Rock Scramble Jacal
Stacked rock complex above Alameda Creek overlooking the Rock Scramble.
Elevation 1069 ft.
Thanks to Michael for turning us on to this remarkable site. We’ve seen nothing like it in the Bay Area. It feels like a fortress. It could be a massive hunting blind, yet it contains elements that don’t seem related to the goal of concealing hunters from their prey. The nature of the dry-laid walls and enclosures here suggests construction in historic times, but this does not rule out Indians as builders. After secularization of the missions in 1834, Indians drifted back to this area and settled around Sunol, Alisal, and in the village of Aloc, located in the now-flooded Calaveras Valley. Cattle rustlers and bandits were active in this area from the 1820s to the 1870s. Joaquin Murietta may have had a hideout in the Niles Canyon area. Perhaps this complex was a bandit’s hideout or jacal.
The rocks in this complex were apparently quarried on site.
This is a defensible location.
Looking up at one of the enclosures.
Plenty of protection for an armed man.
The thick walls could probably stop bullets.
The cut-out looks like it belongs in a medieval fortress.
Looking up from the Rock Scramble side of the complex.
Note the low walls surrounding the rock outcrop with quarried stones piled on top. What does it all mean?
Photographs by Bob Bardell