Diablo Foothills Regional Park mountains away from Mount Diablo State Park. The Livorna Trailhead is a fast , simple, and free way to slip into the state park, and also provides some excellent hiking through this part of the east bay’s oak-studded grassland and rock formations.
Apart from panoramic views of the mountain and its surroundings, the 1,060-acre Diablo Foothills has fascinating geological features, spectacular seasonal wildflowers and a range of bird and animal life.
The vegetation in the valley varies from grassland and oak savannah on the hills to riparian and oak forest. Pine Creek flows through Pine Canyon and lies within the eastern portion of the watershed of Walnut Creek, which drains 150 square miles from central Contra Costa County into San Francisco Bay.
Various types of habitat support a variety of wildlife, including mule deer, bobcats, coyote, gray fox, long-tailed weasels, raccoons, gophers, rabbits, and ground squirrels. The park is used for nesting and foraging habitat by birds such as red-winged blackbirds, northern mockingbirds, scrub jay, California quail and brown towhees. Rock outcrops shelter garter and gopher snakes, lizards from the western fence, lizards from the southern alligator, tree frogs and salamanders from California Pine Creek ‘s seasonal pools of water ensure green sunfish, mosquitofish, and largemouth bass thrive.
The parkland was part of a grant to Dona Juana Sanchez de Pacheco in the early 1800s; the area was known as Rancho Arroyo de las Nueces y Bolbones (the Walnuts and Indians’ Creek). Today Diablo Foothills is contributing to the east bay ‘s biggest open space land mass.
There are many looping possibilities for a relatively small park. You can walk from one of the three trailheads to see the Castle Rocks, a sandstone formation in Mount Diablo State Park visible from the east side of Diablo Foothills. You can walk in the state park (to the east) or Shell Ridge Open Space (to the west) to extend a hike out of the park.
The featured hike starts in the park ‘s southwestern corner and loops through and around a gated community, thus the first and last miles of this loop hike show views from some posh backyards. It’s worth it though, since the view from Shell Ridge provides a different look at Mount Diablo (the 3849-foot mountain looks flat and wide), and the trail features a glimpse of the rock formation from China Wall.
This amazing attraction is located near the following must-see sights in Concord, California:
- Shell Ridge Open Space
- Todos Santos Plaza
- Benicia-Martinez Bridge
- California Grand Casino
- Shadelands Ranch Museum
- Shiva Murugan Temple
- Newhall Community Park
All of these landmarks are located just a short distance from our location in downtown Walnut Creek, Spaulding Concrete on Locust Street!