On a mission to find spring wildflowers? Seth Adams, director of land programs for Save Mount Diablo, suggests following the Mitchell Canyon Nature Trail to flora treasure.
For an easy hike, begin the trail at the south end of Mitchell Canyon Road near Clayton. The flat, wide, path along Mitchell Creek is lush with "huge, hanging grapevines, wildflowers, and water," says Adams. "It’s one of the East Bay’s very best wildflower spots, in terms of variety." The star of the show is Diablo’s prize endemic flower. Through June, you can spot the yellow Mount Diablo Globe Lily (above), which isn’t found anywhere else in the world.
When the trail goes from wide and gently rising to suddenly steep, you’ll reach switchbacks. Adventurous hikers will want to ascend to Eagle Peak for panoramic views, but casual strollers can head back, for a four-mile round trip.
Save Mount Diablo’s annual Four Days Diablo hike will be April 27–30, www.savemountdiablo.org .