Traverse along creeks and over rolling hills in a journey through Pine Canyon. This idyllic route takes you from Little Pine Creek Road to Barbecue Terrace Road through the backcountry of Mount Diablo.
Distance: Seven miles
Elevation change: 1,230 feet
Hiking time: Three to five hours
Trail surface: Dirt fire road
Best seasons: Winter, spring, summer, and fall
Managing agency: California State Parks
Hours: 8 AM to sunset
Parking fee: $10
Trailhead location: Little Pine Creek Road trailhead off Northgate Road
This trail starts at the first trailhead on Northgate Road; it can be seen almost immediately after crossing the Mount Diablo State Park border on the right side.
Starting on Little Pine Creek Road, hikers will amble across several small creeks in the shade of a riparian (streamside) oak woodland.
Upon reaching Burma Road, head rightward, and make a left onto Stage Road after 0.3 miles. This part of the hike will take you through the grasslands and hills of lower Mount Diablo.
Eventually the route reaches Barbecue Terrace Road. After two miles of walking, hikers will reach the Barbecue Terrace group campsite.
Most of the route is well shaded, making it a good location for exercise on warm summer days. Bring your binoculars—large portions of this route are excellent for birding.
Top photo by Bob Cooper