Rare Wildflowers and Bay Views: Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Enjoy some of the finest vistas of San Pablo Bay, the Tiburon Peninsula, and San Francisco from a serpentine summit studded with wildflowers found nowhere else in the state. Toss in a prehistoric rock art site, Pacific tree frogs calling from seasonal streams, and wind-sculpted thickets of live oaks and bays if you need additional reasons to visit this magical place. This site offers the novice hiker scenic vistas and a diversity of terrain and wildflowers usually available only to the most hardy hikers. Wildlife viewing takes a back seat to the spring wildflowers and scenic vistas, but watch for birds of prey soaring above the hillsides and scrub jays, bushtits, and small songbirds in the thickets. Western fence lizards bask on the rocks, and Pacific tree frogs call from the seasonal streams. The terrain and habitats in this small preserve are quite diverse. Even novice naturalists can readily observe the differences. Rocky outcroppings shelter groves of coastal live oaks, California buckeyes, and California bays. On the south and west sides of the hill, prevailing winds from the ocean have sculpted the trees into beautiful shapes. On the moist, leeward side of the hill facing the parking area, coyote bush, poison oak, and other chaparral plants form dense thickets in the protected swales. Open grasslands cover the balance of the reserve. Here, nutrient-poor serpentine soils favor native plants over the exotic grasses that have taken over most other grasslands in California. The rare and endemic Tiburon mariposa lily, Tiburon paintbrush, and other rarities can be found growing here. Also look for blue-eyed grass, California poppies, and tidytips, to name just a few."