The Flora of the PCT
B1, Highway S22 (Barrel Springs) to Highway 79 (Warner Springs fire station)

Fig. 1. Pictures taken on the PCT by Tom Chester. Left: Amaranthus torreyi, sandhill amaranth, a species not-previously known to occur in San Diego County, discovered on this trail by Keir Morse. Picture taken on 29 October 2015. Right: Micropus californicus, slender cottonweed, that produces large patches of white on hillsides along this trail in the spring; picture taken on 8 May 2012.
Click on the pictures to get larger versions.

Fig. 2. Pictures taken on the PCT by Jürgen Schrenk on 27 March 2009 and 1 April 2009. First three rows: fields of flowers along the trail, mostly goldfields, Lasthenia gracilis, and California poppies, Eschscholzia californica. The leftmost picture in the third row shows a side view of Eagle Rock at the top, with two horses and horseback riders on the best side for viewing Eagle Rock. The rightmost picture in the third row also shows the PCT winding through the flowers. Fourth row: Left: close-up of narrow-leaved miner's lettuce, Claytonia parviflora ssp. parviflora. Right: close-up of baby blue eyes, Nemophila menziesii var. menziesii.
Click on the pictures to get larger versions.

B1, Highway S22 (Barrel Springs) to Highway 79 (Warner Springs fire station)

Segment StartSegment EndSegment LengthElevation (feet)
Highway S22 (Barrel Springs)Highway 79 (Warner Springs fire station)8.5 miles30403560520
This section covers roughly mile 102 to mile 110 from the Mexican Border (see notes on accuracy of mileages).
Topo! gives 7.8 miles for this segment. The PCT Data Book gives 8.6 miles. We've adopted 8.5 miles, which may overestimate the mileage by a few tenths.
The one-way hike from south to north has a total elevation gain of 600 feet; see the profile below.
The one-way hike from north to south has a total elevation gain of 1005 feet.
A round-trip hike of this section is 17.0 miles, with an elevation gain and loss of 1605 feet.

Survey Dates
The Trail Plant Checklist


See The Flora of the Pacific Crest Trail: Overview for an Introduction to these plant checklists, and B. The San Ysidro and San Jacinto Mountains for an Introduction to this section.

This section of the trail is one of RT's favorites. It has one of the best wildflower displays in southern California, with carpets of white from popcorn flower and slender cottonweed, yellow from goldfields, blue from baby blue eyes, pink from ground pinks, and red from red brome, in different places and sometimes at different times. See the beautiful pictures by Jürgen Schrenk in Fig. 2 for some of the displays. This wildflower display is brought about in part by the cows grazing the non-native grasses which obscure such displays in most of California now. As a bonus, this section also has a high diversity of plant species, unlike many areas with good carpets of flowers that are dominated by just a few species.

Peak bloom is always dependent on the timing of rains and warm weather, but probably typically occurs in late March and early April, judging by Jürgen's beautiful pictures. There were over 140 species in bloom on 29 April 2012. Our next trip on 8 May 2012 was past peak bloom.

The trail goes through a number of different habitats, and though passing through an active cattle ranch, the grazing does not appear to have an adverse affect on the high diversity of plants found here. The trail begins in an oak woodland which quickly changes to chaparral. The trail emerges out onto grassland before reaching a sycamore-riparian woodland. It continues on through grasslands and chaparral until finally descending along an ash/willow riparian woodland surrounded by an oak woodland. This section ends by the fire station at the first crossing of Highway 79 near Warner Springs.

At mile 4.7 from the start, Eagle Rock is a very impressive rock formation that looks as if it had been sculpted to look like an eagle about to take wing. Make sure you walk on the use trail to the backside of the outcrop to see the eagle in its full glory.


Fig. 2. Left: Trail Map for the PCT Section B1, Highway S22 (Barrel Springs) to Highway 79 (Warner Springs fire station), from USDA Forest Service Interactive Map. Right: Elevation profile from B1, Highway S22 (Barrel Springs) to Highway 79 (Warner Springs fire station), from south to north. Click on the pictures for larger versions.

Survey Dates

DateSurveyors# Species known on trail
cumulative from all surveys to date
29 April 2012RT and Shaun Hawke170
8 May 2012RT and Shaun Hawke, Tom Chester, James Dillane, Kate Harper, Mike Crouse245
26 April 2015Kate Harper, Mike Crouse
29 October 2015Tom Chester, Kate Harper, Mike Crouse, Ted Caragozian
2 November 2015Tom Chester, Keir Morse, Mike Crouse294
1 May 2016Tom Chester300

As is always the case, the number of species known from an area increases with the number of surveyors and the number of times that the trail is surveyed, especially if the surveys are at different times of year and in different years.

The Trail Plant Checklist

The Plant Checklist is available in four different formats:

Separate condensed print versions of just the checklist names are available for all except for the Calflora thumbnail picture version.

Go to:

Copyright © 2015-2018 by RT Hawke, Shaun Hawke, Tom Chester, Kate Harper, Mike Crouse, James Dillane, Keir Morse, and Ted Caragozian
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Photographs by Jürgen Schrenk copyrighted by him; all rights reserved by him.
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 16 April 2018.