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Falling Waters

Especially during the winter wet season or on the heels of a decent rain, the hike along the Donner Creek Trail ranks among the best in Mount Diablo State Park. That's because the namesake stream makes a series of cascading plunges as it drains Meridian Ridge, North Peak, and the other highlands in the park's north.

Keep in mind this 5.5-mile trail, accessed off Regency Drive, can be muddy and slick during the same seasons or weather patterns that make Donner Creek run vigorously. If your visit to Mount Diablo State Park doesn't coincide with much streamflow, the trail's still worth it for the canyon views and plantlife, which ranges from riparian thickets and oak scrub to dense chaparral.

Open in Google Maps: Donner Creek Trailhead, Clayton

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