The Eastern Edge of Diablo Foothills RP
Diablo Foothills RP is small and busy but can serve as a starting point for longer, challenging hikes into less visited areas. Our hike followed a straight line along the Eastern edge of the park, adjacent to Castle Rock RRA, and into Mount Diablo State Park. This hike is relatively flat and since it is an out and back, you can make it as long, or as short, as you like.
The Trail Staging Area fills up quickly on weekends, but the Orchard Staging Area has plenty of available parking. If you’re here for hiking, we recommend following the Castle Rock Trail and meeting up with the Stage Road after it passes the busy RRA.
As small, shaded picnic area lies at the boundaries with Mount Diablo State Park. This is a popular turn around point.
The terrain along this route is also good for a beginner mountain biker looking to improve her skills. A few creeks and a couple of short, steep, rocky areas are great, non-threatening practice spots.
Watch for American peregrine falcons flying overhead as you walk the trail. They nest in the Castle Rocks area which is visible from the trail.
Note: From February 1st through July 31st, all trails East of Stage Road are closed to protect the nesting sights of the American Peregrine Falcon, a fully protected species in California.
Note: Parking in at the regional park staging area is free. You can hike into Mount Diablo State Park or Shell Ridge Open Space.
Pine Canyon into Mount Diablo State Park
The bulk of the climbing is along Stage Road after entering Mount Diablo State Park. We chose to take the trail to the end and were rewarded with a great view and some nice poppy displays. While the hike in Diablo Foothills RP and through Pine Canyon was fairly busy, the climb was devoid of people. Take some time at the top to enjoy a snack and some quiet time before returning to the parking lot via the same route.