Volvon Mystery – Livermore

We have always found interesting the lack of knowledge and information about the Volvon tribe, possibly the most important pre-historic group in native California.

Here is the prominently displayed map of native populations at the Sacramento Indian Museum. Note the big black space around Mount Diablo and the dearth of settlements around San Francisco Bay.

Here is Sherburne Cook’s famous map, with nothing showing around Mount Diablo and Marsh Creek.

When the first Spanish and Missionary expeditions entered this region the Indian scouts refused to lead the soldiers onto Mount Diablo due to the powerful spirits that resided there.

Here is our GoogleEarth map of Volvon Territory.

If you download our map this is the text Bob prepared regarding the Volvon tribe.


The Volvon were one of the Bay Miwok tribelets living in Contra Costa County at the time of European contact. They were a hill people based in the rugged Black Hills southeast of Mt. Diablo. The mountain itself was in Volvon hands. It had been the home of the supernatural First People, who created Indians and their world, and was a spiritual focus for nearly every tribe that could see it. Shamen and religious leaders went to the mountain to pray. Everyday people would visit its slopes for intertribal festivals. This meant the Volvon must have been a prosperous people. One did not just sashay into Volvon territory without bearing tribute for the privilege. Imagine the trade goods the Volvons acquired this way. They were regular participants in regional trade festivals hosted by their Ohlone neighbors, the Ssaoams, at the Brushy Peak trading grounds not far from the Altamont Pass. The Volvons’ preeminent position at the crossroads of Central California no doubt made them a sophisticated and cosmopolitan people. 

That Volvons were active traders does not mean their territory was short on natural resources. The name ‘Volvon’ itself roughly translates as “natural springs,” which befits a triblet based in the Black Hills where the headwaters of a number of perennial creeks rise. The highland heart of Volvon territory today is rich in oak, pine, and manzanita. Mount Diablo is home to a number of endemic plant species–rare resources controlled by Volvons. Open rangelands, now mostly overrun with nonnative grasses, must once have been covered with food-bearing plants. Deer, elk, and antelope were no doubt abundant in the lighly settled ridges and valleys on the eastern side of the territory. 

Volvon territory gives every appearance of once having supported a substantial population. We have discovered 81 bedrock mortar sites, and over 2,100 bedrock mortars. Each site carries its own sense of place and is an individual window into the past. As you walk the paths that connect these sites and build up a richer mental map and sense of the landscape, you may acquire a feeling for the possibilities of life in Volvon territory in the not so distant past. 

There are magical and metaphysical powers associated with Mt. Diablo and the Black Hills. Go there now and experience its effect on your perspective. Steep yourself in prehistory. The Spanish extirpated the Volvons from their homeland 200 years ago, but physically, their territory remains virtually intact today. The land still has a life of its own.

for more info:

Other Bay Area tribal descriptions can be found on the sidebar.

Here is our thinking regarding the potential Volvon National Park.

and Tom Stienstra’s article in The Chronicle on the subject


When you come across a pestle in or around a bedrock mortar, you come face to face with the fact of abrupt cultural displacement.

We leave these pestles near where we find them, hoping others will have the same seminal experience we have.

The two pictures at the end are in museums. The rest are right where they were left when the soldiers and padres took over. Indigenous lives matter too

Joel’s Pestle, Volvon Village
Ryan’s Hidaway, Walpert Ridge
Jeff’s Lookout, Sunol
Molluck Trail, Morgan Territory
Vargas Plateau, Fremont
Jeff’s Pestles, Mission Peak
Rocky Ridge, San Ramon
Round Valley, Brentwood
Minnis Ranch, Ed Levin Park
Walpert Ridge, Hayward
Rockwall to Campsite, Walpert Ridge
Above Mission Peak Meadow, Hayward
Mallory Gorge, Los Vaqueros
Mission San Jose, Fremont
Alviso Adobe, San Ramon

Petlenuc Ohlone Village – San Francisco

The Yelamu were the tribal group living for thousands of years in what is now San Francisco.

