Does Mount Diablo Have the Biggest View in the World?

Bay Curious


Okay so we set out to learn if Mount. Diablo is in fact numeral dose on the list of places on Earth where you can see the most land reporter Assault Asana takes a winding road to find out. The mystery of the view from Mount. Diablo is a romantic one steeped in local legend to find out. If it's true I drove to the source itself. Six hundred feet arrive at your destination from the base of the mountain. It takes me about an hour to get to the top. Well took so long. Mount Diablo sits on the eastern edge of the Bay area in Contra Costa County. But you can see. It's double peak pyramid from most spots around the bay at three thousand eight hundred forty nine feet. The mountains view is second to none. Well it's second to one. Maybe we'll find out so the view and you come up. Here is really amazing. How it compares. To Kilimanjaro is up for debate. But I'm kind of partial to the view here from Mount Diablo and I think most people would come pretty amazed by what the view looks like my tour guide today is Sharon Peterson. Mount Diablo state parks interpreter. Which she says means her job is to tell the story of the park. Sharon takes me to the summit's viewing deck. She says the clear day. You can see forty of California's fifty eight counties from here as little as one percent of some of those counties but still this is where we walk out into the wind. I she points West so you can see the Golden Gate Bridge today. You could see both towers with the naked eye and if I give you the binoculars you can probably for sure. She whips them out and there. It is the Golden Gate Bridge Sixty miles away two towers peaking over round top in the Berkeley Hills. That's really really cool. Then we turned north and you can see the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers forming the Delta South. It's a sweeping view of the Diablo range and livermore pleasanton and finally east or through the haze we catch a glimpse of the snow-speckled Sierra rising above the Central Valley over a hundred miles away. And I heard that you can also see Yosemite from here on a clear day you can and with binoculars you can see Sentinel Dome. There is a rumor that you can see half dumb but it's actually blocked by one of the land features in between seeing it for myself. The site is so magnificent so magical that feels like. I'm looking down at a watercolor. The only thing that compares is the view from a plane. Maybe it's possible. The Myth is true. It's absolutely not true. The Mount Diablo has the largest view in the world. Except for Mount Kilimanjaro. Seth Adams is the land conservation director at Save Mount Diablo and he spent a lot of time myth. Busting the Kilimanjaro claim. I never quite believed it. It just didn't have the ring of truth to me because it's a small mountain and common sense would tell you the taller. The mountain the bigger view but considering the myth has been repeated hundreds of times. He says it makes sense. People would believe it. Seth trace the infatuation with Diablo back to the eighteen fifties and sixties when scientists like Hosea Whitney first geologically surveyed the mountain. That's Jose Whitney of Mount Whitney the tallest mountain in the Sierra Nevada. Jose Whitney road. It is believed that there are few if any points on the earth's surface from which so extensive and area maybe seen as from Mount Diablo the whole area thus spread out can hardly be less than forty thousand square. Miles the legend snowballed from there repeated over and over for decades through the end of world. War Two a time when people really start experiencing parks and mountains. Recreationally and Mount. Diablo became a Goto tourist spot. The Kilimanjaro Claims Circulated and travel guides and hiking maps by railroad companies and Auto Associations Even Contra Costa County described it as quote the world's greatest view more territory visible than from any point in the world but as visitors flocked to Diablo for the views entrepreneur side. Chance to make a buck. More than half of Mount Diablo was locked up. Successively by two big real estate land speculators both of them printed brochures by the thousands that includes the claimed amount of having the largest boasting that claim was a smart business. Move for one developer. In nineteen seventeen he had a dream of building. Thousands of homes on Diablo's western flank and those amazing views helped push his agenda forward. Eventually the developer went bankrupt and the deal flopped. But it was too late. The brochures had done their work. Oh you can definitely credit the brochures for spreading the misinformation. But it's just too good acclaim the largest few in the world right and understand that California was a promoter's dream which brings us to another promoter the entrepreneur Walter p frick who hired a publicist to help him spread the rumor. The Mount Diablo had the greatest view on earth especially as he built an eight foot beacon tower known as the eye of Diablo but frick was working with engineers from the standard oil company and they were skeptical. Someone for the first time said come on biggest view in the entire world so after that the nineteen twenty eight standard oil bulletin added a footnote to their brochure except for a point in Africa. Clearly being Mount Kilimanjaro. From their the legend shifted from Mount Diablo having the largest few in the world to the second largest it went on like this until nineteen ninety four when it was officially debunked by an engineer slash mountaineer. Who did the math? His name was Edward Earl but he went by the nickname. Seven point three eight nine zero five six zero nine nine math joke. She said I don't believe this. And so what I'M GONNA do is. I'm going to find the problem. And I'm going to calculate view sheds for lots of other mountains and see how they compare view. Shed is the area visible from a specific vantage point including land or water. Now Remember Whitney speculated Diablo's view shed was about forty thousand square miles but according to earls calculations it's actually between thirteen and twenty one thousand. That might still sound like a lot but from other Taller Mountains. You can see more than three times as much and even for a total non mathematician like me. It kind of makes sense. Mount Kilimanjaro is five times the size of Mount Diablo so diop blow couldn't possibly have a comparable view shed even if it is an isolated peak.

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