Originally Posted by treadtread
My question isn't about cycling at all - I apologize for that. I'm thinking of taking my 4 year old to Rock City, Mount Diablo. Any regular riders to Mount Diablo know how to get there? Where can I park the car, and how long is the shortest hike? My son is pretty good about 2 mile hikes, but one link I read says 5.8 miles which may be too much (Mt. Diablo Summit Trail to Rock City | EveryTrail
We'd also like to drive up to the summit - am I right in assuming cars are allowed to drive to the top? I only frequent the bike forum, so I just know that cycles are allowed
Over the last 40 years, I've been to Diablo for hiking purposes more than I have for biking purposes (which is probably sacrilegious to say around here), and been with a 4 year old (although not for a dozen years or so), so I guess I can offer a thought or 2, even if I'll mostly echo the others.
I think of Rock City as a destination, a place to play and explore, rather than a launching point for a hike. In that neck of the woods, I'd usually start a hike from Curry Point, which isn't much past Rock City on South Gate, and where there is a parking lot. There is allegedly a loop of 3.5 miles that will take you through Rock City, so I suppose you could start at Rock City, but I've never done it. It is the Sycamore Grove Loop listed at the following link, but I don't know how clear the description is: 7 Popular Hikes
. I've done other hikes out of Curry Point, just not that one. But most good hikes may be more than what you are ready for right now.
Diablo Scott wisely suggested the pretty darned easy hike of a little under a 1 mile, the Mary Bowerman trail aka Fire Interpretive Trail, that circles the summit. You can pick up a good brochure as a guide up at the summit, or just print one out from http://www.mdia.org/site/docs/Franks...rman-Trail.pdf
. I suggest going to Rock City, exploring the area (get as far as Sentinel Rock if you want/think it is safe, and in any event explore some of the shallow caves), then driving to the summit, exploring the summit and taking the Fire Interpretive Trail (DiabloScott provided a pretty good map of the summit area, you can also look at the satellite view of that area on Google Maps). Anyway, do all that, that's a pretty good Mount Diablo experience for someone heading up in a car with a 4 year old.
If you are going to drive, drive slowly, obey the speed limits, be cautious around cyclists, and don't try to pass cyclists unless you can see enough ahead so that you know you won't have a head-on collision with a car or worse yet, a cyclist. Between obeying the speed limit and being careful about cyclists, it isn't a quick drive up and down the mountain, but this isn't meant to be a quick experience. Of course, if you are only going the speed limit down the mountain, be prepared for some cyclists who want to pass you. Also, if going up South Gate, don't take the hole in the wall that some cyclists like to take. Or perhaps you should, it might make Diablo residents less pissed off about cyclists going through their community and more pissed off about cars, thereby benefitting most posters around here.