Mount Diablo: Things That Go Bump in the Night Hike

Seek out tarantulas and other nocturnal squirmies during an adventure walk.

Mount Diablo

THAT CLASSIC HIKE: When is the optimal time of day for a walk in nature? Some might say dawn, when the world is still dewy and critters are waking up and stretching and yawning (in the particular way that critters do) and the crowds haven't yet amassed in various parks and on trails. Other would vote for late afternoon, after work, where the stresses of the day can be shaken off and discarded with every advancing step. But nighttime? It doesn't get too many votes, typically, on the hiking front. If you're out on a trail you're either trudging back to your tent or making your way to your car after a day out under the sky. But what of hiking after sundown just for hiking's sake? It happens, with the help of flashlights and our planet's lunar satellite, and it helps when there's a rather intriguing goal: Look for the denizens of the night. Nope, not vampires -- this isn't a Hollywood blockbuster -- but rather the tiny creatures that scurry and burrow and chitter and squawk when gloaming comes and the world cools for another twelve hours. You ready for a different walk? Then make for Mount Diablo on Saturday, Aug. 9 or Saturday, Aug. 23 for...

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT: Volunteers from the Mount Diablo Interpretative Association will set out from 6:30 to 9 p.m. that first Saturday and 6 to 9 p.m. on the second in search of "owls, bats, scorpions, tarantulas, poorwills, and other denizens of the dark." A flashlight, water, and layer-dressing is recommended, and the fee? Six bucks for your car. Call it an early welcome to that autumn atmosphere, a feeling which is very much about the velvety, wild texture of earlier evenings and all of the beasties that rule it. Need more nature but want to change up your morning or noontime hike? Things That Go Bump in the Night could be your peaceful, moonlit ticket. You'll want to reserve your spot, though, owl aficionados. Hoot.

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