There is nothing like taking a hike under the glow of a full moon. Depending on the time of year, you can marvel at the moonlight reflecting off the snow, or enjoy searching for playful shadows that the moon casts off tree branches. Check your calendar, find your destination and get ready to howl!
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon, in southern Utah, is beautiful and breathtaking during the day, known for its colorful and twisted rocks called Hoodoos. During the night, under a full moon, it takes on a whole new spooky and thrilling life of its own! Every full moon, the park offers one- to two-mile, ranger-guided moonlit hikes into the canyon. Each hike is a unique experience providing insight into the canyon’s geology, animals or constellation stories. Snowshoe hikes are available during the winter months.
White Sands National Monument
If you’ve ever wondered what the dunes would look like under the glow of a full moon, then this hike is for you! The dunes of the White Sands National Monument, in New Mexico, will offer you a firsthand look. These unique dunes are thousands of years old and made from gypsum, which rarely is found in sand.
Beverly Hills Coldwater Canyon Park
The fine folks at TreePeople offer an exciting view of the park, after dark. They call these Moonlight Hikes. The trees and the trails take on a new experience in the moonlight. Take in the peace and tranquility as you listen for the hoots of the owls. Enjoy the beauty of the canyon as you stroll the trails under the moonlit sky.
Tucson offers an exciting 3-hour moonlit, guided hike of the desert landscape, which covers about 2 miles. Your tour guides will provide UV black lights. If you’re wondering why the black lights, it’s because scorpions, which are native to the area, will glow in the dark once the lights are shined on them. They won’t be able to hide from you or your guide! Once the sun starts to set, you’ll experience the desert scenes and colors as never before.
Makapu’u Point Lighthouse
Ok, so you don’t automatically think of moonlit hikes when you think of Hawaii, but you should! Makapu’u Point Lighthouse on the beautiful island of Oahu is the perfect spot! As you hike the moderate 2-mile trail, you will marvel at the beauty of the coastline. When the sun starts to set you will see the moon start to rise and glow through the clouds. There is nothing quite as peaceful as the glow of the moon on the ocean waves. Aloha!
Hiking Lake Tahoe during the day is enjoyable, but experiencing the hike at night is a different adventure! The Tahoe rim trail takes on a new light under the glow of a full moon. Let go of all your stress as you gaze out at the beautiful moon, shining its beam over the tranquil lake’s surface.
Las Vegas isn’t only for gamblers! Once you stray away from the bright lights of the casinos, you will find a myriad of hills to climb and trails to explore. The full moon offers a host of eerie shadows cast across the desert backdrop. A moonlit hike in the hills of Las Vegas offers even the most experienced hiker a thrilling experience.
In the summer, you may want to explore the Full Moon’s Toad Chorus hike in Scottsdale, Arizona. Summer is the best time of the year to witness the incredibly loud “singing” of the desert toads at night. You will get close enough to be able to pick out the different frog species by ear. One toad actually sounds like a calf bawling. It is a truly unique experience!
For those of you who enjoy a good hike but want a new way to experience it, a moonlit hike may be just the answer. Each new terrain brings a new view as the glow of the moon washes over it. Your senses awaken from the darkness and every sound takes on a new meaning. From the eerie shadows cast from tree branches, to the peaceful glow on a lake, you will howl from delight!
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