hill in front of the Golden Gate Bridge is 1763 ft. high Round Top Mountain, 15
½ miles from Mt. Diablo. That ridge line separates the Diablo Valley from the
San Francisco Bay area. To the right of the antenna tower on that ridge is 1905
ft. elevation Vollmer Hill, 17 miles from Mt. Diablo. On the right-hand side of
the photo Hwy 24 can be seen, running from Walnut Creek, 8 miles from Mt.
Diablo, through that ridge via the Caldecott tunnel.
into the picture above over to Mt. Tamalpais lookout
If you have the Google
Earth program on your computer, you can click on the following link to go to the
takeoff point for that flight: Mt.
Diablo to Mt. Tamalpais. You can then start your flight by using the Google Earth Navigation
control at the top right hand side of the Google Earth View page, as described
in the “flying peak to peak
section” on the “Pano Vistas” page instructions.
You can also continue your flight past the lookout to the Pt. Reyes
Lighthouse 61 miles away, along this same azimuth ( compass direction ).
begin your flight, place your cursor EXACTLY as indicated by the tip of the red
arrow in the inset to the right - precisely at the base of the fingers in the
hand symbol, and making sure that the light blue shaded area above the hand
symbol is pointing precisely vertical. Left click to begin your flight.
You will have to pause the flight motion occasionally by releasing the left
button on your mouse/keypad, to allow the incoming streaming data to refresh the
This panorama is taken from the
observation platform of the Mt. Diablo lookout building. It was taken on a day
when north winds had just started, allowing visibility of 100 miles northwest up
the Coastal Range; and east 100 miles into the Sierras. Visibility is only 30
miles to the southeast due to smoke, probably from agricultural burns in the
Central Valley. Visibility into the San Francisco Bay area is 40 to 50 miles.
This is a rotating panorama of the
vista around this lookout. It can be slow to load, but is worth waiting
for. Clicking on the panorama will stop its motion, and you can then click
and drag it manually at different speeds, depending upon where you place your
cursor adjacent to the edge of the panorama. If it does not appear, you
may see a message at the top of the page asking you to turn off your pop-up
blocker to allow it to appear. If you see a message in the panorama space
reading "out of memory", just click over to one of the other links on
this page and then back into this one, to make the panorama
Looking northwest over
the Sacramento river delta Benicia bridge, 16 miles away, into the southern end
of the world-renowned Napa Valley wine region, 30 miles distant. The farthest
mountains that can be seen on the horizon in the photo are 100 miles away in the
Old and new power 10-15 miles
to the north from Mt. Diablo. A fossil fuel electrical power plant in
Pittsburgh, Ca., on the south
side of the Sacramento river; and electricity-generating wind mills along Ca.
Hwy 12 between Fairfield and Rio Vista, on the north
side of the river tapping the offshore winds that sweep in from the Pacific
is the link that will take you to the point where you can pan around the Google
Earth view from the top of Mt. Diablo:
You can also then fly off towards a mountain you see labeled on the
horizon in the view above, or in similar views on this website.
As you do so, you will be able to read labels identifying what you are
seeing in the terrain you are traversing, if you have the correct Google Earth
Layers settings activated. Because this view is set at Mt. Diablo’s altitude,
you will have to zoom up before crashing into any taller mountains and crashing
the program. You will have to handpull ½ inch down into the view before using
the forward flight navigation control.
How to do all of this is explained in the “Pano
Vistas” page of this website.
There is also a computer generated diagrammatic profile of the
mountains that can be seen to the north of Mt. Diablo at this link:
It gives the distance in miles to
these landscape features, but a few of their geographic names are not those
commonly used on most U.S. maps.
Diablo’s central importance:
When fire lookouts in most of
California report the location of a wildfire, it has been traditional to report
its location co-ordinates in relationship to Mt. Diablo. Note the “Mt. Diablo
Meridian” north/south line on the far right hand side of the map below; and
the east/west “Mt. Diablo base line”, shown at the very bottom of the map.
From where these lines cross at
the “initial point” located in the center of the lookout observation tower
on Mt. Diablo, map makers divide the terrain in California and Nevada into the six
by six mile square “townships”, shown on the map below. These
townships squares are then numbered sequentially
north or south from the Mt. Diablo base line; and east or west from
the Mt. Diablo meridian line. These are further divided into one mile
square “sections”. Finally,
each square mile section can be divided into quarters, and those into quarters,
and so on.
So, if you were a fire lookout
person on Mt. Diablo who saw a smoke at “92” on the vista above, you would
aim your Osborne fire finder at it, and report that it was on Franklin Ridge,
West of Martinez, by giving the compass direction ( azimuth ) 299 degrees, and
the distance to it, 15 and ½ miles;
And that it is in the South east ¼ of the north west ¼ of section 26,
township 2 north, range 2 West. ( shown
as “92” on the map below ).
For a detailed description of how fire
lookouts use the Osborne fire finder to locate a wildfire, click on this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_Fire_Finder
. ( The lookout person looks
through the firefinder’s sights at the smoke, and estimates the map location
of the fire along the ruled tape across the circular map in the center of the
fire finder ).