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Mt. Diablo State Park, Clayton, CA.........Here's a little bit of what www.parks.ca.gov had to say about Mt. Diablo State Park...There's some interesting inf. here! "From the Golden Gate to the Farallon Islands, from the High Sierra to the Central Valley�this is the sweeping panorama you can savor from atop Mt. Diablo. Geographers claim that hikers can see more of the earth�s surface from the top of Mt. Diablo than from any other peak in the world with only one exception: Africa�s legendary 19,340-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro.........The far-reaching panorama from Mt. Diablo is all the more impressive considering the mountain�s relatively short (elevation 3,849 feet) height. Two reasons for the grand views: (1) the mountain rises solo very abruptly from its surroundings, and (2) the land surrounding the mountain�the San Franciso Bay and Central Valley�is nearly ﬂat.........Geologically speaking, the mountain is a bit odd in that the hiker climbs over successively older and older rocks on the way to the summit; this is exactly the opposite of the usual progression. Much of Diablo�s sedimentary rock, which long ago formed an ancient sea bed, has been tilted, turned upside down and pushed up by a plug of hard red Franciscan rock.........
Even those hikers without any interest in geology will be impressed by the bizarre, wind-sculpted rock formations bordering a picnic area on the mountain called �Rock City.� The mountain�s rock show also includes the satanic-looking Devil�s Pulpit, located just below the summit.........Several colorful yarns describe how the mountain got its name. The most popular account supposedly arose from an 1806 expedition of Spanish soldiers from San Francisco Presidio who marched into the area to do battle with the local Indians. In the midst of the ﬁghting, a shaman clad in striking plumage appeared on the mountain. The Spaniards were convinced they saw El Diablo�The Devil�and quickly retreated.........In 1851, Mt. Diablo�s summit, long a landmark for California explorers, was established as the ofﬁcial base point for California land surveys. Even today, Mt. Diablo�s base line and meridian lines are used in legal descriptions of much California real estate.........Toll roads up the mountain were opened in the 1870s and a fancy hotel was built. In order to make their California holiday complete, tourists of the time just had to climb Mt. Diablo and take in the majestic view...........In 1931, the upper slopes of Mt. Diablo were preserved as a state park. In more recent years, the lower slopes were added to the park, thanks in a large measure to the efforts of Save Mt. Diablo, a local conservation organization........Today the park consists of some 19,000 acres of oak woodland, grassland and chaparral. Stands of knobcone and Coulter pine, as well as scattered digger pine, are found all over the mountain."
May 2nd, 2013
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