Irish Hills Exploration

04-16-2017 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Irish Hills Trailhead
Address: 1691 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA

Sunday, April 16th, 1:00 p.m

Join us for a plant walk from the Madonna Road trailhead (southwestern terminus of Madonna Rd.) into the upper reaches of the Irish Hills Open Space.

The vast majority of soils in this area are derived from serpentine, which is a metamorphic rock, high in magnesium and iron, while low in calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. The excess magnesium in combination with low levels of calcium, phosphorus, and potassium create a stressful environment for plant growth, and therefore inhibit the growth of the vast majority of both native and introduced species. The unique assortment of plants that do grow in the Irish Hills and on other serpentine-based outcrops surrounding San Luis Obispo, make for an exceptional mixture, which we will see in bloom on this walk. A plant list will be provided.

The length is 5 miles, 700 ft. elevation gain, 3 hours. Be sure to bring water, food, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, a hat, and layered clothing, as needed.

Contact: Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

Rain cancels

Related upcoming events

  • 06-23-2018 7:30 am - 06-23-2018 9:00 pm

    Saturday, June 23

    Join us for a day on the Morros and learn which plants grow on each of these volcanic plugs.  Ascend one, two, or more. Here are the start times.

    • 7:30 a.m. Islay Hill, 2 miles, 500 ft. gain, moderate. The easternmost of the Morros, with views of five others. To trailhead, take Tank Farm Rd. east past Orcutt Rd, then south on Spanish Oaks Dr., then east on Sweet Bay Lane to end.
    • 9:00 a.m. Cerro San Luis, 4 miles, 1,100 ft. gain, moderate. Has knockout views of SLO. Trailhead at the end of Marsh St., just before on-ramp to Hwy 101 south.
    • Lunch (optional): 11:15 am to 12:00 pm, Throop Park, corner of Cerro Romauldo Street and Cuesta Drive, in SLO.
    • 12:00 p.m. Bishop Peak, 3.5 miles, 950 ft. gain, moderately strenuous. Highest of all the Morros. From Hwy 1, go west on Highland Dr., then right on Patricia Drive. Park at trailhead on Patricia Dr. just before reaching Anacapa Circle.
    • 3:30 p.m. Cerro Cabrillo, 2.5 miles, 800 ft. gain, moderately strenuous. 360-degree views from the Santa Lucia Mts. to coastline. Meet at Quarry Trail trailhead on South Bay Blvd, 1.4 miles south of Hwy 1 or 0.4 miles north of Turri Rd.
    • 6:00 p.m. Black Hill, 3.0 miles, 650 ft. gain, moderate. Ocean views from Montaña de Oro north to San Simeon. From South Bay Blvd, drive into Morro Bay State Park on State Park Road.  Meet at the parking area on the north side of the road, next to restrooms opposite the boat marina, just east of the campground entrance.

    Bring water (if hiking more than one Morro, store extra water in your vehicle), lunch and snacks, and dress in layers for changing weather. The day is likely to start and end cool but be quite warm at mid-day. A hat, sunscreen, and sturdy hiking shoes are essential. For more information, contact Bill, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.