The Ramblings of 4WheelBob
America's premier wheelchair hiker speaks.
Opening Up The Diablo Range

If you're not a local or unfamiliar with the East Bay's Diablo Range, stay tuned while I try to explain the significance of what I'm proposing.

I've chirped up about this proposal to local park districts, the California State Parks Dept. and the BLM for a couple of years. It would be a massive trail project that would involve a lot of cooperation to make happen. So here goes.

There are several through trails of varying lengths in the northern Diablos, mostly centered around Mt. Diablo State Park. The Diablo Regional Trail is a gem worth special mention, as backpack sites have now been opened in the East Bay Regional Park District open spaces surrounding Mt. Diablo. What is missing is a link south from Mt. Diablo to Carnegie OHV State Park, used mostly by off road motorcyclists on a good sized portion of that land.

But they are prohibited from using the westernmost piece of the state property, and no one has been able to tell me why it hasn't been opened to hikers or campers. This part of the Diablo Range is leg - killer steep, and would challenge even the most experienced hiker. Opening a route from Carnegie north to the Los Vaqueros watershed, then to Morgan Territory and ultimately Mt. Diablo would provide a close to home, mind boggling, very difficult long trail of which we could take great pride.

Putting this together would take property easements and agreements from the ranching community, as well as access throgh the windfarms east of Livermore, CA. And once complete, a multi use trail of considerable length and difficulty would be open to those of us who now have to use our expensive fuel to head for the Sierra. Optimist that I am, I know this hypothetical trail can be created. It'll just take a lot of fancy legal - type wranglin'.

Imagine this, you Diablo - philes: start at Juniper Campground on Mt. Diablo. Hike east and southeast on the Diablo Regional Trail, through Morgan Territory and onto the Los Vaqueros Watershed via the Black Hills Trail. Once through Los Vaqueros, skirt Brushy Peak via a route over the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District's trails, descending to Brushy Peak Regional Preserve. Currently, this is as far as one can go.

But from Brushy Peak, why not head south past the beautiful vernal pool known as Frick Lake, taking a trail on the east side of the seasonal pond and birdwatcher's paradise south across what is now private land? Build a trail east once at Altamont Creek, which would cross over just west of Altamont Pass. With permission from the windfarms, walk the spine of the ridge, all above 1,000 feet, with views alternating between the Valley and far - distant Sierra Crest, and the Livermore Valley and Bay. Continue along the spine of this ridge, with spur trails to the various peaks and high points along the way. Eventually you'll get to Carnegie, and be able to set up camp here and rest before trekking back. The Diablos don't end here, of course. The most rugged sections are still farther south, just north of Del Puerto Canyon. You'd cross the highpoints of San Joquin and Stanislaus Counties, currently locked up in the huge ranchland expanses.

This is what I do when my chair's being rebuilt and I can't get out. I dream. Can this happen? Yes. In fact, send an e - mail to your local state and regional representatives if you think this is a grand idea. I do, and will continue to push for its creation.

Let me know if you're on board with a plan like this. Trails don't get built when good people sit idly by and do nothing, so the old quote tells us.   

2007-12-16 06:52:42 GMT
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