Mangini Preserve in Spring: Visitors Enjoy Diablo’s Green Hills

group hiking at mangini

On May 5th, the Contra Costa Sustainability Exchange met at Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve for a fun and informative hike led by our Senior Land Use Manager, Juan Pablo Galván Martínez.

The group set off through Mangini Preserve, energized by the fresh air and the beauty of their surroundings—a thriving oak woodland habitat flanked by rolling green hills and sustained by Galindo Creek, which overflowed during the recent winter rains.

group hike through mangini

Hiking through the oak woodlands of Mangini Preserve! Photo by Mary Nagle

California poppies, lupines, Ithuriel’s spears, and an abundance of other vibrant blooms bordered the trail as the group journeyed through Mangini.

Midway through the hike, the group was surprised to find a large gopher snake right in the middle of the trail, but that wasn’t their only wildlife sighting.

As the hike continued, two golden eagles soared overhead, in full view of the entire group.

Like a lot of this region, Mangini Preserve is excellent habitat for these magnificent raptors. The northern Diablo Range has the densest population of nesting golden eagles in the world.

crossing the bridge at mangini

Crossing the Galindo Creek bridge at Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve. Photo by Mary Nagle

As the hike reached its conclusion, the group passed a grove of desert olive scrub, a rare find in the Bay Area.

In this short 2.5-mile hike, our visitors for the day were able to truly connect with this land as they spotted wildlife, journeyed along Galindo Creek, and trekked through the various habitats of Mangini.

group of people on a trail at mangini, one of them is making peace signs

Contra Costa Sustainability Exchange enjoys Mangini Preserve. Photo by George Carter

Experience Mangini Preserve

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Save Mount Diablo opened Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve to the public last year on March 30, 2022. It’s the first educational preserve of its kind in Contra Costa County, a place that can be reserved for group use for the day free of charge.

Since then, it has been reserved for free by a variety of local groups including

  • Science classes
  • Plein-air artist gatherings
  • Photography groups
  • Churches
  • Hiking, trail running, and mountain bike groups
  • Homeschoolers
  • Alumni groups
  • Families
  • Birding groups

So many diverse groups have already experienced what Mangini Preserve has to offer throughout the past year. We encourage any interested community group to make a reservation.


Campolindo high school students at Mangini Ranch for a Conservation Collaboration Agreement

Campolindo High School students after their Conservation Collaboration Agreement at Mangini Preserve. Photo by Franchesca Hendryx

Since its grand opening, we’ve hosted several Conservation Collaboration Agreements at Mangini Preserve, giving students the opportunity to connect with nature.

They enjoy an interpretative hike and contemplative solo, and complete a service project that will benefit future visitors to the preserve.

Our Discover Diablo schedule also includes a variety of experiences within Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve, from mountain biking to meditation hikes.

Most of us are probably not spending enough time outside. Today, the average kid spends less than 10 minutes daily on unstructured outdoor activities, and it’s not much better for the average adult either.

group relaxing at mangini preserve's picnic tables

Contra Costa Sustainability Exchange rests at the Mangini Preserve’s picnic tables. Photo by Mary Nagle

In the opinion of Save Mount Diablo’s Executive Director, Ted Clement, the most significant threat to the environment today is the “lack of meaningful connections between people and nature, which results in us lacking the love and will required to fully address major environmental threats like climate change.”

This challenge is why Save Mount Diablo is working to connect people with the nature that surrounds them, so that they can better reflect upon its importance. At Mangini Preserve, a deeper connection with nature is inevitable.

group of six on mangini's galindo creek bridge

Photo by Jody London

Top photo by Mary Nagle

Join us to save the remaining natural lands of Mount Diablo!

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