The historic beacon atop Mount Diablo in Mount Diablo State Park once again illuminates brightly in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Through the cooperative efforts of California State Parks and Save Mount Diablo, the beacon will continue to shine from sunset until sunrise each Sunday until the crisis is over.
In the words of Diablo Range District Superintendent Eduardo Guaracha, “As we look up in the sky, let this beacon remind us we are not alone. Our thoughts and support are with the heroes, healthcare and emergency workers and all those affected by this worldwide pandemic. Let the light give us hope for a better future and remind us to keep our heads and spirits up.”
Mount Diablo is known for its spectacular views. At 3,849-feet high, it is not among the country’s (or even Northern California’s) highest peaks, but the lack of anything taller nearby allows a 360-degree view that extends 100 miles in all directions and to some mountain peaks almost 200 miles away.
The benefit of being a place with an amazing view is that you can look back from all those points and see Mount Diablo. This visibility is why the beacon was originally placed here in 1928 to guide early air travel. During World War II, it was turned off and stayed dark as part of the community effort to protect the country from attack. It first shone again in 1964 on Pearl Harbor Day to honor war veterans. That tradition continues as an important annual reminder of the sacrifices made by so many.
The current Sunday lighting of the beacon at Mount Diablo State Park will be temporary, but the hope is that for the many people staying home who are within sight of its blinking eye, this bright light will represent togetherness, thanks and hope.