What’s in a name? Like many other isolated peaks, Mount Diablo is steeped in lore — much of it involving the mountain’s name.
The reference to “diablo” or devil can be traced back to 1805, when Spanish military troops searched for Indians that had runaway from a mission. At a willow thicket near present-day Buchanan Field in Concord, the soldiers encountered a camp of Chupcan people and surrounded it. During that night, the Indians escaped unseen and unheard.
Angry and confused, the Spanish called the site, “Monte del Diablo”, or “Thicket of the Devil”. Later, English-speaking newcomers mistakenly assumed the word “monte” meant “mountain” and applied the title to the prominent nearby peak. A linguistic accident thus gave California its Devil Mountain.