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Bike Mount Diablo at dawn

Old 02-11-21, 01:54 PM
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Bike Mount Diablo at dawn


I want to bike up Mt. Diablo from south gate entrance (Danville). I want to start early at dawn but the gate opens at 8:00am. I could jump the gate but wanted to ask, has anyone of you done it? If the ranger spots you will you get into trouble? I am planning to take the unpaved trail.

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Old 02-11-21, 04:45 PM
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If you are off the road, you are probably more likely to be ok, but you are technically breaking the rules. There are many different rangers who work that park, so there's no way to know which one might see you/pull you over/give you a ticket. If you simply cannot wait until 8, all the risk is on you, and what others' experience is, may not be the same this time if you are the one getting caught.
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Old 02-12-21, 11:51 PM
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another option is a camping permit. I think (need to check), if you are camping inside, you are OK to use the trails and ride beyond quiet/curfew hours.
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Old 02-13-21, 01:17 AM
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Literally all of the Rangers would give you a hard time for jumping the gate; that's where they draw the line. Generally though it's open well before 8am on Saturdays and then most of them would be fine with riding through. Also the South Gate gate is three miles up the road so you could still start at dawn and ride up to the kiosk. Actually I'm not sure if they close that gate at the tire poppers.

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Old 02-14-21, 01:40 PM
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The one and only time I jumped the gate, no ranger caught me in the act, but I ran into one well up the mountain. By then, it was after 8:00 am. He knew that I probably jumped the gated based on where I was and let me know that he knew and that, while he couldn't do anything about it, it was not cool. He wasn't nasty or finger-wagging about it - in fact, he was rather polite - but he was direct and firm. Personally, I won't do it again - not worth it.
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Old 02-16-21, 12:44 PM
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I've seen the gate at the park boundary (where the "tire poppers" are) closed, but it has been awhile since I've been there before opening. If the intent is to keep people from going off-trail, it wouldn't make sense to have the gate at the boundary be open. From south gate, the summit trail takes off right around there, and there would be really nothing to give notice that the trails aren't open if that gate is open. Common sense dictates that the odds of getting busted off trail are a lot lower than the odds on pavement, rangers are not as likely to be riding/walking on trails before 8 a.m. as they are to be on the road. Still, you take your chances on the trails, too.
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