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Juniper to Summit Loop

Intermediate
 3.9 (15) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A combination of steep climbs and descents with stunning views of the San Francisco Bay Area.


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Map Key

6.6

Miles

10.6

KM

Loop

3,586' 1,093 m

High

2,040' 622 m

Low

1,737' 529 m

Up

1,727' 526 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (6°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

  • Vehicle entrance fee: $10 daily or annual pass.
  • Open 8:00 a.m. till sunent.
  • Rattlesnakes and ticks in area.

Overview

This loop is mostly on fire roads with some nice singletrack trails up to the summit. The views of the Bay Area are the some of the best around, and there are some great break off points from the trail for lunch spots or other deviations.

Description

From the overlook parking lot, hike through Juniper Campground, and you'll hit the trailhead of Deer Flat Fire Road. It is a fire road, so it's quite wide and easy to spot. The trail is at the end of the "U". There is a small singletrack trail that leads you up to the fire road. The rest of the trail is very open. There are areas of pretty steep incline and decline, but the views are beautiful the whole way.

Take a right onto Meridian Ridge Fire Road.This wide, dirt road has a good mix of ascent and descent. You'll want to keep right at all the forks leading up to the summit following Meridian Ridge Fire Road.

Take another right onto Prospector's Gap Fire Road. This trail connects the Meridian Ridge Fire Road to the North Peak Trail so you can make your way to the summit. This whole trail is uphill and very steep. If you are headed to the summit then you are obviously going up, so be prepared for a good workout! The views behind you are fantastic of the San Francisco Bay Area though, so a couple quick breaks are not such a bad thing.

Once you come to the Prospector's Gap intersection, the North Peak Trail is very easy to find once you hit the fork at the top. Just take a right onto the North Peak Trail and follow the trail that leads you to the museum at the summit. You'll have to hike Summit Road a little ways to get to Juniper Trail which will lead you very quickly back to your car.

There are multiple signs giving background about Mount Diablo and the surrounding area and plenty of great views to be seen on this hike.

Contacts

Shared By:

Anina Middleton

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 15 votes

#2446

Overall
  3.9 from 15 votes
5 Star
13%
4 Star
73%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
7%
Recommended Route Rankings

#339

in California

#2,446

Overall
99 Views Last Month
6,496 Since Dec 20, 2015
Intermediate

0%
0%
69%
15%
15%
0%

Photos

Making our way on the North Juniper Trail. It was so chilly!
Feb 4, 2016 near Blackhawk, CA
We got out of the blistery wind, found some incredible Oak, Pine, even Mistletoe on the Meridian Ridge Fire Road! Muah!
Feb 4, 2016 near Clayton, CA
Summit Trail
Oct 22, 2017 near Blackhawk, CA
We only saw 2 other people on our Monday hike on the North Juniper Trail!
Feb 4, 2016 near Blackhawk, CA
Looking south towards Ransom Point on the trail to Prospectors Gap. The route has little cover, no water, and great views.
Sep 30, 2018 near Clayton, CA
The route is well-kept and exposed, with sweeping views and occasional brisk gusts — especially close to the summit.
Sep 30, 2018 near Clayton, CA

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Check-Ins

Jun 13, 2020
Alex Lu
Th trail seems to be longer than 6.6 miles loop. My friend said his app showed we walked 14 miles. Also there are steep up/down hills climb
Feb 23, 2020
Casey Chu
Jan 25, 2020
Mike Nugent
Jan 20, 2020
Gretchen Kreutz
2h 30m
Jan 4, 2020
Patrick M
6.7mi — 11h 00m
Nov 15, 2019
Dan Perez
Apr 14, 2019
DARSHAN SOMASHEKHAR