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!

Saturday, February 17, 10 am – 2 pm

FIELD TRIP: San Bruno Mountain Manzanitas

San Bruno Mountain State & County Park, 555 Guadalupe Canyon Pkwy, Brisbane, CA 94005, USA (map)

Leaders: Doug Allshouse and David Nelson

California is the world center of manzanita diversity; 104 of 105 manzanita species are found within the California Floristic Province. Over half of the species are centered in the narrow coastal region between Mendocino and San Luis Obispo counties. This suggests that the genus evolved in the western part of North America, and evidence dates them as far back as the Middle Miocene (15-11 million years ago) during a time of global warming. San Bruno Mountain is ground zero for glandular manzanitas. Of the seven species and forms here, four are endemic. On this field trip we will see three endemics; San Bruno Mt manzanita (Arctostaphylosimbricata), Pacific manzanita (A. Pacifica), Leobrewer manzanita (A. uvaursiforma leobreweri) and one rare and one common manzanita; Montara Mt manzanita (A. montaraensis) and evergreen manzanita (A. uva-ursiforma coactilis). Manzanitas are not easy to identify and may seem intimidating, but thanks to a recent publication the job is much easier. If you have a copy of the Field Guide to Manzanitas by Michael Kauffmann, Tom Parker, and Michael Vasey, bring it along. If not David and Doug have created a quick and easy foldout guide to help you identify the San Bruno Mountain manzanitas. We will also see other plant taxa along the way. Due to the sensitive nature of this off-trail adventure we must limit this outing to 15 people. If you want to attend this limited field trip, please email Doug to reserve your space and confirm our meeting place.

Bring a lunch and a 10-power loupe.

Heavy rain postpones to February 24.

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

Contact Doug at, call or text 415- 269-9967.

Saturday, March 3, 9 am – 1 pm

FIELD TRIP: Lichen Walk at Pedro Point Headlands (Pacifica)

Leader: Alf Fengler

Join Alf for a leisurely walk though this coastal gem, looking mostly for lichens , these fascinating composite organisms comprising members of two or even three biological kingdoms.  Pack water, lunch, sunscreen and sturdy hiking shoes. Be prepared for windy and cool conditions near the ocean. Also, bring a hand lens if you have one available, since many important lichen features are quite small.

The hike distance will be 2-3 miles with about 400 feet elevation change.

This trip will be limited to 12 people, as parking is extremely limited at the trail head. We will probably meet in Pacifica and carpool from there.

For more information and to reserve your spot, contact Alf Fengler at or call him at (650) 345-7045

Moderate or heavy rain cancels.

Sunday, March 4, 10 am to 1 pm

FIELD TRIP: Secrets of San Bruno Mountain

Chuck and Loretta will be our guides as we explore the less visited side of San Bruno Mountain. This area is filled with bright landscapes and large grassland areas that are critical to our resident endangered butterflies.  On our walk we expect to see plants on the CNPS Watch List, such as: Coast Iris, Coast Rock Cress and San Francisco Wallflower.  We may also spot butterfly host plants silver bush lupine and johnny-jump-up violet.  The interesting and beautiful Niebla fog lichen, which occurs only on the Californian coast from Mendocino to Baja, may also make an appearance during our walk.  There may be evidence of some tiny yet interesting turret spider burrows.  Please wear sturdy footwear as we may be off trail and on steep and uneven slopes, and bring a snack and water if needed.

Meet behind the Mills Montessori School at 1400 Hillside Blvd., South San Francisco at 10am on Sunday, March 4th near the restrooms for the Hillside Athletic ball-field.  Heavy rain cancels, call by 9:00 AM that morning if rain threatens.  Contact Loretta or Chuck at (650) 952 6174 or with any questions.

Sunday March 11, 11 am to 1 pm

FIELD TRIP: Bayview Hill Walk

Leader:  Margo Bors

Meeting Place: Key Ave. entrance to Bayview Park, two blocks east of 3rd St.

Transportation: Short walk from MUNI T-Line station at Le Conte & 3rd St.

Description:   Margo Bors is an artist, photographer, naturalist, and has been doing volunteer habitat restoration on Bayview Hill for three decades.  She has seen some remarkable changes both on the Hill and in areas surrounding the Hill and will have a few pictures showing some of this history.

The walk up Key Ave. is steep, but we will take our time and enjoy the native plants and views.  The upper area is fairly level with fascinating plants, birds and geology, and unobstructed views in every direction.

Bring a snack and wear layers as temperatures can vary greatly in different areas.  There are no bathroom facilities.

Contact: Margo Bors,,

phone 415-824-0471, c. 415-794-0283

Moderate or heavy rain cancels.

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.