Recently, while digging the foundation for the SalesForce tower, a 7500 year old body in full ceremonial regalia was uncovered.

Following the arrival of the Anza/Font expedition in the 1770s, their useful village and camp sites were virtually erased.

There are several known village sites including the one on El Pollin Spring in the Presidio. Water flows from this spring today into Petlenuc Creek. The Presidio Trust is now daylighting and restoring this creek.

Recent archaeological excavations at a site near the Crissy Field Lagoon revealed 84 animal species including shellfish, surfperch, sea otters, Tule Elk, and Grizzly Bears.

A delightful walk on the Tennessee Hollow Trail in the Presidio brings you right to the spring’s source.

Try to imagine Native life before there was a San Francisco Bay
when the Farrallons were not islands but hills. The Continental Shelf was inhabited by their ancestors.

It is rumored that 5000 plus Natives are buried under the road in front of Mission Dolores, likely another major Yelamu Village prior to the arrival of the Europeans.

Randall Milliken’s study, “A Time of Little Choice”: estimates that 160 to 300 Yelamu were living in San Francisco when the Spanish opened Mission San Francisco de Asís on June 30, 1776.

We think that is a gross under-estimation.

Artifacts have been found across San Francisco from at least 50 different locations.

The Ramaytush (pronounced rah-my-toosh) are the original peoples of the San Francisco Peninsula. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the Ramaytush Ohlone numbered approximately 1500 persons, but by the end the Mission Period only a few families had survived. Today, only one lineage is known to have produced living descendants in the present. for more info.

For every 100 Natives incorporated into the California missions, over 75 died a premature death. Average life expectancy after baptism was only nine years, and at Mission Dolores in San Francisco it was only 4.5 years

Under threat of punishment Native peoples at the Missions were forced to attend religious services and to labor without compensation. They were not allowed to leave the Mission grounds without permission, and then, for only two weeks a year at most. Anyone who failed to return or who otherwise escaped was hunted down by the military. Some were killed in the process.

Native peoples did not need to be saved from their so-called pagan and savage ways of life. They did not need a European education; they did not need European health care; they did not need training in the agrarian arts. Their ancestors were doing just fine on their own before the arrival of the Spanish. Don’t ask them today about the Sainthood of Junipero Serra.

They are not into it.

Redwood Fairy Rings – Canyon

This was a major Saklan Miwok Village back in the day, right at this intersection of Canyon Road and Pinehurst.

There were camps and villages all over the place. Up the road in Moraga at Indian Creek there was one. Saint Mary’s College was built on one.

Walk through this gate into another world.

You can’t keep a good kid down.

A redwood forest is a place, both ancient and timeless, with gigantic sprawling ferns, lushgreen moss, and towering trees. The forest has flourished along the North Coast for 20 million years with individual coast redwoods living up to 2000 years.

A fairy ring is a common name for a group of redwood trees growing in a circle, usually around the stump of a logged old-growth tree.

After being cut down, a new generation of trees sprout from the roots of the fallen redwood, often creating a near-perfect circle or ring. This is one of the ways redwoods regenerate, giving them the tremendous advantage of already having a full root system compared to species that reproduce through seed.

We counted 18 trees growing from this huge stump.

Because redwoods crown sprout from stumps and the roots of fallen ancestors, the age of such a forest is almost inconceivable—while a 32-foot broad, 300-foot tall tree might represent a millennium of vertical growth, the genetics and rootstock below might span many thousands, if not millions, of years.

A vast forest known as the Moraga Redwoods once covered the valley that is now Canyon. But it took little more than fifteen years, from 1845 to 1860,
for crews of loggers to level the entire forest.

An ugly scene for today’s environmentalists to contemplate.

These redwoods and people built San Francisco and the East Bay.

A handheld bedrock mortar found at a Boy Scout campout at Saint Mary’s College in the fifties.

