Best of L.A. -- Sports and Recreation
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Sports & Recreation

Best Bug-Watching Stroll Los Angeles 2013 

Tarantula Trail

Tarantulas slip from their earthen burrows at night, when the black males and brown females dine. You may be able to spot one at dusk, on a five-minute walk off Dirt Mulholland in Woodland Hills on the undeveloped West Mulholland Trailhead path some call Tarantula Trail. The path takes you through a meadow crisscrossed by alien-looking trails too narrow for humans to have caused (a tiny, fallen antler explains the witchy patterns), as dragonflies dive-bomb around. The chest-high, fragrant wild herbs that march up to the trail's edge are home to a buzzing ecosystem of bees. The main spider action, if any, is a few steps after a sudden left curve up a small hill, where the spiders have drilled condos into a low, brushy bank on the path. Somebody's home if there's light silk over a hole. Don't be like that idiot in Arachnophobia, who reached inside the lamp while everyone in the audience screamed Noooo! Tarantulas have venom. It's largely nontoxic to people, but it can't be pleasant. West Mulholland Trailhead, west end of Dirt Mulholland, roughly a block west of Canoga Avenue, Woodland Hills. —Jill Stewart

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