Sure, Scottsdale  boasts lots of sunshine and clear, blue skies, but it’s at night when the Sonoran Desert comes alive.
With the summer’s scorching daytime heat, most of the desert’s wildlife comes out to play at night. Catch coyotes, tarantulas, and owls prowling the rocky terrain by donning night-vision goggles with Desert Storm Hummer Tours . Guides take you far from the city lights for an in-depth look at this fascinating ecosystem. Be sure to hunt down scorpions with the professional-grade UV lights that cause the arachnids to glow.
Thanks to the Southwest’s minimal “light pollution,” Arizona’s skies twinkle with some of the best stargazing in the country. Venture with astronomers into the desert to survey the heavens with the aid of state-of-the-art telescopes and constellation charts. Sky Jewels (602/294-6775, www.gemland.com ) features one- and two-hour astronomy tours, with some Scottsdale resorts offering the course free of charge for guests, including The Four Seasons , which also equips its suites with telescopes.
Dance under the stars at Greasewood Flat , a former stagecoach stop that now houses an open-air bar, stage, and dance floor. Head into the 120-year-old bunkhouse to order a beer and burger, then plop down at one of the picnic tables next to the regular bikers, cowboys, and businesspeople. And even if you’re not the two-steppin’ kind, the live country-western music will keep your foot tappin’ late into the evening.
For design buffs, a twilight visit to Taliesin West  is a real thrill. The two-hour Night Lights on the Desert tour gives visitors the opportunity to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home lit from within, giving fresh perspective to the architect’s masterful use of geometric forms and masonry materials. Perched in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, the home’s views of the city’s glimmering lights can’t be beat. Reservations are highly recommended, and be sure to call ahead for days, times, and prices.