Mt Diablo the cheapest way

Peak Summited2021 Mount Diablo
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadGreen Valley
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Could not face Mitchell Canyon yet again so looked for a similarly challenging vertical/distance and new trails I haven't done many times already to explore.  Decided to park for free in a Danville neighborhood, use Green Valley trail as a warm-up to the park boundary just north of the south gate entrance, then follow the summit trail through Dan Cook canyon to the Live Oak campground then on up to the summit via the south side trails.  Highly recommend this route for both shade and solitude.  Did not see another hiker until devil's elbow.  The wildflowers are just starting to come out.  Another big bonus is the much shorter drive to the TH since I live south of Diablo.


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  1. Looking at the map and trying to find your route as I’d like to do the same thing. Which trails did you take once you got to live oak campground? Thank you so much for the suggestion!

    1. Turned left at the campground, took first trail on the left before the bathroom, I think it’s called summit trail, then took the staircase trail until it connected with summit (turn left)), parallels the road maybe <1/4 mile until it crosses the road, then followed that til devils 😈 elbow, turn right, cross the elbow and head on up to the summit.