Get ready to dust off those hiking boots because after nearly 100 years, a 1.25-mile-long section of trail on Mount Diablo is finally set to reopen to the public! The Knobcone Point to Riggs Canyon trail connection will officially open on March 29th, thanks to the efforts of Save Mount Diablo.
This exciting development will expand the amount of open space available for exploration of Mount Diablo’s southern hills. The trail winds through the upper 560 acres of Mount Diablo’s Curry Canyon Ranch, through one of Mount Diablo’s wildest areas. Hikers can expect to be treated to spectacular views from Balancing Rock and Knobcone Point, to Cave Point, to Windy Point and Riggs Canyon.
Although the trail was once available to the public, cattle fencing had made it illegal to access for nearly 100 years, according to Save Mount Diablo’s Executive Director Ted Clement. This trail will effectively fully connect Rock City and Mount Diablo to Riggs Canyon, Morgan Territory and Los Vaqueros via publicly accessible trails.
Curry Canyon is the final missing major canyon entrance to Mount Diablo, and Curry Canyon Ranch has over nine miles of fire roads, most of which will continue to be closed for now while Save Mount Diablo works with California State Parks to transfer much of the property to the park.
This project has been a decade in the making, and the grand opening will be marked with a ceremony at the Knobcone Point gate near Balancing Rock at 11 a.m. on March 29th, weather permitting. Save Mount Diablo invites the public to hike in for the ceremony, with attendees meeting at 9:30 a.m. at Curry Point in Mount Diablo State Park on South Gate Road.
The trail will allow hikers to explore and experience the solitude of one of the extraordinary parts of Mount Diablo, immersing visitors in the knobcone pine forests after which the area is named, as well as stunning sandstone rock formations. Wildlife enthusiasts may also spot golden eagles and songbirds flying overhead.
In preparation for the grand opening, Save Mount Diablo’s staff and volunteers have been busy installing infrastructure, including access gates and informational signage. They have also been removing dead material to minimize fire risk in the area, which will encourage new growth of native and endemic wildflowers and chaparral plants this spring.