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Juniper to Summit Loop



6.6 mile 10.6 kilometer loop
76% Runnable


Ascent: 1,737' 529 m
Descent: -1,727' -526 m
High: 3,586' 1,093 m
Low: 2,040' 622 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)


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Trail shared by Anina Middleton

A combination of steep climbs and descents with stunning views of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Anina Middleton

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

  • Vehicle entrance fee: $10 daily or annual pass.
  • Open 8:00 a.m. till sunent.
  • Rattlesnakes and ticks in area.


This loop is mostly on fire roads with some nice singletrack trails up to the summit. The views of the Bay Area are the some of the best around, and there are some great break off points from the trail for lunch spots or other deviations.

Runner Notes

This loop would be a good, hard trail run. There is no technical terrain, just a lot of climbing, but the views make it worth while!


From the overlook parking lot, run through Juniper Campground, and you'll hit the trailhead of Deer Flat Fire Road. It is a fire road, so it's quite wide and easy to spot. The trail is at the end of the "U". There is a small singletrack trail that leads you up to the fire road. The rest of the trail is very open. There are areas of pretty steep incline and decline, but the views are beautiful the whole way.

Take a right onto Meridian Ridge Fire Road.This wide, dirt road has a good mix of ascent and descent. You'll want to keep right at all the forks leading up to the summit following Meridian Ridge Fire Road.

Take another right onto Prospector's Gap Fire Road. This trail connects the Meridian Ridge Fire Road to the North Peak Trail so you can make your way to the summit. This whole trail is uphill and very steep. If you are headed to the summit then you are obviously going up, so be prepared for a good workout! The views behind you are fantastic of the San Francisco Bay Area though, so a couple quick breaks are not such a bad thing.

Once you come to the Prospector's Gap intersection, the North Peak Trail is very easy to find once you hit the fork at the top. Just take a right onto the North Peak Trail and follow the trail that leads you to the museum at the summit. You'll have to run Summit Road a little ways to get to Juniper Trail which will lead you very quickly back to your car.

There are multiple signs giving background about Mount Diablo and the surrounding area and plenty of great views to be seen on this run.

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Nov 1, 2016
Maddy Gill

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 13 votes


  3.8 from 13 votes
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Run Rankings


in California


207 Views Last Month
5,541 Since Dec 20, 2015



Summit Trail
Oct 22, 2017 near Blackhawk, CA
We only saw 2 other people on our Monday hike on the North Juniper Trail!
Feb 4, 2016 near Blackhawk, CA
Looking south towards Ransom Point on the trail to Prospectors Gap. The route has little cover, no water, and great views.
Sep 30, 2018 near Clayton, CA
The route is well-kept and exposed, with sweeping views and occasional brisk gusts — especially close to the summit.
Sep 30, 2018 near Clayton, CA
View along the Meridian Ridge Fire Road.
Dec 29, 2015 near Clayton, CA
North Peak.
Dec 27, 2017 near Clayton, CA


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