Diablo Double Down

Fall colors, big views, and a chance to see tarantulas? Sounds like a howl of a good hike…

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Fall colors, big views, and a chance to see tarantulas? Sounds like a howl of a good hike for Halloween season! Mount Diablo State Park’s Sycamore Canyon loop trail is a 4-mile hike where you can relish the colors of fall using Knobcone Point, Blackhawk, and Sycamore Creek Roads from Curry Point. Stately oak branches slice fog into ghostly forms, and randy rogue male tarantulas are on the prowl in a last-ditch attempt to find a paramour before mating season ends. Set out among rolling meadows with sublime views of the Mount Diablo massif above Curry, and admire the distant snowy crest of the Sierra before heading down into the canyon. The highlight of the hike: burnt red, orange, and yellow leafy blankets warming the deep and narrow reaches of the canyon floor beneath skyscraping sycamores. To complete the loop, find the return connector trail about a quarter of a mile beyond the junction of Blackhawk and Sycamore Creek Roads. Peculiarly bubbling sulfurous streams mark the spot. Double, double, toil and trouble!

Park at the Curry Point parking lot just north of Rock City. Start hiking on the Knobcone Point Road for about 1 mile to Blackhawk Trail. Turn right and continue to Sycamore Creek Road. Turn right to Devils Slide Trail and turn right again. Begin the climb out of Sycamore Canyon and head back to Knobcone Point Road. Turn left back to the trailhead. Open 8:00 a.m. to sunset. $10 entry fee. No dogs.

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