Mount Diablo State Park
Route Information: May 13, 2014 - Stage 3 Summit Finish
"Diablo is a doozy."
-Optum's Chad Haga on his Strava Stage 7 post (2013)
"The climb was beautiful."
-BMC's Tejay van Garderen, referring to Mount Diablo following Stage 7 (2013)
Mount Diablo State Park is located in eastern Contra Costa County. At 3,849 feet, it is the highest point in the county. The state park measures over 20,000 acres. It is an East Bay cycling mecca. The park has been featured in the last two ATOC's. In 2012, racers climbed South Gate Road to Junction and descended North Gate Road on a day that started and ended at Livermore. In 2013, the park hosted a mountaintop finish (South Gate/Summit Roads). Thousands of spectators lined the park roads to cheer on the racers.
Pro and amateur riders have the opportunity to race up the mountain every October in a race entitled the Mountain Challenge. Local pro, Nate English, won the climb in 2013. A goal for many riders is to go under an hour. In 2013, the top ATOC climbers made it in approximately 40 minutes.
Mount Diablo State Park is one of the 280 units of the California State Park System. In addition to cycling, recreational activities within the park include camping, picnicking, hiking, trail running, horseback riding, and rock climbing. The park also serves as a natural preserve. It is home to a number of rare and threatened plant and animal species. Geologic features include Rock City, Castle Rock, and Devil's Pulpit. The park is an island of wilderness surrounded by a sea of suburbia.
At the eastern fringe of the San Francisco Bay Region, Mount Diablo, elevation 3,849 feet, stands alone on the edge of California's great Central Valley. At this point, the Coast Range consists only of low hills, none high enough to block the view from the upper slopes of the mountain. As a result, the view is spectacular.
The View From the Top — Many visitors to Mount Diablo head straight for the summit to enjoy the famous view. Looking to the west, beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Farallon Islands; southeast to the James Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton; south to Mount Loma Prieta in the Santa Cruz Mountains; north to Mount Saint Helena, and still farther north to Lassen Peak. North and east of Mount Diablo, the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers meet to form the twisting waterways of the Delta. To the east beyond California's great Central Valley, the crest of the Sierra Nevada seems to float in space. With binoculars, you may even be able to pick out Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.
Mount Diablo is a sacred mountain to California Indian people. Just about every California Indian community who viewed Mount Diablo would, at one time or another, make a pilgrimage to the summit area for ceremonies.
"The staff and volunteers of Mount Diablo State Park are proud to once again host a stage finish atop the tallest mountain in Contra Costa County and welcome the riders and their fans."
Dave Matthews , Public Safety Coordinator, Diablo Vista District, California State Parks