The Concord campus with Mt. Diablo in the background

100 Years of Mount Diablo

  • BY Elias Barboza
  • October 12, 2021

This year, the Bay Area’s Mount Diablo State Park celebrates its 100th birthday. To mark the occasion, a centennial celebration will be hosted at Cal State East Bay's Concord Campus.

The day will feature information and activities highlighting the park’s natural and cultural qualities. It will also bring awareness to the recreational and educational opportunities provided by the park. The all-ages festivities will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 16 at the Concord Campus. Free parking is available.

"Hosting the centennial celebration of Mount Diablo State Park highlights Cal State East Bay's close connection to the mountain itself, a relationship determined by the Concord Campus's unique geographic setting,” said Robert Phelps, director of the Concord Campus. “Our campus remains a vital meeting ground where the university community, and through events like these, the general public, can continue to enjoy the natural wonders of the region.”

Since becoming a park in 1921, Mount Diablo State Park has been protected as a natural area across its 20,000 acres. Located east of Walnut Creek, the park has drawn visitors for generations with its wide-ranging views from the summit, which extend over 100 miles in all directions on a clear day.

The park is a Bay Area destination for those interested in wildlife and wildflowers, experiencing high-summit views, hiking, camping, picnicking, running, cycling, climbing, horseback riding and stargazing. The park’s complex geology has created natural rock formations such as its “wind caves” at Rock City.

The mountain’s variety of habitats are home to over 600 species of plants and an array of wildlife ranging from butterflies, bats, birds, tarantulas, bobcats, lizards, snakes and deer and many more. For several thousand years, Native Americans were the caretakers of what is today’s park. Indigenous groups considered and treated the mountain as a sacred place and continue to do so today.

Activity booths during the event will showcase the wildlife and history of Mount Diablo State Park, along with ways to safely and responsibly enjoy it. Attendees will also have a chance to personally meet a variety of creatures that call the park home, such as bats, snakes, and local birds of prey. This event will offer only a small sample of things the public can discover at the park, said Mount Diablo State Park Interpreter Sharon Peterson.

“This is a unique opportunity for the park to really reach out and have the community join us in celebrating and discovering more about Mount Diablo,” said Peterson. “I hope attendees learn something new and gain an excitement of going to the park, to explore on their own or with a program from the park.”

The park’s Mounted Assistance Unit, a volunteer group who roams the trails on horseback to monitor the land and educate the public, will attend the event with their horses. A geology booth will teach everything about the park’s rocks and land, and explain why the oldest rock layers are on top of the mountain. Additionally, a local astronomy group will provide information about how astronomers view the sky from the mountain’s heights and provide telescopes to all attendees for daytime viewing.

“This event wouldn’t have been possible without Cal State East Bay,” said Peterson. “We’re very grateful and appreciate all the help they’ve provided for this important milestone.”

For more information and updates about the event, visit Mount Diablo State Park’s Facebook page.