Rock City, Mount Diablo State Park, Danville



Great sculpted sandstone rocks to climb and conquer.  A short walk (less than a mile) from Live Oak Campground got us to a trail that gave us a view of three sculpted rocks: Wind Caves, Big Rock and Sentinel Rock.

Rocky Trail, Rock City, Mount Diablo, Danville, CA

Rocky Trail, Rock City, Mount Diablo State Park, CA


Wind Caves had nest-like holes sculpted into the giant rocks. My kids excitedly raced to nestle into them. Unfortunately, graffiti artists have left their mark on parts of it, but it was still beautiful in its own right.

Holes sculpted into the rocks of Wind Caves, Rock City

Holes sculpted into the rocks of Wind Caves, Rock City, Mt Diablo State Park, CA


Sentinel Rock had safety cables to help "climbers" have a safe climb. Dubbed mini-Half-Dome, my kids were excited to conquer it, since the real Half Dome is a little too much for them right now.

Mini-Half-Dome Climb
Mini-Half-Dome Climb

Mini-Half-Dome Climb

Mini-Half-Dome Climb, Rock City, Mt Diablo State Park, California


Be on the lookout for poison oak and rattlesnakes. We have come across rattlesnakes on hikes closeby, though not on the Wind Caves trail itself. Watch where you place hands and feet. Most of the trail is on rocks which are covered in a thin layer of sand, making it a little slippery. Keep kids closeby as there are steep drops. Best to do this hike in the morning. Pick up a free Visitors' guide with map of Rock City at the Entrance Gate to avoid missing any rock features

Rocks at Rock City, Mt Diablo State Park, CA

One of many rocks at Rock City, Mt Diablo State Park, California


Once you have thoroughly enjoyed Rock City, head up to Mount Diablo’s summit for a view of the surrounding area.


Practical Information (as of July 2016):

Hike Distance: About a mile for the 3 rock structures, more if you explore nearby trails, not much elevation changes but lots of ups and downs on rock trail, some steep drops, mostly unshaded

Features: Different shaped sandstone rocks- Windcaves (holes sculpted into sandstone rock), Sentinel Rock (large rock with safety cables to climb to the top with), Big Rock and a few others.

Fee: $10 entrance fee

Directions: Head to Mount Diablo's South Gate Entrance (via I-680, exit Diablo Rd) and follow signs to Rock City. Rock City is across from Live Oak Campground

Other info: Bring hats, sunscreen and water, keep kids closeby, watch where you place hands

Website: Mount Diablo State Park


Warning:  All listed adventures come with inherent risks. The information provided is based on personal experience which may or may not be typical. The safety of these adventures are dependent on a variety of factors including but not limited to: terrain, weather, wildlife, hiker skill level, human error, preparation and other foreseen and unforeseen circumstances. We do not assume any liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information provided.  As such, we will not be held responsible for any harm, injury, and/or loss that may result. Your personal preparation and judgement on the safety of each adventure is required at all times. Please use your own discretion and always be safe.

Current rating: 5


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