To quote Gregg Castro, Salinan Nation Tribal Chair

“The people came into the world, and they have been an integral part of it since the dawn of time. Though much has been lost in the last two and a half centuries, the knowledge lies deep within each of us. Like a mountain spring, it eventually works its way back to the surface. Knowledge, wisdom, courage, truth, love, strength, respect, forgiveness, integrity, patience, humility – they all are bubbling out to quench our thirst” Just like the mighty Redwood Sequoiadendron Giganteum

Lost Orinda Park – Orinda

Now primarily part of the Wagner Ranch Nature Area.

Bob calls this area Lost Orinda Park because of the old Orinda Park Hotel built here in 1885 (the original foundation remains just feet from the trailhead parking) and the Wagner Ranch (essentially a resort property) built in 1882.

Orinda Park was a popular destination along the old railroad line for weekend trips for those from Richmond and Berkeley seeking warmer climates.

We believe the first homes built by European settlers were right on the best locations in the area which the now forced-out Native Americans had settled long ago. This was probably one of those sites. The year around fresh water San Pablo Creek and springs don’t hurt.

An old photo of the Orinda Park Hotel.

There are lots of interesting signs and locales on this property.

Toris Jaeger has been managing this 16 acre property for 40 years and from time to time helps build Miwok style tule shelters.

“She taught us how to use plants for soap, how to identify spearmint and bay leaves and how to reuse candles by melting them down and re-forming them into new ones. She showed us the painstaking process by which Native American cultures had made acorn meal by grinding the acorns, removing the shell and leaching out poisonous toxins with boiling water. What she was really teaching us was how to respect our environment and each other.”

Inga Miller, current Orinda City Council.

Right now because of COVID 19 the gates are locked. Hopefully not for long.

This site is right upstream from all those dots on known sites at the east end of the reservoir.

Continuing upstream we know of Native American sites on the 11th hole of the Orinda Country Club and at the McDonell Nursery.

Certainly more were lost when the town of Orinda was paved over.

Wagner Ranch Nature Area is a nature preserve and historic site that offers about 1,000 Orinda schoolchildren a year a variety of hands-on experiences. The area features a meadow, forest, ponds and streams, a biodiversity garden, and is home to thousands of native plant and animal species.

Students, from third-graders through high-schoolers, learn about animal habitat, ecosystem studies, Native Americans, California history, foraging, cooking and early U.S. history, among other activities. In addition, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other community organizations have contributed special projects.

Super easy to find at the intersection of San Pablo Dam Road, Bear Creek Road, and Wildcat Canyon Road.The Hotel foundation is right in the trees in front of the trailhead parking. Un-marked.

The Wagner Ranch Nature area is below the school, down to San Pablo Creek. It’s Lost Orinda Park, for Bob.

Mary Bowerman Trail – Mount Diablo

This 3/4 mile easy walking trail circles the very top of Mount Diablo.

It really has nothing to do with Native America except for thousands of years this was considered to be sacred ground.

We know it takes an hour or more to drive to the top of the mountain but why hurry? Mary Bowerman was one of the founding members of Save Mount Diablo.

The first part of the path is paved and wheelchair accessible

The views in every direction are spectacular, to say the least.

It doesn’t get any better than this.

This rock outcrop is known as The Devil’s Elbow or Pulpit, unfortunately. The Volvon Shaman and people certainly may have called it something else.

Once you’re up here it’s real easy to get to the top, with the most wonderful and inspiring views in Central California. Controlled by the Volvon Tribe for many thousands of years.

Redwood Canyon Golf Course – Castro Valley

Formerly Willow Park Golf Course Start here and take the trail under Redwood Road

Follow this trail down into the creek

3/4 mile easy walk from the parking to this 10 mortar food processing site. Right next to the golf course.

That’s the golf course right there.

There are 8 unique specialty bedrock mortars on this rock and one nearby

So close to the golf course the occasional golf ball strays into the area.

Lots of great hikes in this area to Ramage Peak and Dinosaur Peak.

