Juniper Campground is one of three tent campgrounds in California’s Mount Diablo State Park, and is the closest to the peak of the mountain. Mount Diablo is the highest peak in the San Francisco Bay Area and provides arguably one of the most unique views in the country with full 360-degree views of the bay area and California’s Central Valley. In addition to the views at the peak, you will find a visitors center and a picnic area. Mount Diablo State Park also offers access to miles of hiking trails. There are 28 campsites in Juniper Campground, half of which are situated in a grove of juniper trees and the other half is situated in chaparral scrub at the edge of the valley below. Each campsite at Juniper Campground includes a fire ring, picnic table, food locker, and access to bathrooms. Please note that during drought conditions like we are currently experiencing, running water to the bathrooms will be shut off.
Juniper Campground – Bottom Line
Juniper Campground is actually a really great campground, and was a pleasant surprise to find nestled in the east bay. The campsites on the west side of the campground, that are not under the cover of Juniper trees have spectacular views and are really great for watching sunsets. Even if you do not get one of the western-facing campsites there is a great clearing that seems like it sits on a cliff, with one of those spectacular views, that is great for dragging your camping chairs over to for sunset watching.
One of our big gripes about Juniper Campground, and all of the campgrounds in Mount Diablo State Park in general, is that it is a dry campground. One of our favorite things about camping is huddling up around the campfire with family and friends with a few beers, or a glass of wine from a box, laughing and sharing life stories and or lessons. However, this is not possible here due to the no booze policy. That said, it is not clear to me how the rangers at the park would actively enforce this, should you try and setup your own campground speakeasy. Just be smart and don’t be obvious, put it in a red solo cup or something.
Take some time and hike Mount Diablo from top to bottom, it is a strenuous and difficult hike, but it is worth it. At the bottom, near the Live Oak Campground you find some great rock formations that worth checking out near the end of the hike to the bottom. If you decide to go in the dead of winter, you may also be able to get a light dusting of snow. Also, take some time to appreciate the views along the way, as they are amazing.
The best campsites at Juniper Campground are on the west side of the campground (as we mentioned above), but the absolute best campsites are 11, 13, 15, 16, & 17.
The bottom line on Juniper Campground is go, but bring some red solo cups, be on good behavior, it is worth the trip.
Juniper Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||38 campsites|
|Drinking Water:||Yes – But is disabled during periods of drought|
|Toilets:||Yes – Replaced with port-a-potties during drought|
|Showers:||Yes – Disabled during periods of drought|
|RV/Trailer Length:||24 Feet|
|Cell Phone Service:||Yes|
|Operating Season:||Campground open year-round|
|Geo Coordinates:||37.878479, -121.933784|
|Nearest City/Town:||Danville, California|
|Location:||Contra Costa County, California|
|Paved Road Access:||Yes|
|Proximity to Stores:||Danville, CA is about 10 miles away|
|Directions:||From the Interstate 680 in Danville, CA, take the exit for Diablo Road. Drive about 3 miles to Mount Diablo Scenic Boulevard and turn left. Drive for about 3.5 miles to the park entrance, and continue up the road to the campground near the summit.|
|Web:||Mount Diablo State Park Website||Twitter:|
|Reservations:||Online Campsite Reservations|
When To Go
What To Do
Hiking – Mount Diablo State Park has miles of hiking trails, all of which are scenic and worth the effort.
Visitors Center – The visitors center at the peak of the mountain features an interpretive center and 360 views of the surrounding landscape.