Thursday, July 27, 2017

COM Fall Hike Registration begins Monday July 31, 2017

Registration for the Fall 2017 College of Marin Fall 1 and 2 hiking sessions opens on Monday, July 31, 2017.
Register separately for each session.

Fall 1
7 Tuesdays, 9:45am–1:45pm
August 29 - October 10
Fee $131
# 2955

Fall 2 
7 Tuesdays, 9:45am–1:45pm
Oct. 24 - Dec. 5
Fee $131
# 2956

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tomales Bay - Shell Beach Shuttle Hike (7/25/17)

Tomales Bay SP Shell Beach Shuttle Hike (7/25/17) Preview

Something old and something new!

THIS IS A SHUTTLE HIKE! CALL OR E-MAIL WENDY IF YOU'RE COMING! Home: (415) 457-3949, E-mail:   Last year there were ripe huckleberries! Wetland plants like Marsh Rosemary, Ledum and Jaumea should be in bloom.

Directions to the trailhead: Meet at 9:45 at the Shell Beach parking lot, not at the trailhead (we’ll carpool to it from the Shell Beach lot).

No restrooms at trailhead; stop at the Bear Valley Visitors Center on the way if you need to powder your nose.

After you pass Inverness, take a right on Camino del Mar (there’s an inn on your left; it’s just where the road starts going uphill.) Follow it to the parking lot. (Click here for a map for driving time and directions to this area.)

Meet at 9:00 am to carpool from St. Rita. This is a final exam hike so please bring a dish to share.

Weather forecast: As of Thursday, July 20th, the National Weather Service forecast was patchy fog before 11 a.m. Otherwise, mostly sunny with a high near 66. Click here for an updated forecast.

More on this hike: "G15 Pierce Point Road to Shell Beach" in the Martins' book, Hiking Marin, shows the area in which we'll be hiking. The trails are also shown on page 4 of the Tomales Bay State Park brochure. The Google Earth image below shows Heart's Desire and Shell Beaches as seen from the east side of Tomales Bay. (Click on the image to open a larger version in your Web browser).

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bolinas Ridge-Randall Trail Shuttle Hike (7/18/17) Preview 

Decision TimeThis week we move south and east of Point Reyes National Seashore to take one of our hikes in the GGNRA.

Slightly longer than usual at 7.2 miles, but lots of downhill with ripe huckleberries along the way. We usually find naturalized orchid Hellebore on this hike, and in 2013 the fog drip provided some surprise chanterelles. While Wendy can't promise those, lots of ripe huckleberries and some ripe salal berries are a pretty sure bet.  (Click here for a recap of our hike in August of 2008).

CALL WENDY AT 457-3949 OR EMAIL if you are coming!

Directions to trailhead: We’ll meet at 9:20 on Highway 1 at the bottom of Randall Trail which is about 3 miles north of Dogtown and about 3 miles south of Five Brooks. (The Point Reyes National Seashore says to allow 15 minutes for the drive from the Bear Valley Visitor Center, and that it is just under 6 miles from the intersection of Highway 1 and Sir Francis Drake at Olema south to the Randall trailhead.) 
     Carpool leaves St. Rita at 8:40.

Click here for a Google Maps map that shows the Randall Trail trailhead. Click where the Randall Trail crosses Highway 1, and then click on the teardrop icon to get directions and driving time from your location.

Park in one of the large dirt pullouts on either side of the road. The Park Service notes that the sign for the Randall Trail is aligned parallel to Highway 1 on the east side of the road and can easily be missed.

From the Randall trailhead we’ll carpool up the Bolinas-Fairfax Road to Ridgecrest Boulevard and hike along Bolinas Ridge Fire Road and then down the Randall Trail to Highway 1.

No restrooms at either the Randall Trail or Bolinas Ridge trailheads.  Stop at the Bear Valley Visitor Center or at Five Brooks if you need to “use the facilities.”

Driving time from the College of Marin is about 40 minutes. Carpool leaves St. Rita's at 8:40 a.m.

Weather forecast: As of Saturday, July 14th, the National Weather Service forecast for the hike was patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 74. (Click here for an updated forecast).

More on this hike:  None of Dick Jordan's hiking books describe this hike, but you can find the Fairfax-Bolinas Road, Bolinas Ridge Fire Road, and the Randall Trail in the bottom right-hand section of the Point Reyes National Seashore park map shown below.

Click here to view and print a copy of the map. Use the plus-sign button under the drop-down arrow button to enlarge the map for easier reading If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer you can print the document. Once you see the document on the "Google Docs" Web site, click on the "Actions" down arrow and then on "Download" to download the document to your computer).

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Bull Point Hike (6/30) Preview

"Back Off, Or Get Stomped!"This week we head through Inverness to hike on the ocean side of the Point Reyes National Seashore. Here's Wendy's description for this hike: "A beautiful but soggy (in places) walk timed to see the Coast Lilly blooming in its only site in Marin!

"Other endangered flowers we've seen other years include the Swamp Harebell, Large Flowered Lianthus, and Point Reyes Checkerbloom. We may also see Yellow-Eyed Grass, Tinker's Penny, White-Flowered Bog Orchid, and Hooker’s Evening Primrose. We've also seen the endangered Myrtle's Silverspot butterfly on this hike, and birds including Grasshopper Sparrows and Caspian Terns. Sometimes we're lucky enough to see endangered Bumblee Bee Scarab Beetles. Some off-trail walking but little elevation gain." (Click here for the recap of our Bull Point hike on July 7, 2009.).

Directions to the trailhead: Take Sir Francis Drake Boulevard west to Olema. Turn right on Highway 1, then make an immediate left onto Bear Valley Road. Continue past the road to Park Headquarters (stop here for a restroom break; there are no porta-potties at the trailhead) and go left when you hit Sir Francis Drake again.

Go through Inverness. Go left at the "Y" (right takes you out to Pierce Point) and pass MCI and RCA stations on your right. The Bull Point parking lot will be on your left.

(Click here for a map of the trailhead location and to get driving directions and times from your location.)

Carpool leaves St. Rita at 8:50 a.m.

Weather forecast: As of Wednesday, July 5, 2017, the National Weather Service forecast for the hike was partly sunny, with a high near 58. (Click here for an updated forecast).

More on this hike: Hike "H11 Bull Point and South Beach Trails" in the Martins' book, Hiking Marin, shows this as 4.0 mile out and back hike. Tracy Salcedo-Chourre's book, Exploring Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, pegs it at 3.6 miles as does the park's North District Hiking Map.

The Google Earth image below shows the area where we'll be hiking. (Click on the image to open a larger version in your Web browser).