Real nice drive from Castro Valley to Moraga on Redwood Road

Important Indigenous Activists

Most of these people lack federal and state recognition but they still work overtime to sustain and improve their cultural identities.

Perhaps the Black Lives Matter movement will bring some awareness that Indigenous Lives Matter too, not just here but worldwide.

Except for Lucina Vidauri they disapprove of our activities and viewpoint.

Corinna Gould

Gregg Castro

Ann-Maria Sayers

Kanyon Sayers-Rood

Vincent Medina

Caleen Sisk

Lucina Vidauri

San Pablo Reservoir – Orinda

The boys set out to see if they could find any evidence of Site 401on the NE shore.

Site 401 at Northeast Corner, lower right

Carefully examining the shoreline

Our geologist called this “Sparse Lithic Scatter”. Monterey Chert, Basalt, Quartz and other pieces. Along with a glass marble. They all have no preferred fracture plane, they break “conchoidally” like glass.

Note the concentration of sites on San Pablo Creek, now a reservoir.

This burial from Site 407,, possibly a shaman, was interred with 
Olivella Shell Beads, inlaid Abalone Shell and Pendant, Mica Ornaments, Arrowhead Points, and More.

Mark Hylkema Presentation

Worth viewing.

All 3 episodes are excellent, but this one was the best.

It starts about 2 minutes in.

Put together by Peninsula Open Space Trust.

There were way more people here for thousands of years 
than is generally recognized and appreciated.

Kaaknu the Volvon was mentioned along with a photo of the Volvon Cave.

All remaining sites are sacred and should be approached with respect.

Curry Point Daylight – Danville

Curry Point Daylight

Curry Point on Mt Diablo is a great jumping off point for hiking in every direction. Native American villages and camps everywhere.

We believe this could be a long ago prayer seat for seekers of the sacred mountain’s mysteries. It’s right behind the big sign. You can’t miss it.

This site we call on the GoogleEarth map “Below Cave Point Road”. 21 bedrock mortars. It is actually below the Blackhawk Ridge Trail, almost down to Sycamore Creek. A very nice 1.2 mile hike from Curry Point. No mortars visible upon our arrival.

Visible now. Daylight. We want people to see them and hang out there. We did.

17 bedrock mortars on this rock. 4 more on a rock nearby.

Village and camp sites scattered all around, Spend an hour or a day.

Racism and Indigenous Californians

Read Benjamin Madley’s “An American Genocide”. Not a pretty picture. The California Indian experience 1846-1873.

Almost eradicated to extinction, but not quite.

I grew up laughingly thinking “The only good Indian is a dead Indian”. A lot of my friends descended from Southern crackers.

I’ve evolved since then.

Our present day indigenous neighbors are still pretty well marginalized and ignored.If you can, support their efforts at recognition.

For 15 years I’ve been trying to make the case:

The coordinated, calculated, clandestine policy of suppressing knowledge of Native American Indian sites is to my mind an injustice that needs to be corrected. I feel this policy significantly diminishes their importance to our current life ways.

So far I’ve achieved zero acknowledgement from the powers that be of the following simple fact:

The main Volvon Village in Morgan Territory may be the most significant Native American village site remaining in central California. It’s importance to present and future generations cannot be overstated.

It qualifies in every respect for National Historic Recognition and California Register Recognition. 

In fact, the whole complex of sites surrounding this village constitutes a unique resource that needs to be recognized, protected, preserved, and studied.

Thomas Dietrich Message

Dear Anne Kassebaum; Bob Doyle, GM, East Bay Regional Parks,

Every culture on Earth has their own Sacred Mountain. Most Sacred sites were usually adopted by the conquerors. It is unthinkable that Mt. Diablo is an orphan Sacred Mountain unclaimed by a feeling of political correctness by the State of California; and neither allowed to be claimed by Native Americans.

We can imagine your own dilemma in our legalistic and politically charged California. It is not the California that I grew up in during the 1950’s.

