Mount Diablo State Park: Pine Canyon

Cliffs at Pine Canyon

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

Difficulty: Moderate

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

map of the trail


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.

shallow creek framed by lush green grass

Little Pine Creek. Photo by Bob Walker

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.

Castle Rock

Castle Rock and Pine Canyon in the springtime. Photo by Scott Hein

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.

peregrine falcon atop a large rock

Peregrine falcon at Pine Canyon. Photo by Kendall Oei

Top photo by Bob Cooper

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