Mount Diablo: Post Morgan Fire-Tarantula Sightings

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

View the entire Google Web Album

Click here to see the tarantula

Mount Diablo State Park has re-opened since it was closed due to the devastating Morgan Fire which began on Sunday, 09/08/13. The fire was sparked by a person out target shooting, it started off of Marsh Creek Rd & Morgan Territory Rd, southeast of Clayton near the state park. It engulfed and charred more than 3100 acres of the state park before firefighting crews were able to contain it at 100% on Saturday, 09/14/13.

The north side of the mountain is unscathed by the fire.

You’re going to see the fire damage just above the junction, around a couple of curves along Summit Rd. The Muir picnic area was one of several areas that were heavily damaged, it’s located just below the summit on the south side of the mountain. Four picnic areas near the top of the mountain are closed until repairs can be made.

On the road up to the summit, you can see the track marks of the heavy bulldozers which were used to cut fire breaks. It can be a bit bumpy-just be thankful that you can still ride up to the summit!

Burn zone up to Juniper:

Burn zone from Juniper to Devil’s Elbow:

Burn zone from Devil’s Elbow to the summit:

We did see a few tarantulas out on the road-they amazingly survived the fire! They’re out there looking for love, give them space.

Right now, Cal Fire crews are accessing and doing restoration work to reduce the opportunities for erosion caused by future heavy rains. There are more trucks out on the road, so be patient and give the guys a big “thumbs up” for their tremendous efforts!

Despite the Morgan Fire, the inner beauty and glory of Mount Diablo survives. I believe It’s actually more beautiful than ever; it’s all a matter of perspective and what your eyes chooses to see. I like being able to see the contours of the mountain and the unobstructed views of the foothills and valleys below. The starkness of the black, brown and slightly yellow tinged trees, shrubs and brushes are the colors of Autumn!

“THANKS” to the 1372 Firefighters from all around the Bay Area and beyond for battling the blaze and putting their lives on the line to protect ours!

Come on out and support Mt Diablo-pick up a Diablo jersey at the summit or give a donation, all the proceeds go to the park!

Garmin Stats:
48 Miles with 4610′ of elevation gain (extra miles from riding from Martinez)
Max elevation: 3711′
Max grade: 18%
Terrain: Hilly

Weather: GREAT! Sunny, warm & breezy! Temps ranged from the low 60’s to the high 80’s. SW winds with 68% humidity

Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation in our lives.


Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:


  1. Nice. thanks Nancy! i love the tarantula, and your message about renewal at the bottom of the post was spot on. shame to see our hills go suddenly black, bare and ashen, but the knowledge that new growth will be abundant after a fire is always reassuring. cheers, Sherie

    Sherie, Mount Diablo is more beautiful than ever-can’t wait to see the wildflowers when Spring rolls around. Nancy


  2. Thanks Nancy, I may live on the coast of South Florida now but Mt. Diablo, the tarantula and the Griz will always have a place in my heart! Your Ride Chronicles help keep them visible as well! Liz Harvey

    Liz, You’re welcome! Come back to CA and visit us sometime! Nancy


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