Field Trip Leader: Susan Schlosser
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Meeting place: Rock Springs Parking Lot

Pedicularis densiflora Indian warrior 2 Ann ElliottThis field trip begins by walking through an oak and madrone forest. Wildflowers we are likely to see include: Coast Sanicle (Sanicula laciniata), Milk-maids (Cardimine californica), Indian Warrior (Pedicularis densiflora), and Yellow Mountain Violet (Viola purpurea ssp. quercetorum). Blossoming shrubs may include Mt. Tamalpais Manzanita (Arctostaphylos montana ssp. montana) and Buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus). Young trees and new sprouts on oaks and madrone are also very lovely. As we ascend the ridge, the trail enters a Doug-fir forest (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii). Here the understory has been recently cleared. Evidence of nearly 100 years of fire suppression can be seen and discussed. Going down this ridge, the trail enters a Sargent Cypress (Hesperocyparis sargentii) forest. Blooming shrubs may include Mt. Tamalpais Manzanita (Arctostaphylos montana ssp. montana). From here we head to the Potrero Camp picnic area adjacent to Potrero Meadows. A lovely creek and picnic tables are a great lunch spot. After lunch we follow the trial along Potrero Meadows. We return to Rock Springs via the Lagunitas Rock Springs Fire Road and will see a large stand of Canyon Live Oak (Quercus chrysolepis) and a very large madrone tree (Arbutus menziesi).

This field trip is a steady, easy to moderate ascent (overall 400 foot elevation gain) to the top of the ridge on the Benstein Trail. Walking poles are recommended for a couple of short, steep, rocky areas of the trial. From Potrero Meadows back to Rock Springs we make this moderate ascent again. The overall mileage is 4 miles.

A half-mile (round trip) side trip to Barth’s Retreat before going to Potrero Meadows is possible if participants are interested. This large serpentine area highlights a view of the H. sargentii forest, chaparral and fantastic panoramic views of Marin, San Francisco Bay and beyond to Mt. St. Helena.

Contact Susan Schlosser to sign up for this field trip.
Rain Cancels

Viola purpurea Susan Schlosser