Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rancho Canada del Oro: Llagas Creek Loop

Lupine lining the paved trail.

For an eyepopping display of spring wildflowers one can trek up Mt. Tamalpias, or the serpentine slopes of the east bay peaks. Or you can take a half-mile stroll and soak in one of the most impressive wildflower displays in the Bay Area. Just past the bathrooms near the Rancho Canada del Oro parking lot there is a small paved path. This simple loop wraps around a single meadow, flaked by hills on two sides and Llagas Creek on the other. The field is densely packed with Lupine and Fiddlenecks as well as native California grasses. The park is fairly unknown so even on a weekend the short walk can be completed in almost perfect silence under the shadow of Loma Prieta in the distance.

Wild Turkey among Valley Lupine.

I ended up being pleasantly surprised by this hike after being turned back by heavy rains deeper in the park. Wild Turkeys roamed the fields, gobbling around and munching on the grasses. The whole hike takes about 15 minutes, and is at least worth a quick stop on the way to parks further south like Mt. Madonna, or Uvas County Park. The hike is over before it even starts and can even be a nice warm up before taking on some longer loops the park has to offer.

Field of Lupine

Valley Lupine


Wild Turkey


  1. Awesome shots as usual Chris, I especially like the composition and the backlight on the Fiddleneck.

    I guess I never really thought about Wild Turkeys still being fairly common out there, you've got me on Wikipedia looking at infos now.

  2. I'm not sure they are that common here really either. Going out during/after a rain is always a good time to see wildlife. On the drive in I actually saw a Coyote crossing the road as well even though they are pretty uncommon (and mostly just good at avoiding people).

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. Awesome Wild Turkeys in action!

    Also, I have a new nickname for you... and it's Fiddleneck.

    Gorgeous photos as usual, love! :)