Road closures at Mt. Diablo State Park keep out visitors eager to see snow

Walnut Creek saw steady rain that was heavy at times Friday night. And it was cold. Despite the weather conditions, the lure of a winter wonderland was irresistible as people drove to Mt. Diablo State Park only to find the roads closed due to hazardous conditions.

"I just wanted to show my son the first snowfall in the Bay Area since I was a child, so he could tell my grandchildren about it," said Rin Tindal who came here with her 14-year-old son Orson Tavistoch-Tindal after driving an hour and a half from Alameda. 

But they were among the steady stream of people arriving in their vehicles hoping to make their way into the park.

"I've always gone up to Tahoe -seen snow there.  It doesn't happen often. It's really beautiful," said Orson.

Park officials said 6 inches to a foot of snow overnight made the park a sight to behold, but created conditions unsafe for vehicle traffic.

"We're dealing with drought-striken trees that are just getting dumped on by heavy snow that aren't used to holding up that kind of weight that can fall on a car if they're driving through the road.  We need to make sure we're accessing those kinds of hazards before we open up to the public," said State Park Peace Officer Tristan McHenry.  

Park officials said they'll be monitoring the weather to determine when they can reopen the roads.  
"We're working around the clock to get the roads cleared. When I was driving around the roads today, they looked pretty good.
But Summit Road, there's still a lot of work to do. That's going to take a little bit more time," said McHenry.  

In Concord, outside a homeless shelter and a warming center, a KTVU crew caught up with a woman who said she's grateful to have a place to sleep inside. But she said she's concerned for others who are dealing with the elements.

MORE: Bay Area snow photos: rare winter storm transforms California landscape

"It's cold. It's dangerous," said Carolyn Lorraine Escalera, who's staying at a homeless shelter,"I think there should be more places to open up to help.
This is a good place, but there's a lot of homeless out there.  They should open up and get them off the streets."

Back at Mt. Diablo State Park, there was disappointment at not being able to see the snow up close but perhaps sometime this weekend. 
Orson said he wishes to "Be up there, maybe make a snow man, Throw lots of snowballs. 

Officer McHenry said every effort is being made to reopen the park sometime this weekend if the weather cooperates. 
He's advising people to check Mt Diablo State Park's Facebook page or call the park for the latest information.
For the North Gate, call 925-937-5537.  The number for the South Gate is 925-837-0904.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU