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City Nature Challenge - Mt. Diablo's Mitchell Canyon

  • Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center 96 Mitchell Canyon Road Clayton, CA, 94517 United States (map)
Photo by steve-beatty, CC BY-NC.

Photo by steve-beatty, CC BY-NC.

From April 27th-30th, 60 cities around the world will have a friendly competition to see whose citizens can document their biodiversity best using iNaturalist - it's the 2018 City Nature Challenge, and we want to put the Bay Area on top!

On Saturday, April 28th, Join CCNH Naturalist and iNaturalist Outreach and Community Coordinator Tony Iwane for a hike into Mitchell Canyon on Mt. Diablo one of the Bay Area's true biodiversity hotspots. We'll be on the lookout for some organisms that are unique to Mt. Diablo, like the Mt. Diablo Fairy-Lantern (above), as well as others which are tough to find outside of Mt. Diablo, like the Two-tailed Swallowtail butterfly, California Whiptail lizard, and (fingers crossed) the endangered Alameda Whipsnake!

The plan is to meet at the Mitchell Canyon Visitors Center (there is a $6 cash or check only parking fee), do a quick introduction to each other and to iNaturalist, then head into the canyon. We'll go up into the chaparral and oak/pine woodlands of the Black Point trail to hit as many ecosystems as we can - a total of about 4.5-5 miles. This trail has some moderate inclines, so if you want to avoid those an alternative would be to continue on the Mitchell Canyon trail, which is fairly flat for a few miles.

Although there will be some nature interpretation, the main focus of this walk is on finding and photographing organisms for uploading to iNaturalist. If you're not familiar with iNaturalist, please start an account either on or by downloading the iOS or Android app before arriving to the walk. If you want to use a "real" camera instead of a smartphone, that's fine.

Mitchell Canyon in spring is one of the most glorious walks in the Bay Area, so come and check it out!

This event is free and open to anyone ages 14+. Participants must RSVP here prior to coming.