The Flora of the PCT
A5 Kitchen Creek Road to Mt. Laguna (Desert Overlook)
Fig. 1. Clockwise from upper left: Leptosiphon floribundus, summer snow; Calochortus invenustus, plain mariposa lily; Lonicera subspicata var. denudata, southern honeysuckle; Calochortus concolor, golden-bowl mariposa; and Eriastrum densifolium, southern mountain woolly-star. Pictures taken in this section by Tom Chester on 6/12/14.
Click on the pictures for larger versions.
Segment Start Segment End Segment Length Elevation (feet) Min Max Range Kitchen Creek Road Mt. Laguna (Desert Overlook) 12.4 miles 3990 6040 2050 This section covers mile 30 to mile 42 from the Mexican Border (see notes on accuracy of mileages).
The one-way hike from south to north has a total elevation gain of 2650 feet; see the profile below.
The one-way hike from north to south has a total elevation gain of 750 feet.
A round-trip hike of this section is 24.8 miles, with an elevation gain and loss of 3400 feet.
A5a Kitchen Creek Road to 8.2 miles north is a round-trip hike of 16.4 miles, with an elevation gain and loss of 2630 feet.
A5b 8.2 miles north to Mt. Laguna (Desert Overlook) is a round-trip hike of 7.2 miles, with an elevation gain and loss of 760 feet, plus a short distance (<0.1 miles) from the parking area at Desert Overlook to get the PCT.
The Plant Checklists
This trail section begins by ascending a south-facing chaparral ridge with expansive views south into Mexico. Soon, the trail reveals views down into Cibbets Flat campground. The trail stays on the ridge above Kitchen creek drainage, ultimately descending and crossing over that drainage near the headwaters. Toward the end of the section at Mt. Laguna are a number of interesting Black Oak hybrids. Our trail section ends at the Desert View picnic area, which is difficult to see coming from the south, and does not have an official trail intersection.
Fig. 2. Left: Trail Map for the PCT Section A5 from Kitchen Creek Road to Mt. Laguna (Desert Overlook), from USDA Forest Service Interactive Map. Right: Elevation profile from Kitchen Creek Road to Mt. Laguna (Desert Overlook), from south to north. Click on the pictures for larger versions.
Surveyed 4/5/2013 by RT and Shaun Hawke; 160 species were observed. The beginning of the trail was in early peak season. Fewer species were in bloom at the higher elevations. Once in the pine forest at the top, only the very earliest blooms were happening.
The uppermost portion near the Desert View Picnic Area was surveyed 4/30/13 by RT and Shaun Hawke, adding three species to the list.
The uppermost 3.6 miles was surveyed on 6/12/14 by Tom Chester, Walt Fidler, and Pam Pallette, with Bill Sullivan helping with the first part of the survey. This survey added 38 species to the list.
The Plant Checklists
There are four different versions of the Plant Checklists, which differ depending on:
- whether only species observed in the immediate vicinity of the trail are included, or whether species are also included from the larger area surrounding the trail, some of which might be found on the trail in future surveys;
- whether the list is presented in trail order, or in plant family order; and
- whether thumbnail photographs are included with the list or instead, links are provided to Calphotos pix and the Jepson Manual eflora.
The lists are:
- Illustrated Family Order List from Calflora, with two thumbnail pictures for every species found on the trail (192 taxa). Note the checkbox at right that allows a sort of the list in family order instead of scientific name order, or a sort by bloom start month. Check Show photo service links and then click on Display to get links to all Calphotos et al pictures.
- Species in Order Along the Trail, from Mt. Laguna (Desert Overlook) to Kitchen Creek Road (north to south), with links to Jepson Manual Treatment and Calphotos (210 taxa)
- Species Seen on or near the Trail in a Family Order List, with links to Jepson Manual Treatment and Calphotos (191 taxa; Eriodictyon parryi was inadvertently omitted from this list)
- Species Seen on or near the Trail, along with species vouchered from this general area, in a Family Order List, with links to Jepson Manual Treatment and Calphotos (334 taxa)
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 two separate searches of the Consortium of California Herbaria for georeferenced vouchers. First, on 6/11/14, for locations between 32.74 and 32.80° N. latitude and -116.46 and -116.42° E. longitude, for the southern part of the trail. Second, 11/10/14, for locations between 32.80 and 32.90° N. latitude and -116.44 and -116.40° E. longitude, for the northern part of the trail.
Copyright © 2014 by RT Hawke, Shaun Hawke, Tom Chester and Walt Fidler
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 18 December 2014.