I have traveled to many ancient temples and sites around the world, and most of them are filled with earth and cosmic energy, astronomical alignments, healing waters, and specialty flowers, herbs, and medicines.

I would like to suggest that initially the Volvon village sites be investigated by students from Davis, Berkeley, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and other regional Universities -that some of the special phenomena described above might be found at Mt. Diablo and the Morgan Territory.

If the Volvon sites were to pass some of the criteria then the State and Regional Parks could designate it as a true Sacred Mountain -open to research and modest educational tourism which could bring in some money to have proper staff and security for these incredibly important and venerable sites. Sincerely,
Thomas Karl Dietrich

Thomas Karl Dietrich is the author of Temple of Heaven & Earth, Culture of Astronomy, Origin of Culture, and numerous articles like The Turin Rule on ancient science & astronomy on:

Kaaknu The Volvon artist: John Finger

Bob’s Mortar Daylight – Livermore

Recently Bob made the trek to the eponymous Bob’s 75 Mortar Site in Morgan Territory.

He reported that since our last daylighting mission it had all virtually disappeared beneath the duff.

He cleaned it up a little. This kitchen rock has 25 unique mortars.

We believe visitors need to see the many bedrock mortars at each site in order to appreciate the life and spirit that remains there.

This is Heather’s poem Day Light.

California Indian Pandemics

General Mariano Vallejo’s Petaluma Adobe

The first view of the great valley filled me with emotion. It was a case of love at first sight, which better acquaintance would only deepen…nowhere, was there a scene of such beauty and suggestion of everything desirable for man. ~Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo

The adobe was built by Indian labor between 1836 and 1846.

From the park’s website
· Q: Were there slaves here?
· A: NO. The definition of a slave is “property”.
The Native Americans that worked here were not considered “property.” In California Indian life of the recent past, European diseases devastated entire tribes.Because Native American populations were not previously exposed to most diseases introduced by European colonists, they had not built up individual or population immunities.

Numerous diseases were brought to the Americas, including smallpox, bubonic plague, cholera, diphtheria, malaria, measles, scarlet fever, sexually transmitted diseases, typhoid and tuberculosis.

Each of these brought destruction through sweeping epidemics, involving disability, illness, and extensive deaths.

The most destructive disease brought by Europeans was smallpox. Smallpox was lethal to many Native Americans.

During the 1770s, smallpox killed at least 30% of the West Coast Native Americans. A conservative estimate, we believe. The crowding into reservations that was a result of the widespread relocation and concentration of native groups by the expansion of European settlement also greatly influenced the susceptibility of native people to these foreign diseases.

As far as we know, no similar chart has been compiled for California Indian tribes.

There are still survivors, Native Californians, here now.

We should be grateful today that the Coronavirus is not wiping out whole towns and cities. Health is our only real wealth.

The Volvon Village 2020

Press Release Please Release Press Release

The 15 year effort by East Bay Hill People to gain recognition for the most important Native American village site in Central California has fallen on deaf ears.

Central Californian Native American tribes venerated Mount Diablo as a sacred mountain. Native people visited Mount Diablo for ceremonies, rituals, and trading for thousands of years. The Volvon tribe controlled access to the slopes and peak of Mount Diablo. Over 80 villages, camps, and food preparation sites and over 2,000 bedrock mortars of every variety remain intact throughout the 100 square mile former Volvon territory.

The main Volvon Village alone features over 700 bedrock mortars spread over a ½ mile long site. Park and Water District managers, archaeologists, and some Native Americans have pursued a coordinated, calculated, clandestine policy to conceal and protect Volvon sites from what they say is an ignorant, disrespectful public.

We believe this policy diminishes the significance of Volvon sites and leads to further suppression of knowledge of, and interest in, this long lived civilization that preceded us. It has severely limited our understanding and appreciation of California’s human history prior to European Colonization.

To sit in these camps and villages and contemplate the lives lived there can be a transformative experience.

