Saturday, April 4, 1 pm-about 3 pm, Warm Springs vernal pools (San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge)
Come see the wildflower rings around some of the last intact vernal pools in the East Bay! Visitors will enjoy learning about the unique features of vernal pool vegetation and surrounding grassland. We will get to see the endangered plant species in this habitat, particularly the rings of endangered Contra Costa goldfields (Lasthenia conjugens). Bring water, sunhat, your Jepson Manual, cameras, and be prepared to walk through uneven terrain throughout the tour. Carefully managed grazing has reduced Bromus diandrus, but be prepared with long pants and sturdy shoes.

Please contact akakouros@sfbbo.org or call (408) 315-4313 to reserve a spot. Space is extremely limited and reservations are required. Driving directions will be e-mailed once reservations are confirmed.

Saturday, April 4, 9:45 am, East Trail at Mount Diablo State Park, 9800 Marsh Creek Road. Carpool at Orinda Bart. Leave Orinda BART at 9:10. Meet at Berkeley side of station, in second small parking area north of the station entrance. No dogs on this walk.

Meet across from the Divide Reservoir sign on Marsh Creek Road in Clayton. This trip goes through some spectacular native plant habitat on the northeast side of Mount Diablo, with an interesting live oak forest. This walk has 1600 feet elevation gain on the way out, and downhill on the return. The round trip is about 6 miles. Figure on returning to the parking area around 3-4 pm. Bring lunch and water. We will take 3 Springs Road, Olympia Trail, East Trail.

Directions: Take 24 or 680 to Ygnacio Valley Road. Continue on Ygnacio Valley Road several miles from Walnut Creek into the city of Clayton and turn right onto Clayton Road. Don’t turn right on Marsh creek road. Continue on Clayton Road, it later becomes Marsh creek Road. Look for the Divide Reservoir sign on the left. Park across the street from the Divide Reservoir sign. Don’t park across from the Nob Hill Reservoir, keep going.

Safety: Outdoor activities are inherently risky. On hiking trips, grave injury and death are not out of the realm of possibility. By coming on this trip, you agree to be 100% responsible for your own health, safety and well being. If you bring a guest(s), that guest(s) will be 100% responsible for his/her own health, safety and well-being.

Sunday, April 5, 10:30 am, Chapter field trip to Jepson Prairie. Meet other East Bay chapter members at Jepson Prairie. Docent Russ Huddleston will provide the invertebrate dipnet tour, but then will also proceed to the botanic tour of vernal pool flower rings. You can go to Jepson Prairie most weekends until early May, but this tour will allow time and space to bring the Jepson Manual or other key of your choice, and photographers can crawl as they wish to set up tripod and close focus shots. If you wish to offer a ride to Jepson Prairie (near Travis Air Force Base in Solano County), please e-mail janetgawthrop47@gmail.com, so we can decide on a meetup site for carpooling from the East Bay.

Saturday, April 11, 9:45 am, Toyon Canyon at Briones Regional Park, Briones Road Staging Area

Native plant expert Gregg Weber leads this trip to a floristically rich area of Briones Regional Park. Toyon canyon trail descends 300 feet, to the creek, and a 300 foot elev gain follows.

We will see unusual plants such as Western viburnum, bent-flowered fiddleneck, tufted poppy, Mount Diablo sunflower, and Eucrypta, plus many more familiar plants such as silver leaf bush lupine, coyote mint, mules ears, pipe stems, hop tree, Dutchman’s pipe, and osoberry. We will return to the cars at about 2:45 pm.

Directions: From west of the Bay hills, go east on 24 and exit at Pleasant Hill Road. Go north on Pleasant Hill Road 0.5 mile and then turn left onto Reliez Valley Road. Go 4-5 miles on Reliez Valley Road to its end at the junction with Alhambra Valley Road. Ignore the entrance signs on Reliez Valley Road and continue straight on Alhambra Valley Road to the first hard to see, tiny road on the left, which is Briones Road. Go about 1.5 miles to the end of Briones Road and park on either side of the road. For the Pinole/Martinez area, just proceed down Alhambra Valley Road and follow the directions to the end of Briones Road.

Sunday, April 12, 9:45 am, Mount Diablo burn area. Mount Diablo State Park. Burn area between three springs and North Peak. Meet at the parking lot off of Morgan Territory Road. We will be walking on steep loose rock and gravel. It is tough on the ankles. Elevation gain 800 ft. Distance about 4 miles. We will return to the parking lot around 2-3 pm. Bring lunch and water.

