Above Mission Peak Meadow
Mortar Count: 2
Open
Agua Caliente Creek
Mortar Count: 7
Open
Agua Caliente East
Mortar Count: 3
Open
Below McClure Springs
Horse Heaven Trail
Mortar Count: 3
Open
Jeff’s Pestles
Mortar Count: 1
Open
Joel’s Fat Lip Mortars
Mortar Count: 3
Open
Minnis Ranch Rock
Mortar Count: 14
Open
Mission Creek Trail Spring
Mission San Jose
North Mission Peak
Rancho Higuera
Mortar Count: 2
Open
South Mission Peak

Territory: Alson

In a previous version of this KMZ we assigned sites on Mission peak to the Causen. In A Time of Little Choice Randall Milliken suggested that the Causen, an Ohlone tribelet, may have inhabited a single village in the Sunol valley. We found this puzzling at the time, since his triblet territorial maps in Native American History Studies for the Los Vaqueros Project: A Synthesis put Mission San Jose in Causen territory. In Native Americans at Mission San Jose, a 2008 work, Milliken puts Mission San Jose in Alson territory. Since it does not seem likely that a small triblet like the Causen held Sunol valley, Vargas Plateau, and Mission Peak, we assign Mission Peak sites to the Alson because of the proximity of Mission Peak to Mission San Jose.

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Agua Caliente East

Agua Caliente EastThree bedrock mortars and one anvilElevation 475 ft.Joel discovered this mortar rock up the creek from the Agua Caliente site.It’s unusual to see mortars in such poorly cemented sandstore. Note the small stones in the rock matrix.Photographs by Bob Bardell

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Below McClure Springs

Below McClure Springs75 yard long rock alignment overlooking the South Bay.Elevation 1908 ft.Some of the rock alignments in the Mission Peak area are probably natural formations. Others are clearly man-made. We believe this alignment is a member of the latter class.A close look at the stacked rocks.

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Horse Heaven Trail

Horse Heaven Trail3 bedrock mortars and 1 cupule/anvil on Horse Heaven Trail below Mt. Allison.We were turned on to this site by Tom Mangan’s blog. Thanks Tom!Horse Heaven Trail is the “road less traveled” to the top of Mission Peak. As we were writing up this site a hiker passed by and asked what we […]

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Jeff’s Pestles

Jeff’s PestlesOne bedrock mortar and five pestles near a spring northeast of Mission Peak.Elevation 1714 ft.Another one of Jeff’s amazing finds. Please do not remove any of these pestles. Leave them for others to enjoy.Pestles come in various shapes and sizes. Not all are flattened or tapered cylinders.Looking out over the nearby spring toward Mt. […]

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Joel’s Fat Lip Mortars

Joel’s Fat Lip MortarsThree bedrock mortars in a beautiful picnic siteElevation 776 ft.Thanks to Joel for discovering this special site.We’ve found plenty of mortars with rounded rims in the Bay Area but few whose rims rise above the surface of the surrounding rock and none that rise so dramatically.This rim forms a nearly perfect ring. […]

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Minnis Ranch Rock

Minnis Ranch Rock14 bedrock mortars on a workstation rock behind Minnis Ranch in Ed Levin Park.Elevation 778 ft.We’d seen a photograph of this rock in an article, but it took Jeff’s efforts to find the thing.The rock.Note the variety in the shapes of the mortar mouths. If you visit this site, please do not remove […]

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Mission Creek Trail Spring

Mission Creek Trail Spring50 yard long rock alignment at a seep spring site.Elevation 1725 ft.The alignment makes a right-angled turn at the top of the ridge near the big rocks and continues on downhill for a bit.

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Mission San Jose

Mission San JoseEstablished in 1797 at the Alson village of Oroysom.The mission complex as it appeared prior to its destruction in 1868 by the last great earthquake on the Hayward Fault.Image courtesy of the Bancroft Library.The church and museum at Mission San Jose are open from 10 AM to 5 PM daily except for New […]

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North Mission Peak

North Mission PeakRock alignment. Origin unknown.This is one of the mysterious rock alignments that can be found between Mission and Monument Peaks.Notice how this rock alignment appears to snake up the north slope of Mission Peak.We encountered this beautiful leucistic Red-tailed Hawk, probably a female based on her size, near the rocky trail to the […]

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Above Mission Peak Meadow

Above Mission Peak MeadowTwo probable bedrock mortars, one pestle, rock alignments.Elevation 1761 ft.Jeff discovered these mortars a long time ago. We looked and looked but couldn’t locate them. Recently Jeff led an expedition here. The mortars look like they could have formed from rain or fog drip, but Doc Hale, our resident expert, gave them […]