Ring Mountain #2
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Ring Mountain #2


Ring Mountain #2
Multiple PCNs and fantastic views
Elevation 488 ft.

Thanks to Danielle for getting us back out to Ring Mountain.

A PCN is created by pecking a circular or oval groove in a rock (typically schist in the Bay Area) leaving a raised “nucleated” center that may itself be subject to further manipulation.

For an in-depth study of PCNs see Donna Gillette’s 2011 dissertation Cultural Markers on the Landscape: the PCN Pecked Curvilinear Nucleated Tradition in the Northern Coastal Ranges of California.

On a blazing hot June day we were so intent on reaching the Eucalyptus trees here that we walked right past this petroglyph panel without noticing it. While we were cooling off in the shade, a local hiker came up and joined us. He was a Ring Mountain regular who’d hiked here thousands of times. Eventually we queried him about PCN rocks, asking him if he knew of any others besides the main rock. Yes, he’d heard there were others, but he couldn’t remember their locations. No doubt he was having a private laugh at our expense, since this beautiful, untouched PCN rock sat no more than 25 feet away from where we were all lounging around.

The towers of the cool grey city of love rise through the haze above a finger of fog sneaking in through the Golden Gate.


Mt. Tamalpais. The views here help make this location a true power spot.


A closeup of the petroglyph panel. The lichen on this rock camoflages and protects the PCNs. Vandals have not desecrated them, which is more than can be said for many of the PCNs on the larger and more famous rock nearby. Please respect this important prehistoric art work.