Tarantula Hike: Ghosts and goblins may not raise the hair on your neck, but there are still some hairy surprises our there—and the devil’s in the details! Mount Diablo sees plenty of creepy-crawlies in fall, when male tarantulas leave their burrows in search of mates.
The best place to see them is a hike the northern slopes of Mount Diablo, accessible via the Mitchell Canyon Staging Area. From the visitor center, hike the main fire road before ascending the Black Point Trail, which weaves out of the canyon towards its namesake highpoint.
Watch your step as male tarantulas scurry across the red clay in a frantic effort to burrow in with a female (penny-sized holes are giveaways).
Creatures of the Night Campfire: When John Muir wasn’t exploring Yosemite, he could be found hiking near his home in the East Bay, at Mount Wanda. The preserve, named after his daughter, is ideal for fall hiking, with large oak trees and benches at viewpoints.
Muir’s nearby Victorian mansion—now a national historic site—is free to visit and sits on nine acres with orchards. Check out the events calendar for programs like the no-cost Creatures of the Night Campfire at the end of the month (October 26). This ranger-led evening will include songs and stories for learning about nocturnal creatures. There’ll also be marshmallows and sticks provided (bring your own graham crackers and chocolates if you want to get fancy with s’mores).
Burgers & Beers: Do all trails lead to beers? It’s possible! Explore historic sites on a self-guided Concord Historic Walking Tour and see some of the finest architecture and iconic properties in the area, including the original County Fire House and Todos Santos Plaza, home to some tasty alehouses that are part of Concord’s new Concord Beer Trail.
This weekend Todos Santos is turning into a mini-Munich with an authentic German Oktoberfest.