Mt Olympia Trail

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.88200°N / 121.913°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking, Scrambling
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2
Sign the Climber's Log


To: Mt Olympia +2000 feet, 3 mile one-way
To: North Peak +2800 feet / -200 feet, 4 mile one-way
To: Main Peak +4200 feet / -500 feet, 6 mile one-way

Start from the Marsh Creek Road trailhead (elevation 900 feet, there is no sign that says Mount Diablo State Park but none that says "private property, no trespassing" either). Pass under the gated entrance, and follow a dirt road around a small hill on the right. Follow the road across a grassy saddle area, then into a pine woodland. You will see trail signs for "Mt Olympia trail". You can stay on the road or take the trail on the right side (more poison oak on the trail).

The trail will intersect the road again shortly. If you follow the road, take the right branch when you see the left branch going towards a private residence. The road then curves right through dense pines, reaching an open grassy area at the foot of the steep mountain on the left. Here the road starts to descend. Mt Olympia Trail starts right here on the left side.

Route Description

A relatively short and very steep trail (nearly 30 degrees sustained gradient) to North Peak, an isolated high peak just 2 miles from the tourist-beaten main peak of Mount Diablo. Distance to North Peak is 4 miles, with 2800 feet elevation gain. This is my favorite local hike. On average you will see just one other person on the whole trip; between Mt Olympia and North Peak you'll see likely not see anyone. The trail passes through a variety of vegetation types and features far-ranging views in several directions (except southwestern side which is blocked by the main peak).

Mt Olympia is a small peak at 2946 feet elevation to the northeast of North Peak. The trail first climbs this peak steeply in about 3 miles. Do not turn off on any trails which says "Mt Olympia Road", that is a different trail primarily used by equestrians. Mt Olympia Trail is a hiker-only trail, being too steep and too narrow. It starts out in a dense brush area, immediately climbs steeply up the hillside. In a while the trail traverses open grassy slopes of about 50 degrees angle with hundreds of feet drop-off on the side. If it were snow covered it would be expert ski terrain. You will pass by large rock outcrops with spectacular views (one looks like an ideal campsite) perched on the slopes. The chaparral vegetation is fairly sparse here. In spring the rocks are often covered with mosses.

You climb up a gentler ridge with marvelous open views, then immediately resume a steep climb. Soon you reach Mount Olympia's summit at 2946 feet. You might find an (unofficial) summit register there in a tupperware box. Continue on the trail, which descends to the west of the ridge, bringing wide-ranging views in the northwest direction. It crosses a steep-sided grassy saddle, then traverses on the right side of a wooded buttress below North Peak (North Peak's summit transmitters are visible here). After some steep traverses in a dense Juniper and Bay forest, you top out onto the fire road leading to North Peak. Turn left to North Peak or right for the main peak (you must descend from here to reach the main peak).

The fire road leading to North Peak is the steepest you'll find anywhere. It's about 35 degrees, and the hard-packed road surface makes for very poor footing without cleats! Walking down this 200 feet long slope is especially treacherous. Scrambling the other side of North Peak is really a better alternative.

The fire road to main peak descends about 500 feet to Prospector's Gap, then ascends 800 feet to the main peak in about 2 miles.

Essential Gear


Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Brett A - Mar 22, 2003 5:11 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Between Mt. Olympia and North Peak you can also take a class 3 cross country route. You basically follow the ridge from Mt. Olympia directly to the North Peak. There are several rock outcroppings to climb up. If you want you can go around the hard parts and make it difficult class 2. This is just a liitle more fun than the trail.

Matthew Holliman

Matthew Holliman - Apr 6, 2003 4:43 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I also did the North Peak to Olympia traverse by keeping directly to the ridge top. This is class 3, but it's incredibly loose in places, with few solid foot/handholds on some of the downclimbs; I don't recommend this route. The rock is much nicer over by the main summit.

Chris Doig

Chris Doig - Sep 7, 2004 3:44 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Bring lots of water! The sun beats down on you as early as 9am. You are exposed to it most of the way up.

Chris Doig

Chris Doig - Sep 7, 2004 4:04 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

To clear up the route info a little bit. Do not turn at any unmarked intersections. Once up on the mountain's flanks you will come to 2 well marked junctions, bear left at both of these. The first of the 2 is the junction of the Olympia trail (the one you are on) and the East trail. Go straight here to continue up, now on the East trail. If you go right on the Olympia trail you'll end up taking the road to the top. Hint, come down this way for a loop. About a mile past this first juncion you come to the intersection of the East trail (the one you are on) and the Zippe trail. Again stay to the left as a right takes you over to the road. According to the map the East trail has now turned into the Zippe trail, contiue up. This takes you to the top. The views along this last part are excellent.


deep6 - Jan 24, 2008 5:33 pm - Hasn't voted

Anybody Know If This is Mount Olympia?

hey guys: my buddy and i camped out last weekend on mt. diablo state park, sfbayarea and we hiked to the diablo summit and continued on to try to bag the following peaks: north peak and mt. olympia which was supposed to be nearby. i only had one of those basic 5 bux maps of the park that we were going off of so we were basically on our own at this point!...first off its kinda tricky to find the northpeak road or northpeak trail that leads to these peaks. according to the map its a straight shot to these peaks from the diablo summit/gift shop at the top but, after circling the diablo summit we couldn't find the start of the trail? by accident we ran into the park ranger and found out that the northpeak road/trail starts at the lower summit parking lot or across from the restrooms (on your left). anyways, we proceeded onto the trail where there were no trail markers to be seen passing by the big rock (devil's somthing i think it was called?) and onto the northpeak road/trail up the steepest part of the park to the top of the radio tower. from there we continued on and just going by what we could visually see as two peaks back to back but, not really sure if we were on the right trail to mt. olympia. after descending down a rock scramble from the northpeak we crossed over one peak and hiked up the next mountain which we claimed as mt. olympia as there were no markers indicating what mountain it was? (btw: i looked for the plastic tupperware box mentioned in someone's trip report but, it was no where to be found on the summit.) we saw one other peak that was considerably lower but decided not to go for it, since it was winter season and with the sun going down at that point we decided to head back to our campsite so we just shrugged our shoulders and called it a day...maybe next time we'll just try and hit all 4 summits...another day, another time. great views all around that day and a jewel of place right here in the bay! anyways, here's the link to a pic i took of the two peaks from the top the north peak radio tower: [url][/url] so if someone can confirm if one of them is indeed mt. olympia then my buddy and i could resolve our bet between us! i gave him crapz the whole way back for not whipping out his gps to confirm the height when we were on the summit...anyways....any info. or help would be much appreciated...thank you.


gordonye - Feb 5, 2008 4:57 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Anybody Know If This is Mount Olympia?

Hey Deep6, I think these two bumps in your picture are not Mt Olympia, they're part of the North Peak massif. Mt Olympia is much lower and farther from North Peak. Hope you win your bet!

gregable - Feb 2, 2014 3:12 pm - Hasn't voted


This trail description was getting a little old, but I wanted to try it anyway. There is now a small brown park sign on the gate that reads "Mt Diablo", but no clear indication that parking is allowed. I only made it up to Olympia, weather was closing in around North Peak, so I didn't push on. I wrote up some more info on my blog if it's helpful to anyone:

webenji - Jul 18, 2014 1:18 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Update

Climbed all three peaks on July 13, 2014. The information provided on gregable's blog was very useful, especially the map of the trails at the beginning of the hike. Here is the GPS data for those interested:

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