3/8/18 Mount Tamalpais – Ridgecrest

DATE:  MARCH 8 2018
LOCATION: Mount Tamalpais – Ridgecrest
ADDRESS: Mt Tamalpais, California 94941
LATITUDE & LONGITUDE: 37.895610, -122.611140


This trail was a mixture of inclines, declines and rocky areas along with open chaparral, serpentine and forest-like areas with many trees and shrubs. In addition, though there was no rainfall, trails were muddy and there was water running by. One particular trail was downhill and extremely rocky with wet mud spots. Though we did see some species that flowered, there were also many that did not. Some dominant species or abundant species include Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir) and wild orchids called the Calypso bulbosa (Fairy Slipper).


“Mosquito bill”









This species is also called the Primula hendersonii and is in the Primulaceae family. It has leaves that are elliptic to obovate with a rubbery texture with almost no venation. The flowers are a purple/pink color and can be in parts of 4 or 5. They also have reflexed and fused petals and a dark base. It is generally found in shady areas. It can also be glabrous to hairy. This species obtained it’s common name by imitating a mosquito and its black stout.

“Mt. Tam Manzanita”

This species is also called Arctostaphylous montana and is in the Ericaceae family as defined by the bulb-like flowers. It has small leaves ad flowers and is normally found in open areas. The leaves are erect and have an entire margin with an acute shape. The flowers resemble a perfectly round leaf. The flowers are normally pendant like and panicle which can also be glabrous. The fruit it also spheric and glabrous.

“Buck Brush”

This species is also called Ceanothus cuneatus and is in the Rhamnaceae family. It can look thron-like and is found in open areas most of the time. These thorns and branches are brown with leaves that are opposite and evergreen. The leaves are elliptic and can look round and be glabrous. In addition, the flowers are a white/light purple color with an umbel inflorescence.


We left the USF campus at approximately 1:00PM to Mt. Tam and arrived in approximately 45 minutes. The road to get to Mt. Tam was extremely windy with many curves leading up to the hike itself. However,  because it was so high, the view that overlooked the city and fog was breathtaking. The weather was cool and clear blue skies when we began our trip and remained constant. Though the weather was not particularly hot, because the hike was moderately difficult, it was slightly warm. Overall, this was my personal favorite hike along with Baltimore Canyon.


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