Directions: Take 24 or 680 to Ygnacio Valley Road. Continue on Ygnacio Valley Road several miles from Walnut Creek into the city of Clayton, and turn right onto Clayton Road. Don’t turn right on Marsh creek Road.

Continue on Clayton Road, it later becomes Marsh creek Road. Continue on Marsh Creek Road, until you see Morgan Territory Road Y off the the right. The parking lot is the first right turn off, and park right next to the road. Don’t go down the driveway.

Saturday, April 18, Mt. Diablo Green Ranch Road
Carpool at Orinda bart. Leave Orinda Bart at 9:10. We will meet at Oak Knoll picnic area on Summit Road, a little past the Junction Ranger Station. No dogs on this walk.

 We will go on Green Ranch road into the chaparral areas near Rhyne Canyon. This trip has 700 ft elevation loss to Rhyne Canyon, and 700 gain on the way back. Distance is 6 miles. There should be several species of unusual fire following plants in flower on this trip.

Directions: Take 680 to the Diablo Road exit, and go east on Diablo Road At Green Valley Road, only one lane goes straight ahead. After Green Valley Road, go on and do not turn at the Diablo Country Club sign. In about a mile, turn left at the Mount Diablo State Park sign. Continue to the end of Mount Diablo Scenic Boulevard, which becomes South Gate Road as it enters the park. Pay the $10 gate fee at the entrance station (or have your state parks pass visible). Continue to Junction Ranger Station, and turn right. Oak Knoll Picnic area is on the right, just past Blue Oak picnic area.

Safety: Outdoor activities are inherently risky. On hiking trips, grave injury and death are not out of the realm of possibility. By coming on this trip, you agree to be 100% responsible for your own health, safety and well being. If you bring a guest(s), that guest(s) will be 100% responsible for his/her own health, safety and well being.

Sunday, April 19, 9:45 am to 3:00 pm, Devil’s Elbow parking lot. See eight species of Phacelia in one day

Mt. Diablo State Park, Mary Bowerman Trail, North Peak trail, Muir area, Burma Road. We will drive to these 4 trail heads, and do short walks at each location. Mary Bowerman trail: .75 mile, North Peak trail: 1 mile, Muir area: .25 mile, Burma Road: .75 mile.

We will attempt to find most of these in flower:

1 Phacelia breweri
2 Phacelia distans
3 Phacelia divaricata
4 Phacelia imbricata subsp. imbricata
5 Phacelia nemoralis subsp. nemoralis
6 Phacelia phacelioides
7 Phacelia rattanii
8 Phacelia tanacetifolia

Bring food and water. There is a restroom at the summit parking lot.

Directions: Take 680 to the Diablo Road exit, and go east on Diablo Road. At Green Valley Road, only one lane goes straight ahead. After Green Valley Road, go past and do not turn at the Diablo Country Club sign. In about a mile, turn left at the Mt. Diablo State Park sign. Continue to the end of
Mt. Diablo Scenic Boulevard, which becomes South Gate Road as it enters the park. Be prepared to pay the fee $10 at the main entrance station, or have your state parks pass ready. Continue on South gate rd to Junction Ranger station. Turn right onto summit road. Continue on summit road, past the huge Juniper camp parking area, then another 1.2 mile to Devil’s Elbow parking area. There is parking space on both sides of the road.

Drive time from Berkeley, Oakland, Martinez, will be about an hour or more, since this starts near the summit of Mt Diablo. Allow 30 minutes from the park entrance to get to the meeting spot.

Sunday, April 19, 2 pm, Sunol Regional Wilderness
Meet David Margolies at the bridge crossing Alameda Creek near the Visitor’s Center. We will hike the Canyon View Trail to Little Yosemite and back on the fire road. Elevation change maybe 600’. A moderate hike, about two hours or so.

Sunol has meadows and oak woodland, with many annuals, interesting trees, lily relatives and other perennials.

Directions: From Berkeley/Oakland and from Contra Costa County: take I-580 east (from west of the hills) or get on I-680 south and drive to the junction of I-580/I-680 in Pleasanton. At the junction, go south on I-680 and exit at Calaveras Road/Highway 84 just south of the town of Pleasanton. Turn left onto Calaveras Road and proceed to Geary Road, which leads directly into the park. There are extensive parking lots. Meet at the location given above. Rain is unlikely but the walk takes place rain or shine. There is a fee to park. Contact David at (510) 393-1858 or divaricatum@gmail.com for further information.

 

Diogenes’ lantern (Calochortus amabilis). Photo by Celia Zavatsky.

Diogenes’ lantern (Calochortus amabilis). Photo by Celia Zavatsky.