This loop run visits several scenic overlooks and tops out on the summit of Eagle Peak. The return takes you through pretty Back Creek canyon.
From the Mitchell Canyon Staging Area, run south on Mitchell Canyon Fire Road
and then shortly after that, take Oak Road
to the left. After a quarter mile on Oak Road
, turn right onto the Mitchell Rock Trail
, heading uphill.
The Mitchell Rock Trail
climbs steeply to Mitchell Rock, an outcrop with excellent views of Mitchell Canyon. Beyond Mitchell Rock, keep climbing through grasslands and woodlands to Twin Peaks, which offers even more excellent views.
A little farther, the Mitchell Rock Trail
ends at the Eagle Peak Trail
and climbs through dense chaparral to the summit of Eagle Peak, about 1,800 feet above the start of the run. The summit of Eagle Peak is on an open ridge with good views of Mitchell Canyon and Mount Diablo.
Continue on the Eagle Peak Trail
, traversing toward Murchio Gap. At the gap, you'll find an intersection with several trails. Go left on Meridian Ridge Fire Road
and almost immediately take the Back Creek Trail
down into the chaparral.
The narrow Back Creek Trail
descends for two miles through chaparral back down to the Mount Diablo foothills. Where the trail ends at Bruce Lee Road
, turn left. Take Bruce Lee Road
for 0.2 miles, then turn left again onto the Coulter Pine Trail
The Coulter Pine Trail
traverses a scenic hillside, then ends at Oak Road
, where you can re-trace your steps back to the Mitchell Canyon staging area.