Ten million years before cars, people and houses inhabited east Contra Costa county, saber-tooth cats, camels and giant mastodons roamed the countryside. One hundred forty million years before swimming pools dotted the hills, shallow seas bathed the land. We know this because Mount Diablo's layered rocks tell the story of the various landscapes, climates and life forms that once existed there.
Travel back in time with the UC Museum of Paleontology's "Trek Through Time on Mount Diablo," a day-long hike up the picturesque peak Saturday, Sept. 28. Doug McConnell, host of KRON-TV's "Bay Area Backroads," will be the official Grand Trekker, leading participants up the hillside.
The trek is interspersed with opportunities to talk with experts about the natural history, geology, paleontology and plant and animal communities that existed on the mountain.
Hikes of two lengths are planned: a two-mile moderate walk that travels back 50 million years and a more strenuous four-mile hike that goes back 100 million years ago. Tired hikers will be refreshed by some of the grandest panoramas available in California. On a clear day the view extends from the Sierra crest to the sea-swept Farallon Islands beyond the Golden Gate.
A fee of $20 for general and $15 for students includes a trek T-shirt, park admission and shuttle service. Registration is required. For information, call 642-4877.