|Curry Point Trailhead,
Mount Diablo State Park,
California State Parks,
Contra Costa County
4 mile out and back through grassland and chaparral, to the curious Balancing Rock. Excellent wildflowers in spring.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 3.9 mile out and back hike is easy, with about 480 feet in elevation change. Trailhead elevation is about 1745 feet. From this trailhead you can climb or descend in every direction, so hikes can range from short and easy to long and grueling. The featured hike dips to about 1579 feet, and the high point is around 1850 feet.
Mostly exposed, with some pockets of shade.
Dirt fire roads.
Too hot in summer. Best in late winter and early spring.
From Interstate 680 in Contra Costa County, exit Diablo Road (exit 39). Follow the green "parks" signs: drive east on Diablo Road (turn right to continue on Diablo Road at El Cerro), then turn left at the (stop sign) junction with Blackhawk onto Mount Diablo Scenic Boulevard. Drive north on Mount Diablo Scenic Boulevard, which morphs into South Gate Road at the park boundary. Drive carefully uphill on this narrow road (watch out for bicyclists) to the entrance kiosk. Then continue about 1.5 miles to the broad flat parking lot on the right side of the road (the Curry Point sign is near the start of the trail, but it's the first parking lot past Rock City).
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
GPS Coordinates* for Trailhead:
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)
Gas, food, and lodging:
Gas, stores, and restaurants back near I 680 in Danville. The park has group campgrounds and individual campsites.
Pay $10 entrance fee at the kiosk (if staffed). No drinking water or toilet facilities at the trailhead. There is a map under glass. Paper maps and pay phone are available at the entrance kiosk, and there are restrooms at Rock City. No designated handicapped parking. Trails are unobstructed, but poorly suited to wheelchairs. There is no direct public transit to the park.
Most trails are multi-use. Some trails are open to equestrians and hikers only. No dogs. Gates open at 8 and close at sunset. The park is open from 8 a.m. to 45 minutes before sunset.
The Official Story:
CSP's Mount Diablo page
Mount Diablo Ranger Station 925-837-6129
Use AAA's San Francisco Bay Region map to get there.
Download the park map pdf from CSP's website.
Mount Diablo (& Surrounding Parks) map, published by Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, is invaluable (order at http://www.mdia.org).
David Weintraub's East Bay Trails has a good map and descriptions of a hike departing from this trailhead (order this book from Amazon.com).
Curry Point in a nutshell -- a printable, text-only guide to the featured hike.
View photos from this hike.
Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page
Curry Point Trailhead is a popular staging area on
the mountain's southeastern flank. With elevation around 1745 feet, Curry
Point is almost halfway up the mountain, and it's a good starting point
for some of Diablo less grueling hikes. It's possible to hike to the summit,
but the two routes to the top have disadvantages over the preferred Mitchell
Canyon routes. Summit Trail follows along South Gate Trail for a few miles,
and most hikers will not be pleased with the attendant traffic noise.
The other route; Curry Canyon Road to Frog Pond Road, Alder Creek Road,
Green Ranch Road, and then Summit Trail, is a long meandering 10-mile
round trip. Preferred Curry Point routes explore the rock formations and
chaparral of Knobcone Point, the sycamores, California bays, buckeyes,
maples, and coast live oaks
of shaded Curry Canyon Road, and the tiny ponds sprinkled through the
grassland around Frog Pond Road. Hikers out for a long out-and-back trek
can start at Curry Point, traverse Blackhawk Ridge and Oyster Point, and
walk all the way to the park boundary on Black Hawk Road and Oyster Point