Rough Hike To A Nice Little Peak
Mount Olympia is a lesser peak of 2946' just below and north of North Peak (3557') and Mount Diablo (3849') in Mount Diablo State Park. There are multiple trail heads that are within striking distance of Mount Olympia including Mitchell Canyon, Regency Drive and the parking lot at Mount Diablo's summit. This hike begins at the small trail head a little over a mile east of Rodie's Feed and Pet Supply.
This hike starts on Three Springs Road which is paved, but behind the gate on Marsh Springs. There are trail signs here, but they didn't always agree with what my map shows. The paved trail winds around a small ridge, and leisurely climbs a few hundred feet to about the 3/4 mile mark where the pavement heads steeply down to a residence with a spur heading off to the right. The vegetation changes to oak woodland as soon as the trail starts going up, and there are several scenic meadows. Go right on what the sign refers to as the Olympia Trail, but my map refers to as Wise Road as it winds through the oak forest to where it seemingly ends after a hairpin turn at a junction to the road to another private residence.
There is a sign here that indicates the Olympia Trail heads left through thick vegetation, and it looks like there isn't really a trail. Plow through the brush and the trail immediately opens up, but it doesn't stay open for long. The Olympia Trail continues up through a tangle of foliage including copious amounts of poison oak to its junction with the East Trail about 0.4 mile from the junction. Take the East Trail as it heads onward and upward through an increasingly open area. Luckily the poison oak was green and I didn't get hit even though I was wearing shorts, but anyone who reads this and does this trail in shorts is a fool. You will ascend about 1,600' of over the 1.6 miles from Wise Road to the summit of Mount Olympia as the trail deteriorates into loose rock, gets steeper, mellows out, then finally reaches a final stretch that seems easier than it should.
The view from the top is superb, and you are likely to encounter other hiking souls. Return the way you came if you want to test your ability to avoid poison oak again or head down and north on the Olympia Road to its junction with the East Trail that you've already visited before. Be careful to follow the signs to stay on Olympia Road as it switchbacks down the mountain to its junction with the Olympia Trail. The trail heads back to the junction with the East Trail, and is a good way to add a little variety to this hike.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.