Last year at this time, we were all sheltering in place, leaving home only for essential activities like grocery shopping and spending time in nature. All roads in Mount Diablo State Park were closed to vehicles, but visitors were still allowed to enter—just not by vehicle. That left open foot travel and bicycling.
On March 27, 2020, my family reached Long Ridge, which is within a serpentine-soil swath of the state park, through a trip that started by vehicle. We then pulled out our bicycles, donned helmets, and pedaled south on North Gate Road 1.75 miles past the entrance gate to where Burma Trail crosses the road, which also is where Long Ridge crosses it. We stashed the bikes, walked northeast and up on Burma Trail until we had good access to Long Ridge, and then looked at flowers to our hearts’ content. No need to wait for another lockdown; you can do this bike-and-hike to wildflowers any time.
Mount Diablo State Park: Check for current access conditions
Mount Diablo Interpretive Association: For general information on geology and other natural history topics, and especially for a current wildflower list.
Here are just some of the plants we saw on the Long Ridge serpentine.
—Sally de Becker, President, CNPS East Bay Chapter