This opportunity exists for any casual hiker and can be easily accessed through our Travelogues at or better yet via our Google Earth map at](

For more information on this subject please review:

Tom Stienstra’s 2018 column on Volvon National Park

KTVU’s 2008 story on the Volvon Village

The East Bay Express story on The Indian Hunter from 2007

and much more at:

or contact the East Bay Hill People Press Liaison Richard DeGraffenreid

The Volvon Village – artist: John Finger
Kaaknu The Volvon – artist: John Finger

Kaaknu the Volvon tribal chieftan was a real person. Recorded history shows that he attained prominent stature during his lifetime, which started in 1770 in a benign 10,000 year-old Native American cultural environment around Mount Diablo, east of the San Francisco Bay. In thirty-five short years he saw the complete dissolution of his tribe and the total loss of all of their ancestral territory to Spanish soldiers and settlers and the Jesuit Missions. He died in 1826 at Mission San Jose. Very little is known about him. Bay Area Native Americans still today refer to him as “The Captain”.

Hike Now

Yes indeed. Now is the time to get out and explore.

Native Califonians were forced out of their village and camp sites a couple of hundred years ago but their spirits remain along with ample evidence of a 10,000 year old culture and society.

Never forget their elder’s direction to look seven generations forward and seven generations back when considering important tribal decisions.

Take a look at our Travelogues to find nice hikes near you to contemplate these people’s presence in our current affairs.

Saturday we went out to what we call the Shaman’s Redoubt on Mt Diablo (formerly the GreenHill Ranch) offering spectacular views of Volvon Territory (80 camp and village sites with over 2000 bedrock mortars). An easy 45 minute walk in and out.

If you want to know why we call it the Shaman’s Redoubt drop in to our upcoming informal meet and greet to be held in Rock City on Mount Diablo, on short notice.

Forward this message to your friends who like to get outdoors.

Site Signage

Dear Friends,

My position is that every remaining visible Native American Indian site in the San Francisco Bay Area should be recognized, respected, and protected.

20 years ago there was virtually no signage to be found anywhere.

Here are examples of the progress being made. My favorite… located near the top of Mt Diablo below the so-called Devil’s Elbow, overlooking Volvon Territory.

Mysteriously it can only be found on the back of this sign

I’m not making this “Sacred Mountain” stuff up myself folks

Donner Pass – Truckee
Ring Mountain – Tiburon
Alvarado Park – Richmond
Lynch Canyon – American Canyon
Alpine Pond – Palo Alto
Hawley Lake – Jonesville
Indian Rock – Berkeley
Rush Ranch – Suisun City

Sindicich Lagoon – Martinez

Sindicich Lagoon – Briones Regional Park – Lafayette Entrance



Head on out the Abrigo Valley Trail. This is a 5-6 mile round trip with a several hundred foot climb up to the top of the world. Great trails all around.


Most of the way up the hill turn right on the Briones Crest Trail.


Do not take the first Lagoon Trail down to the left unless you want to pound down a couple extra miles. Bob did. Said it was very nice. That’s the sacred mountain Mt. Diablo looming in the distance.


Take the second Lagoon Trail to the left.


This singleton mortar, accompanied by 2 possibles, is about 150 yards north of the lagoon. What the heck somebody was processing here we don’t know.


The Lagoon is very special. Worth a visit. You can get here via several trail heads into Briones Park, including Martinez.


The fires indicate the number of bedrock mortars we have found at each of these remaining important sites. 

To view our complete Bay Area GoogleEarth Map click on


China Wall – Danville

China Wall
Macedo Ranch – Danville.

Save Mount Diablo holds their annual Moonlight on the Mountain fundraiser here but we’ll bet very few people are aware of the distinct, unusual, 4 Bedrock Mortar rock tucked right into the wall.

Great views of the mountain and Castle Rock.

Possible ceremonial site in ancient times.

One of the deepest mortars we’ve ever encountered. Not used for pounding acorns.

