I saw this salamander and another smaller one in my garden, several times, during the winter.
8 inches, on Woodward trail, Point Reyes National Park
Found at an off stream connecting to Weir creek near weir hot spring in the Clearwater National Forest. Most of them were found under large rocks and wood. The largest one was found .5 miles up the stream from the starting site near some eggs located next to and slightly hidden by a rock. We found two rocky Mt. Tailed frog tadpoles but no mature anuran.
Large, fat and fisty. Mottled pattern on back, grayish underbelly. BITES! About 7-8 inches long.
4 front toes, 5 back, long and pointy
Gold flakes along the back
The mole salamanders (genus Ambystoma) are a group of salamanders endemic to North America, the only genus in the family Ambystomatidae. The group has become famous due to the presence of the axolotl (A. mexicanum), widely used in research, and the tiger salamander (A. tigrinum, A. mavortium) which is the official amphibian of many states, and often sold as a pet.