Poison Oak

The streams in this area are home to the larvae of the largest land salamander in the world: the Pacific Giant Salamander.

Much of this area is covered with dense Poison Oak. Explore with caution!

Plant Communities

  • Redwood/bay riparian forest
  • Large fern population
  • Poison Oak


The caves are a result of disintegration within the marble base of this area. A variety of cave fauna live in the caves including Townsend’s big-eared bat, an endangered species.


The steep terrain, streams, aquatic life, and caves in this area are all a result of the base geology combined with erosion. The ravines, which now border Empire Grade Road, were mined for gold and limestone for a brief time.