Brushy Peak is a 1,702-foot landmark at the juncture of the San Francisco Bay Area, the California Delta, and the Central Valley. The peak and its environs have been recognized as sacred by generations of native Californians. Due to its geographical position, the area lies at the center of a network of ancient trade routes that linked Bay Area Ohlones, Bay Miwoks, and Northern Valley Yokuts, who were drawn to the area for economic, social, and ceremonial events. The Ssaoam triblet of the Ohlone peoples was probably the most closely linked to the Brushy Peak area, living in the surrounding dry hills and tiny valleys around the peak and nearby Altamont Pass. Ssaoam populations in the dry summer months may have dispersed and reconverged at various camps throughout the year.
Brushy Peak Regional Preserve's wide variety of wildlife species is supported by a similarly broad range of plant communities, among which California annual grassland is dominant. Non-native herbaceous plants and annual grasses (ryegrass, wild oats, soft chess, etc) predominate a consequence of the land's continued cultivation in the past. Native perennial grasses (purple needlegrass, creeping wildrye, etc.) are sporadic and widely scattered; saltgrass is found in the alkali seasonal wetlands, such as in the main valley drainage within which the staging area lies. Common native wildflowers include the California buttercup, Johnny jump-up, lupine, blue-eyed grass, fiddlegrass, and many others. These and non-native wildflowers provide forage for numerous insects an important link in the food chain. The most obvious grassland wildlife species is the ground squirrel, whose burrows are inhabited by amphibians, reptiles, badgers, burrowing owls, and the San Joaquin kit fox. This is an on leash park. It's asked to keep dogs on leash to help preserve the wildlife and plants along the trails. Horses are allowed on the trails as well and some horses are frighten by dogs. However, we can see who is along the trail when we get there. If it looks dead we can let the well behaved doggies off leash if we decide. I know Mystic enjoyed the park off leash. From I-580 in Livermore, exit north at Vasco Road and immediately turn right onto Northfront Road. After about .8 miles turn left onto Laughlin Road and proceed approximately two miles to the staging area at the end of Laughlin Road. Along Laughlin, you'll approach a one car windy road. Continue on the road to the dead end. You'll pass several farms on your way in. This is a easy 3mile walk if we decide to do the whole loop. But we don't have to do the whole 3miles if we choose not to. Bring water for you and your pup. There is no water access on the trail. Don't forget those poop bags as well. To see some pictures; visit the link http://www.meetup.com/Doggy-Days/photos/18797552/ Mystic & I will be waiting for you in the parking lot. We'll stick around for 5min after the start time for any late comers.