Moonlight hike in Oracle Park

Moonrise over the Galiuros. Photo by Kaori Hashimoto.

Moonrise over the Galiuros. Photo by Kaori Hashimoto.

Lynda Green

On Sept. 11, hiking guide Michael Hovan led a group of trekkers on an evening trip to Oracle Park to witness the near-full moon rising over the Galiuro Mountains. Hovan, a recent addition to the Hiking Club’s stable of accomplished guides, has added several moonlit ventures as well as his popular dog-friendly hikes since his guiding debut in January of 2019.

The group parked at the American Avenue Trailhead entrance to the park and climbed the Mariposa Trail to the group campground parking area. Here, they paused before entering the Granite Overlook Loop, a prominent viewing area. Along the way, the moon rose amidst lacey clouds and caused many stops for photos in the lowering light of a perfect evening. The iconic Kannally Ranchhouse glowed in the valley against the sunlit backdrop of the Galiuro Range.

At the top, hikers dined on packed suppers and watched the remaining sunlight fade as the western sky glowed with the sinking sun. The remainder of the trek was accomplished in the dark, lit by hiker headlamps. Hikers poled their way down to the parking lot and then back down the Mariposa Trail to their starting point.

Each participant confirmed that these moonlight hikes are a great enhancement to the club’s collection of fine experiences of the natural world surrounding us in SaddleBrooke.