The Flora of the PCT
A1 Mexican Border to Highway 94

The beginning!!

Fig. 1. Left: Chamise chaparral surrounding the U.S. (left side) / Mexico (right side) border. The fences are on U.S. soil, with the dirt road area in-between them patrolled by Border Patrol vehicles. Right: The PCT Monument at the southern terminus.
Click on the pictures for larger versions.
The larger version of the PCT Monument picture shows the gear of a hiker who had just finished the entire PCT in 2014, heading north from Agua Dulce in June, arriving at Canada in October, and then hiking south from Agua Dulce, ending here on 3 November 2014.

Segment StartSegment EndSegment LengthElevation (feet)
Mexican Border, 2900 feetHighway 94, 2480 feet2.3 miles24802900420
This section covers mile 0.0 to mile 2.3 from the Mexican Border (see Accuracy of Reported Trail Mileages).
The one-way hike from south to north has a total elevation gain of just 100 feet; see the profile below.
A round-trip hike of this section is 4.6 miles total, with an elevation gain and loss of 600 feet.

Survey Dates
The Plant Checklists


This section of the trail is in the Southern Foothills Plant Community, as defined by the San Diego County Plant Atlas. The plant community here is almost entirely chaparral.

The trail starts in a sea of California Buckwheat, the first plant of the trail. It then tracks between the dirt road and private property before edging up into the chaparral again. A spectacular magenta pea called The Pride of California, aka Campo Pea, is found only along the first 30 miles of the trail here in southern California. The trail then drops down to the road again, which you actually walk on for a while past houses, many which have the showy locust tree covered in white blossoms. The trail then leaves all the development and heads west through the chaparral.

See The Flora of the Pacific Crest Trail: Overview for an Introduction to these plant checklists, and A. Southern Peninsular mountain ranges, Hauser Mountain, Laguna Mountains and the San Felipe Hills for an Introduction to this section.


Fig. 2. Left: Trail Map for the PCT Section A1 from the Mexican Border to Highway 94, from USDA Forest Service Interactive Map. Right: Elevation profile from the Mexican Border to Highway 94, from south to north. Click on the pictures for larger versions.

Survey Dates

The entire section was surveyed on 4/27/2013 by RT and Shaun Hawke. 100 species were observed, at peak bloom on the trail. The entire section was surveyed again on 11/3/2014 by Tom Chester, Keir Morse, James Dillane and Jim Roberts. 125 species were observed, of which 71 were also observed on 4/27/2013, and 54 species were new species for the list. 29 species observed on 4/27/2013 were not seen on 11/3/2014, all of which were annuals or perennials that are not usually visible late in the year.

The Plant Checklists

There are four different versions of the Plant Checklists, which differ depending on:

The lists are:

Separate condensed print versions of just the checklist names are available for all except for the Calflora thumbnail picture version, as a link on each of those pages.

The vouchered species were obtained from a search of the Consortium of California Herbaria on 10 April 2013, for georeferenced vouchers with locations between 32.58 and 32.61° N. latitude and -116.48 to -116.46° E. longitude. The search yielded 419 vouchers of 211 taxa.

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Copyright © 2014 by RT Hawke, Shaun Hawke, Tom Chester, Keir Morse, James Dillane, and Jim Roberts
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 4 December 2014.