Thanks to Ilya Ktsn for taking a beautiful photo. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ilya_ktsn/albums/72157622709709653

Group Trip Idea: Mount Diablo

Destinations

By Kayla Bernardino

Group Trip Idea: Mount Diablo

A great way to travel more is to get involved with group travel meetups. Group travel is great because you get a reason to go to a new place when a group of other people are setting out for the same thing. You will get the push to finally head out to your destination when there is a meetup coordinated for you. Here’s a great place that inspires group trip ideas for an affordable way to get outdoors and experience more.

When searching for a view to absorb the whole of the land you are visiting, you may think more height is the key to success. That is why it’s so great to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, get to the rooftop patio of the Rio in Las Vegas, or even to try out the Ferris Wheel of a festival. You want a chance to see everything from a bird’s eye view to be able to absorb your surroundings with a better perspective. Hikes are a great way to get fresh air, exercise, and that height we were talking about, but you don’t have to get to Mount Everest for the best view in the world. Mount Diablo is not exactly an exquisitely tall mountain, but with all the low, rolling hills and flat valleys surrounding it, the peak of Mount Diablo gives a wonderful view. The humble height of the mountain doesn’t stop many people from claiming the peak to have one of the largest viewsheds in the world. It is located in Contra Costa County of the eastern San Francisco Bay area in Northern California. When people think about visiting San Francisco, people tend to think about The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Warf, or Union Square. All great things to see, but here at WeTravel we’d like to remind travelers to appreciate what the land can offer to your sight-seeing cravings. Kayla Bernardino had some great pictures of her Mount Diablo experience when her group travel plans fizzled to a duo hike.

An Unplanned Adventure

Last month, my friend Chris and I decided to go explore Mount Diablo State Park in Clayton, California. This was after a month of having others flake on the adventure. Originally, we wanted to organize a group trip but decided to stop waiting around and just do it ourselves.

Fortunately, travel is so convenient with BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). Being the dunces that we are though, Chris and I accidentally took the wrong transfer towards San Francisco. I guess that’s what happens when you’re in auto-pilot. Correcting that debacle pushed our start time a little later, especially because we still had to take an Uber to the park itself. I think we only arrived at 12:45 or 1 pm, but better late than never!

Mt. Diablo Hike Trail Kayla Bernardino

Upon arrival, we grabbed a map and trekked up the mountain. Between dodging the horde of tarantulas (just kidding, there were actually only 2) and trying to find the perfect hiking cane, time passed by fairly quickly. Soon, we were at a good lookout point, where we had our lunch of PB&J sandwiches and granola bars. After that, we decided we might as well keep going, with our next goal labeled ‘Summit’ on the map.

Basically winging it, we headed in the general direction of what we thought was the summit. We pushed past some shrubs and winded up and down the trail. It honestly seemed like the trail never ended, since the distance between us and the summit seemed to stay the same the entire time. Eventually though (about 5 or 6 hours into this adventure), we reached the top!

And look at that view…

Mount Diablo View Silhouette. Kayla Bernardino

At the top, Chris and I realized that it was getting late in the day, and we needed to descend. The nearest sign read “6 miles,” which we thought was no big deal. It was downhill after all.

We ended up taking longer than expected to make it back down to civilization. Still, being in the park that late was worth it. The sunset was incredible, and the somewhat creepiness of nature-in-the-dark is always fun. Occasionally, we heard running in the grasses next to us, but luckily, it was just the local deer. At one point, Chris and I thought we saw a woman standing on the side of the road, but that was just our imagination getting to us.

All in all, I highly recommend taking a trip out to Mt. Diablo. I’m definitely heading back in the spring to see the waterfall and small creeks. Who wants to join me?

Mount Diablo Sunset. Kayla Bernardino

It was too bad Kayla didn’t get a chance to grab more people on her hike, but she still had a great adventure. If you want an easy way to find a local group to get outdoors with, meetup.com is a wonderful resource. Here is a picture of one of the meetups that went to Mount Diablo last year. 

Group Meetup in Mount Diablo, CA. Source

Meetup is a wonderful way to help the environment by carpooling, and using each other’s resources to reduce waste. This Berkeley group meetup seems to fill up fast because their next 4 meetups are either full or waitlisted. It’s certainly an example that the growing trend is group travel. We love that this group aims to get more people outdoors, making friends, and incorporating codependent living. 

The featured image is credited to Ilya Katsnelson who has other exciting photos on Flickr.

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Kayla Bernardino

Article by Kayla Bernardino

Kayla is a recent grad at UC Berkeley who loves traveling to new places and meeting new people. Her favorite country so far is South Africa, and her next goal is to make it to Easter Island!