Place: The Matt Davis trail, Mount Tamalpais State Park, Stinson Beach, California
Trailhead coordinates: 37.90385, -122.60437
I still have quite a few desert-hiking posts in the pipeline, but I push this one to the top of the list, adding a call for my friends in Northern California:
Spring time is here!
It is not just the mustards and the poppies on the hillsides - everything is in bloom, everywhere!
Mount Tamalpais, a bit north of San Francisco is ablaze with wildflowers. Nearly two weeks ago the chikas had a day off from school. So I took them along with a friend of mine, who came all the way from over seas to witness the California spring spectacle, to a day hike in Mount Tamalpais State Park.
We parked at the Pantoll Ranger Station, paid the fee and started down the Matt Davis trail. It starts easy, in an open, grassy area. There were many pink flowers along the trail, called Shooting Star.
We kept walking past pink flowers, which I thought to be more shooting stars, until my friend stopped by one of them and announced that hey were, in fact, orchids.
Orchids are the most celebrated flowers in cultivation. Seeing wild orchids in bloom in Nature is a great cause for celebration indeed!
The forest of Mount Tamalpais has lush undergrowth of moss and ferns. Fresh new growth shone in bright green anywhere the sun rays struck the forest floor.
After with the pinks and the blues we saw plenty of whites as well - Milk Maids flowers.
The high portion of the trail is fairly moderate but the little chika, who objected going on the hike in the first place, started acting up. I took her to the front and gave her the honor of leading the hike. We enjoyed the boughs bows over our trail.
And every now and then - the red flash of the California Madrone tree trunk.
Still on higher elevation, the trail leaves the forest and traverses an open area with riparian spaced trees and a great view of the ocean to the west.
When the trail re-enters the forest it suddenly turns really steep and takes the form of switch-backs with stairs. It is all downhill from there. And a very nice downhill it is :-)
And the Checker Lily:
And also trees that were decorated with 'beards' of lichen.
The trail also comes across a cute little brook. That's the Table Rock Creek.
|The beach at Stinson Beach|
For anyone who loves wildflowers - now is the time to visit Mount Tamalpais State Park. Take a trail from top to bottom (or from bottom to top) and walk through several plant communities, each rich with many wildflowers that are just a joy to see!
Special thanks to my friend who identified all the flowers we saw!