Last week the magnificent Calypso orchids had begun. The creek was roaring, there were over 20 species of amazing colorful mushrooms, and the green moss was luminous. By now, there should be more wildflowers. Even just the old growth forest of Madones and Douglas Fir and rocks and land is amazing to see. This is one of the most beautiful loops in the Bay Area. We also could walk out over the trail to the ocean, with views down the coast, SF, and the bay (or drive over and check out the badger dens.)
We are meeting at 1 PM at the Rock Spring parking lot on Mt. Tamalpais. Our plan is to do a loop with the Benstein trail, Mickey O'Brien, and upper Cataract. We'll go slow, to explore the plants, look for animals, see the varying ecosystems, and take photos (who was that owl we heard last time? Might the Pileated Woodpeckers be visible again?) So it could be 3 to 4 hours. We could also stop to eat at Barth's Retreat.
This is mostly shaded forest and some chapparal and serpentine. There is also a short trail out towards the ocean with views down the coast and badger dens. Bring binoculars and cameras! Let me know if you want to carpool by sending all your information to send on. (Some invariably say they want a ride and don't even say what city they are in.) This is a well-known area, in case you get lost, with incredibly beautiful views of the ocean, forest, etc. on the drive up.
I'm in Oakland and take 580 to Marin, over the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge, the turnoff on Sir Francis Drake to 101 South, and then
Take the CA-1 N exit toward Stinson Beach/Muir Woods. (Do not go to Stinson Beach)
9. Turn RIGHT onto HIGHWAY 1/CA-1. - 0.1 mi 10. Turn LEFT to stay on HIGHWAY 1/CA-1. - 0.5 mi 11. Turn LEFT to stay on HIGHWAY 1/CA-1. - 2.6 mi 12. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto PANORAMIC HWY - 5.3 mi (when you reach a 4-way intersection follow sign for Mt. Tamalpais to stay on Panoramic) 13. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto PAN TOLL RD. - 1.4 mi (Pantoll Rd. is directly across the highway from Pantoll Ranger Sta. – you will pass through an open gate) Do not go to the Pantoll parking lot.
14. Rock Springs parking lot is at the next intersection, where Pantoll Rd. meets Ridgecrest Blvd.
Keep heading up at most junctions. We should avoid rush hour if we hang out long enough.
Please NO scents so we can smell the beautiful air and to make the event more accessible -- this includes sunscreen. So check with me before applying or use what I'm bringing. (The toxic sunscreens cause skin cancer as well as smelling bad.) (Sorry to repeat NO scents, but so often someone who is making us nauseous says, "But I'm only wearing .....") PLEASE let us know if you are coming or canceling, but please do not wait until Tuesday morning for detailed information or call right before it's time to leave or I'll be late. Bev [masked] or[masked] (That is the best number to reach me, but not while driving to the hike.) (only when en route --[masked] -- there is not likely to be cell reception at Rock Spring though) [masked]