North Peak Ranch: The “Muir Woods” on Mount Diablo

View of North Peak

North Peak Ranch rises from Marsh Creek Road to Mount Diablo’s North Peak, and it borders Mount Diablo State Park. Like the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association property and our Young Canyon parcel, it is part of the “Missing Mile” square of private land on the face of North Peak.

Because we were stretched by the loans for protecting Curry Canyon Ranch, we made a 10-year deal with Steve and Brenda Benkly to purchase their property with small annual payments totalling $1.1 million.

We made our sixth payment on December 15, 2021, and the project will be completed in 2026. Most of the money was granted by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

The 3,557-foot North Peak is Mount Diablo’s second tallest and more rugged peak. Its unusual serpentine mineral soil supports a variety of rare plants.

Flowering shrub on hillside

North Peak is lush with a variety of plant species. Photo by George Phillips.

“The property is really special,” says Steve. “We have Muir Woods in our back yard. One area has big green ferns, vivid green moss, and during the winter months a waterfall just a few hundred yards behind the house.

“Every day we wake up, look out our back window at North Peak, and just count our blessings.”

The property has two entrances on Marsh Creek Road. The Benklys retained one of them and 6.2 acres around their 1924 farmhouse.

Top photo of Mount Diablo and North Peak by Kristin McCleery

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