“This rugged and scenic run explores the waterfalls around the headwaters of Donner Creek.”
— Miguel Vieira
River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
Runs on Mount Diablo are typically hot and dry, but after a winter storm, this run rewards you with waterfalls, lush vegetation, and maybe even views of Mount Diablo's snowy summits.
Need to Know
The waterfalls on this run are best after a series of good winter rains - but be prepared for lots of mud!
From Regency Drive, work your way past the end of the road and downhill to Donner Canyon Road
and turn left onto the trail. This wide multi-use trail follows Donner Creek uphill, climbing gradually through grasslands dotted with oaks and buckeyes. Several trails branch off to the left and right from Donner Canyon Road
, but you'll be following until it ends.
At about a mile, the trail becomes steeper and the landscape changes to steep hills cloaked by chaparral. Climb for another half mile to the end of Donner Canyon Road
at Meridian Ridge Fire Road
Turn right on Meridian Ridge Fire Road
. Shortly after that, turn left on the singletrack Middle Trail
. The Middle Trail
continues the climb through the chaparral for another half mile, where it splits at a junction with the Falls Trail
Turn left onto the Falls Trail
. The Falls Trail
is narrow and winding, climbing up and down on its visit to three waterfalls before leveling off and descending to Cardinet Oaks Road
Turn left on Cardinet Oaks Road
. At the junction with Donner Canyon Road
, turn right and head downhill back to the starting point of the run.