The upper end of the Dimond Canyon trail system is on Monterey Boulevard, near the entrance to the city-owned Montclair Golf Course. A handful of parked cars and a concrete municipal garbage can are your most-noticeable visual markers, but there is also a small, WPA-style wooden sign confirming that you are entering the Sausal Creek watershed.
After a short drop down to the creek, which you cross on a concrete footbridge, you go up a series of switchbacks to the Bridgeview Trail, a narrow dirt path that hugs the shoulder of the canyon and curves among young sequoias and moss-covered laurels. Although the trail is scenic, the sound of traffic behind you on Highway 13 and the occasional “ping” of an iron hitting a golf ball below will remind you of your urban setting.
Like the Montclair Railroad Grade, this is a popular spot for dog-walking. Although city ordinances require dogs to be leashed in parks, none of the eight well-behaved dogs observed on this walk were. One family was also making use of a group of cool, but probably-unsanctioned rope swings hanging from a grove of unusually sturdy laurels.
About a half-mile from the trailhead, you reach a trail crossing. According to a trail map by the Friends of Sausal Creek, the switchbacks down to the creek will let you link up to the Old Canon Trail on the other side of the canyon, with a spur leading up to Park Boulevard. Bridgeview Trail continues about another half-mile, ending at Bridgeview Drive.
Getting there: Monterey Boulevard runs between Park Boulevard and Joaquin Miller Boulevard, just west of Highway 13.
Cool stuff nearby: Besides the Montclair Golf Course, there is an old-fashioned neighborhood shopping area called Woodminster Village across Highway 13 from the intersection of Monterey and Joaquin Miller. It’s too old-fashioned to have a Starbucks, but there is a pizza parlor and a small market.
More information: Best trail map is from Friends of Sausal Creek.