Contemplate, Meditate, Consecrate.

Take a picnic, take a book, take a guitar, take a nap, take some kids.

Mt Diablo State Park



Start here and follow the middle trail up the hill to the gap and around the corner.
An easy 40 minute hike with 300-400 foot climb.


You can get there from Castle Rock Park too.
Come up Pine Creek to the top of the little Yosemite Trail.


The mortar hole is quite deep.


The fires indicate important remaining Native American Indian Sites and
the number of bedrock mortars we have found at each site.

For our full Bay Area GoogleEarth map click here.


Lynch Canyon – Fairfield

Lynch Canyon – Solano County Land Trust.

This rare gem of a hike is right off Interstate 80 between American Canyon and Cordelia.

45 minutes tops to this site on foot.

Our GoogleEarth map shows 51 Bedrock Mortars but we’ve found more now. 58.

Feel the continued presence of the people who lived here. Take a picnic, take a book, take a nap, take a friend.


Start here. Right now it’s only open 9-5 Friday to Monday.


Take the Lynch Road Trail to Middle Valley Trail.


Go down the Tower Trail, through the gate, and into the trees and rocks to the left.


Heather studies a unique bowl.


There are 21 nice mortars on this rock and 37 on the spot next to it. A village site. Possibly
for thousands of years.


Nice to see an acknowledgement of the Native American history in this park.
Visitors? We think they lived here.


The numbers indicate the bedrock mortars we have found at each site.

To view our complete Bay Area map click on

Alder Spring – Redwood City

Russian Ridge Preserve – Redwood City.

This easy 1/2 hour jaunt from your car is well worth it.

Our latest bedrock mortar count on this one rock is 35. All shapes and sizes. On a nice little shelf above the creek which still has water in it in September.


Take the Charquin Trail down the hill


Turn right onto Alder Spring Trail. Go over the creek and maybe 50 yards further find a rarely used social trail off to the left.


Contemplate. Meditate. Consecrate.


Good seating still available.


The fires indicate important remaining Native American Indian sites

To view our complete Bay area Google Earth map go to


Whittell Marsh – Richmond

Point Pinole – Richmond.

This is a barely remaining remnant of one of over 400 shellmounds circling the bay as observed by N.C.Nelson in 1909.
See the Nelson Map below. This site is shown as “Disappeared”.
Corrina Gould and Indian People Organizing for Change are trying to protect and preserve the former major village site  at the West Berkeley Shellmound.
Lots of good info at their website:
Take a picnic, take a book, take a guitar, take a nap, take some kids.
Contemplate. Meditate. Consecrate.


The new parking lot at the Atlas Bridge just opened a few months ago. Follow the Owl Alley Trail to the China Cove Trail.


This is also part of the Bay Trail. When you get to the beach at China Cove head west along the shoreline. A lovely couple-hours walk, and much more to see and enjoy.


Hard to say what the prehistoric boundaries of the mound were. Lots of earth
was moved around out here when the Giant Dynamite operation managed the land.


Shell fragments above the tide line.


Not hard to see this ideal location to harvest shellfish, just looking at the beach,
right here on the shores of San Pablo Bay.


The fires indicate important remaining Native American Indian sites.

To view our complete Bay Area GoogleEarth Map click on

Ring Mountain 2 – Corte Madera

Ring Mountain – Corte Madera.

Single Bedrock Mortar.

This is a nice 5 minute walk from your care. School kids in Marin come here with their classes.

Take the Loop Trail off the Phyliss Ellman Trail then take the little social trail
on the left down to the creek.

Take a picnic, take a book, take a guitar, take a nap, take some kids.

Start Here:


The rock with shell midden in front. Proof that every single remaining
bedrock mortar is important.


The shell midden runs down to the creek. They weren’t grinding acorns here folks.


This beautiful bowl had a purpose unique to this site.


The fires indicate important remaining Native American Indian sites.

To view our complete Bay Area GoogleEarth Map click on