Brushy Peak Loop Trail
Mortar Count: 6
Open
Cave Camp
Mortar Count: 5
Open
Club Moto
Mortar Count: 30
Open
First Terrace
Mortar Count: 31
Open
Frick Lake
Mortar Count: 16
Open
Kitchen Site
Mortar Count: 22
Open
Post Office Rock
Mortar Count: 12
Open
Reservoir
Mortar Count: 7
Open
Second Terrace
Mortar Count: 20
Open
Sulphur Spring
Mortar Count: 5
Open
Third Terrace
Mortar Count: 6
Open
Top ‘o Brushy Peak
Mortar Count: 1
Open
Upper Fetus
Mortar Count: 5
Open
Vernal Pool
Mortar Count: 23
Open
Windmill Overlook, Central
Mortar Count: 22
Open
Windmill Overlook, Lower
Mortar Count: 20
Open
Windmill Overlook, Upper
Mortar Count: 2
Open

Territory: Ssaoam

The Ssaoam were an Ohlone tribelet inhabiting the hills around Brushy Peak and the Altamont Pass. Their territory lay astride the main trade routes linking the Bay Area with the San Joaquin Valley. The Ssaoam acted as brokers in a regional trade network with the Volvon (Bay Miwoks) and the Tamcan (Northern Valley Yokuts).They hosted trade feasts on the northeast side of Brushy Peak. Acess to this area is controlled by the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District (LARPD). Call (925) 373-5707 for details about visiting this area on a ranger led tour.

Wind and water have worked their magic on the rock formations scattered below Brushy Peak’s northeast flank. This is a surreal, if not supernatural, place.

The main Ssaoam settlement was on the southwest side of Brushy Peak. It spread over the slopes of Brushy Peak on terraces and ridges. We’ve found 141 bedrock mortars here at 10 distinct sites. All of these sites are on non-restricted parkland in the Brushy Peak Regional Preserve.

There are two cupule rocks in this settlement: one has 23 cupules, the other 18.

View of Brushy Peak from near the Laughlin Ranch Staging Area. Nearly all the bedrock mortar sites we’ve found on this side of Brushy Peak are visible from here.

SulphurSpring2

Sulphur Spring

Sulphur Spring18 cupule rock; 5 bedrock mortars; slick 70′ away.Elevation 722 ft.The cupule rock. The use of cupule rocks here and elsewhere is, for the most part, shrouded in mystery. See Cupule Petroglyphs in the Diablo Range by E. Breck Parkman in the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. […]

3rdTerrace2

Third Terrace

Third TerraceSix bedrock mortars spread over a fairly wide area.Elevation 1035 ft.A view of the third terrace.One of the two two-mortar rocks here. Note the battered interior of the funnel mortar.Looking at a mortar rock holding a big bowl mortar.The bowl mortar.Above photographs by Bob Bardell.The other two-mortar rock here.Bob stands near the other mortar […]

BrushyPeakLoopTrail

Brushy Peak Loop Trail

Brushy Peak Loop Trail6 bedrock mortars and two probable mortarsElevation 1338 ft.We missed this rock in our earlier survey. The new Brushy Peak Loop Trail passes right by it.

BPnearpeak

Top ‘o Brushy Peak

Top ‘o Brushy Peak1 bedrock mortarElevation 1629 ft.Good eyes, Richard.

CaveCamp

Cave Camp

Cave Camp5 bedrock mortarsElevation 915 ft.Access to this site is strictly controlled. Call LARPD at (925) 373-5707 for details

GoldenEagle

Upper Fetus

Upper Fetus5 bedrock mortarsElevation 985 ft.Access to this site is strictly controlled. Call LARPD at (925) 373-5707 for details.The rock that gave birth to Wek-wek (Prairie Falcon man).A closer look at the fetus.A Golden Eagle keeps an eye on us.

ClubMoto1

Club Moto

Club Moto30+ bedrock mortarsElevation 663 ft.Thanks to Adrian for turning us on to this site above the Club Moto dirt bike track.The mortars here sit on a little knob at the mouth of the Altamont Pass. Bob enjoys the spectacular view over the Livermore Valley.Many of the mortars here are huge and weathered. The sandstone […]

TheBrain

Vernal Pool

Vernal Pool23 bedrock mortarsElevation 1025 ft.Access to this site is strictly controlled. Call LARPD at (925) 373-5707 for details.One of the vernal pools that give this site its name.Another view of the same pool, this time with water in it.The Brain lives in a nearby cave.Jim and Ranger Pat Sotelo head for a rock shelter […]

1stTerraceCupuleRock

First Terrace

First Terrace31 bedrock mortars, a 23 cupule rock, and 3-4 housepits.Elevation 775 ft.This site and the Kitchen site are actually on the same terrace, separated by a creekbed, but because we discovered and named the Kitchen site first, we called this site the “First Terrace.”A view of the First Terrace. The cupule rock is near […]

WindOC1

Windmill Overlook, Central

Windmill Overlook, Central22 bedrock mortars; housepitsElevation 1380 ft.From this ridge one can see and hear the windmills from the Altamont Pass wind farms.Alien creatures stalk across Ssaoam land..Looking toward the site..Two of the mortar rocks here.There are several housepits at this site..The rocks here provide some shelter from the prevailing winds. Note the volvano-shaped mortar […]