Monday, July 14, 2014

60 Hikes in 60 Miles in 60 Weeks: Week Forty-five
Black Diamond Mines
Nortonville Trail descending toward Rose Hill Cemetery at Black Diamond Mines

What it's like:
Black Diamond Mines, in northeastern Contra Costa County, is a former coal and sand mine. Today trails snake through grassland and chaparral, with fascinating rock formations and an informative underground (!) visitor center with loads of historical information. Check it out on this 3.5 mile hike.

Why now:
If you don't mind the heat, BDM is a great destination for summer hiking. Bring the kids for an educational adventure (who knew coal was mined in the East Bay?) and then post-hike pop off to adjacent Contra Loma Reservoir for a dip in the swim lagoon.

If you can't make it this week:
Black Diamond Mines is a wildflower delight in late winter and spring.

Insider tip:
A section of the main access road to the park (Somersville Road) is closed for repaving until mid-September. Follow posted detour or make a slight alteration to the driving directions on BAHiker and in the book: exit CA4 on Contra Loma, drive south on Contra Loma, turn right onto James Donlon, and then turn left onto Somersville Road into the park.

Black Diamond Mines is hike number 21 in 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: San Francisco (third edition)Read about this hike on BAHiker.

Alternate choice:
Coastal hikes are always a gamble in summer. Some days are warm and clear, while others are fogged in. While our local white pea soup does obscure views, it ensures cool comfortable hikes and keeps the trailside vegetation lush. See for yourself on this 5 mile loop up and down Marin Headland's Wolf Ridge.

Post your comments and experiences here or on the BAHiker Facebook page.


Albireo said...

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, Antioch, Calif., ***DOGS ARE ALLOWED*** at this awesome wilderness area. See photos

Jane Huber said...

Yes, dogs are allowed at BDM, as I state on BAHiker's BDM page.

Ben in SF said...

While hiking to update the hikes in Top Trails SF Bay a few years back, I worried about doing the "hot" inland hikes before the "heat" of "summer" but Black Diamond was just warm the day I went. Around that same time, I decided to bring 2 liters of water per person (i.e. me) on any good-sized hike, and life was wonderful; no need to make one liter last the whole distance. (Took me how many years to figure that out?).