of water and snacks.

Ride 15B: Ride Details and Mile Markers

0.0 Proceed NORTH on Danville Boulevard.

2.0 Cross Rudgear Road and begin South Main Street.

2.6 Cross under Highway 680.

3.5 Cross Mount Diablo Boulevard in central Walnut Creek.

3.8 Turn RIGHT onto Civic Drive.

4.2 Turn RIGHT onto Ygnacio Valley Road.

6.9 Cross Oak Grove Road.

11.1 Turn RIGHT onto Clayton Road.

12.6 Turn RIGHT onto Marsh Creek Road.

16.6 Crest - 920 feet.

17.4 Turn RIGHT onto Morgan Territory Road.

26.8 Morgan Territory Regional Preserve on the left side.

28.3 Begin descent.

32.5 Turn RIGHT onto Manning Road.

33.3 Turn RIGHT onto Highland Road.

38.1 Turn RIGHT onto Camino Tassajara.

40.5 Blackhawk East Gate on the right side.

42.7 Turn RIGHT onto Blackhawk Road.

46.2 Mount Diablo Scenic Drive intersection on the right side.

47.8 Turn RIGHT onto Green Valley Road.

48.5 Turn LEFT onto Stone Valley Road.

51.4 Cross under freeway and turn RIGHT onto Danville Boulevard.

51.7 Back at the start point.


© Article copyright Penngrove Publications. All rights reserved.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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