Most Common Creature Encounters
The small and common creatures of Northern California can offer as enjoyable an encounter as the more rare, elusive animals. In the higher inland mountains, you'll find playful chipmunks, raucous Steller's jays and woodpeckers. In the lower coastal areas, you'll encounter scrub jays, squirrels and rattlesnakes. Throughout the region, you'll encounter lizards basking in the sun on open trails and deer in meadows and forests alike.
Less Common Creature Sightings
More elusive but ever present in Northern California are some of the larger animals. Coyotes are omnipresent in the wild lands and can be frequently be seen patrolling their territories or hunting rodents in grassy fields. Raccoons and skunks are not only seen in the wild lands but have also firmly made their way into neighborhoods to feast on our leftovers. In many areas wild turkey can be seen traveling in large family groups. The wily fox is a native resident that is not often seen but can be encountered most often in the early mornings or late evenings.
The Elusive Creatures
The larger predators of Northern California are the most elusive and least encountered on the trail. But if you are out there enough, you will see at least one or two of these creatures. The black bear lives in the inland forested and mountainous areas. If you give her a wide berth, she will do the same for you. Bobcats (pictured at the top) are very timid. You will usually get just a fleeting glance of one before she bounds away. The mountain lion is a majestic creature to encounter. A mountain lion can weigh upwards of 200 lbs. If you are so lucky to see one, keep your distance, stand upright and try to appear large. Most likely he will want to keep his distance from you anyway. An extremely rare, elusive creature to sight is the wolverine, which has been sighted in the Tahoe National Forest.