Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bike Camping on Mount Diablo

bike mount diablo

Spring is in the air, and my thoughts have turned to bike camping. A locally-based, two or three day camping trip makes a great weekend getaway, and doing it on a bike means the fun begins the moment I leave my front door.

For this trip, we decided to ride to the Live Oak Campground in Mount Diablo State Park. From our house in Oakland, it's about 70 miles round trip, with a total elevation gain of about 4500 feet.

Much of our route consisted of bike paths, bike lanes, and roads with light motor vehicle traffic, which made the ride quite enjoyable.

bike path

The main challenge was the climbing, first over the east bay hills, and then up Mount Diablo itself. We have tackled these climbs before, but this was the first time we had done so with the added weight of camping gear.

biking mount diablo

biking mount diablo

Staying on a Sunday night meant the campground was virtually empty. We chose a nice spot sheltered by stately oaks and grand, old boulders. Live Oak is the lowest campground on Diablo, which was fine with us. We didn't want to go overboard on the climbing, and as it turned out, it was the best place to camp on Diablo that night since some high winds had moved in, likely making the higher, more exposed campgrounds a bit too raucous.

mount diablo campground

camping mount diablo

All of our hard work on the first day meant the return ride was more leisurely, with less climbing and slightly lighter loads, as well as some very fun descents.

Before making our final descent back into Oakland, we took a break and gazed back at the mountain we had just visited. What a great trip it had been.

mount diablo view

1 comment:

  1. This was a fantastic ride! I was so pleased that I was able to do it and feel confident about our upcoming SF to LA ride! Thanks for posting.