Golden Gate Photo - Mount Diablo State Park Gallery
Fine Art Photography from Mount Diablo State Park in California.


Mount Diablo is a geologic anomaly located approximately 30 miles east of San Francisco. The upper portion of the mountain consists of volcanic and sedimentary deposits of what once was one or more island arcs of the Pacific Plate dating back to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, between 190 and 90 million years ago. During this time, the Pacific Plate was subducting beneath the North American continent and these deposits were scraped off the top and accreted onto the North American Plate. This resulted in the highly distorted and fractured basalt and serpentine of the Mount Diablo Ophiolite and metasediments of the Franciscan Complex around the summit. East of the subduction zone, a basin was filling with sediment from the ancestral Sierra Nevada further to the east. Up to 60,000 feet (18,000 meters) of sandstone, mudstone, and limestone of the Great Valley Sequence were deposited from 150 to 66 million years ago. These deposits are now found faulted against the ophiolite and Franciscan deposits. Over the past 20 million years, continental deposits have been periodically laid down and subsequently jostled around by the newly-formed San Andreas Fault system, forming the Coast Ranges. Within the last 4 million years, local faulting has resulted in compression, folding, buckling, and erosion, bringing the various formations into their current juxtaposition. This faulting action is ongoing and will continue to change the shape of Mount Diablo, along with the rest of the Coast Ranges. Mount Diablo is also currently threatened by excessive development around its periphery. If you are interested in learning more about this and helping a good cause, see the Save Mount Diablo website.

Mount Diablo - February 2001

Mount Diablo - February 2001

Taken from Acalanes Ridge, about 10 miles west-northwest of the mountain, this image was a very fortunate catch. In this view, Mount Diablo is covered with as much snow as most locals have ever seen. As much as 26 inches accumulated near the top. This was taken at 5:42 PM when the sun finally came out for 5 minutes before setting. In the following days, the peak and/or the sun were obscured by clouds until warmer rain washed the snow away. This image received First Place by the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association in the 2002 "Mount Diablo in Focus II" contest and was on display the Summit Museum at the top of Mount Diablo from October 2002 through January 2003. It was also featured in the sunday Contra Costa Times on May 30, 2004 in the article "Diablo's Heavenly Allure."


Print No. A01-14-3

Hidden Poppy Field

Hidden Poppy Field

On the south side of the peak, north of Curry Canyon, this is a view of a poppy field from the canopy of an oak tree during the spring bloom. The poppy is the state flower of California.

Print No. A98-18-9

Delta View

Delta View

This is a south-looking perspective that is not publicly accessible. In the foreground are pastures and rolling hills of Solano County. Beyond are the ships of the "Mothball Fleet" lying in the Sacramento River. Across the water are the waterfront industries, followed by the city of Concord at the foot of Mount Diablo. This image graced the cover of the sunday Contra Costa Times on May 30, 2004, and was also featured in the article "Diablo's Heavenly Allure."

Print No. A99-18-5

Spider Lightning over Mount Diablo

Spider Lightning over Mount Diablo

In a rare Bay Area thunderstorm on September 24, 2001, the mountain is illuminated by spider lightning overhead. This was taken from Acalanes Ridge, looking east.

Print No. A01-52-8

More Images of the Storm of September 24, 2001

Cumulus and Snow-Capped Peaks

Cumulus and Snow-Capped Peaks

This is a view of a December storm in 1998. The summit of Mount Diablo, at an elevation of 3,849 feet (1,173 meters), will typically receive a dusting of snow in a normal winter. This image received First Place by the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association in the 2000 "Mount Diablo in Focus" contest and was on display from October 2000 to January 2001 in the Summit Museum at the top of Mount Diablo.

Print No. A98-53-3

Summit Museum

Summit Museum

This view was taken from the Fire Interpretation Trail. The rocks on this slope near the summit are graywacke(?) of the Franciscan Complex. The indistinct banding running up the hillside are parallel fractures, not bedding.

Print No. A98-15-6

Oak Crowned by Rare Double Solar Halo

Oak Crowned by Rare Double Solar Halo

Taken from the North Gate Road, this view to the west reveals a rare double halo. Haloes are formed by the reflections and refraction of sunlight in ice crystals within cirrus clouds in the stratosphere. The outer halo seen here is a common halo formed around the Sun at a radius of 22o. To the right and left of the Sun (blocked out behind the oak) you can see arcs of a rare halo at a radius of about 18o. The bright spots in each halo, seen here to the right and left of the Sun (especially the left side of the outer halo), are called sun dogs, mock suns, or in technical lingo, parhelia.

Print No. A99-19-8

More Images of Haloes

Mount Diablo Manzanita

Mount Diablo Manzanita

Taken from Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve on the north flank of Mount Diablo, these manzanitas are recognized by their smooth, brick red bark.

Print No. A99-1-7

Mount Diablo Hailstorm

Mount Diablo Hailstorm

Taken from Acalanes Ridge, this springtime storm dumped hail over the western slopes of the mountain. With the thunderhead looming over the peak, the sheets of hail, the bright vertical shafts at the base of the clouds, are visible in this view.

Print No. A98-21-1

More Images of Hailstorms

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