Field Trips

CNPS- Yerba Buena Natural History Walks:

We have a bountiful bevy of entertaining and informative walks coming in 2018!

All are welcome (some trips you need to register for). We're out there...get out there with us!

APRIL 14, SATURDAY, 10 am- 1 pm

FIELD TRIP: San Bruno Mountain, Owl Canyon

Leader: Doug Allshouse

Owl Canyon is my favorite spot on the eastern flank of San Bruno Mountain. It is not as heavily forested as the adjacent Buckeye Canyon and is a bit more diverse with wildflowers. Owl has a pronounced central hump between each ridge line that makes the ascent up the canyon interesting and it still shows signs of the 2008 wildfire. Many oaks, bays, toyons, hazelnuts, ocean sprays, holly-leaved cherries, coffee berries and oso berries have stump-sprouted and ten years later prove how adaptable they are to a fire. The fire-reliant blue blossom seeds in the soil have created large thick communities on the canyon walls. Wildflowers to look for are larkspur, star lily, hound's tongue, paintbrush, yerba santa, lupine, johnny jump-up, blue-eyed grass, clematis and many ferns. We'll have lunch on the flowering grassland ridge between Owl and Buckeye and hopefully see some colonies of blennosperma on the way down the ridge.

Heavy rain cancels. Our meeting place is an industrial parking lot just below Owl Canyon. From Bayshore Blvd. in Brisbane turn onto Valley Drive, proceed to the traffic light and turn left onto South Hill Drive. Turn left at the Aircraft Technical Publishers (ATP) sign at 101-111 South Hill. Drive to the rear of the parking lot. Call or text at 415-269-9967 or email if you have questions.

APRIL 28, SATURDAY, 10 am- 2 pm

FIELD TRIP: San Bruno Mountain: Summit Trail

Leader: Doug Allshouse

The Summit Trail is a very popular and spectacular 3-mile loop that stretches over the northern portion of the mountain and is the most species-rich trail. It passes through a logged eucalyptus forest and descends past active seeps until it reaches April Brook. We'll see horsetails, fringe cups, iris, coast rock cress, and at least five ferns. From there we head up to Bitter Cherry Ridge with rocky outcrops covered with fog lichens and views of the ocean and the Daly City dunes. If we have time we'll check out Kamchatka Point and some endemic manzanitas and huckleberries then descend to the parking lot through Cable Ravine. Elevation gain on the trail is about 400 feet.

There is a $6 entrance fee payable at the ranger kiosk.

Meet at the parking lot on the other side of Guadalupe Canyon Parkway. Turn right at the stop sign just past the kiosk and follow the road under the parkway. Bring a lunch and layers of clothing because, due to the marine influence, the weather is a box of chocolates; you never know what to expect.

Heavy rain cancels. Contact Doug at, or call/text 415-269-9967 if you have questions.

Sunday May 20th, 11 am - 1 pm

FIELD TRIP: Restoring riparian, dune, and serpentine habitats in the Presidio

LeaderMichael Chassé, National Park Service

This field trip will explore recent restoration efforts at several locations in the Presidio of San Francisco. We will begin at Lobos Creek, an arroyo willow / coast live oak riparian habitat along the most intact creek in San Francisco. The hike will then proceed along the coastal dunes of Baker Beach, once dominated by European dune grass and iceplant, now home to a diverse community of sand-dwelling plants such as yellow sand verbena and beach morning glory. Further up the coast, sand gives way to the Presidio's serpentine bluffs, where rare manzanita chaparral is being returned to its rocky soils.  Throughout the hike, restoration goals and techniques will be discussed. The hike should take approximately 2 hours and will involve some hilly terrain.

The hike will begin and end at the Lobos Creek Valley kiosk at 1750 Lincoln Blvd in the Presidio. Car and bike parking is available in the adjacent lot. The area is also accessible via the Muni #29 bus.