Where is Ring Mountain?


Outlined on this USGS Landsat image of the San Francisco Bay area, Ring Mountain is located in Marin County, California just seven miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Map to access points


Note that these satellite images were taken using the infrared portion of the electro-magnetic spectrum that is not visible to the human eye. This "false-color" imaging enhances the land forms and surface features but are NOT the way that objects normally appear to the human eye.


The color key: 
Deep red - ground covered by heavy vegetation 
Light red - cultivated crops 
Shades of green - grass-covered areas (east of SF Bay) and salt marsh areas (northwest shore of San Pablo Bay) 
Turquoise blue - urbanized areas (Street grids can be seen, red flecks represent parks and greenways) 
Royal blue - bodies of water (San Francisco Bay, the Pacific Ocean) The yellow circles are earthquake epicenters


Ring Mountain (picture looking from the north) forms two high points on the prominent, southeast trending ridge extending from Marin County's highest point, Mount Tamalpais, (picture of Mt. Tam from campus looking south, 162K) through Tiburon and across Raccoon Straits to Angel Island. Topographically, this ridge is the spine of Marin County's Tiburon Peninsula (picture looking south from Ring Mt., 139K), one of several similarly trending ridges which separate the county's urban areas (the blue areas on the photo).

The vegetated (deep red) northern and eastern slopes of the Tiburon Peninsula contrast with the drier and grassy slopes (green) southern and western slopes of the ridge. This is a fine example of what geographers refer to as "landslope aspect." Another example of this vegetative pattern can be seen in this picture (62K) taken near Lake Nicasio in west Marin.

Contributions to the production of this vegetative pattern come from evaporation differentials on the topography in the Mediterranean Climate and the orographic effects produced by the county's topography

The term "mountain" is a misnomer really. At its highest point, Ring Mountain is only 602 feet high, and is dwarfed by the nearby, 2500' high, Mount Tam (picture, 98K). Viewed looking south from Highway 101 in the Ross Valley, the pronounced green of the mountain's serpentine can be seen in cuts made for residential construction (picture, 119K). Both the rocky serpentine covering of the mountain summit and the residential cuts are visible in this aerial photo. Close inspection of the following aerial photo shows a significant slide above the cul-de-sac.


A ground view shows the impact of the slide on the cul-de-sac (picture, 158K).



To see a marvelous resource that will allow you to see aerial photography of the county and zoom ito things down to the size of individual houses in Marin County check out the USGS MrSid Server.

Marin County, the home of Ring Mountain, has a wealth of natural history and has 3 National Park Service units within its boundaries, Muir Woods, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and the Point Reyes National Seashore. State parks are well represented in the county as well and can be reviewed here.

Next: What is the interest in Ring Mt.?

    Take a hike up Ring Mountain    Learn about the geology

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