Plant Guide to Deer Springs / Suicide Rock Trail, San Jacinto Mountains

Introduction and Explanation of Plant Trail Guides

Introduction
Highlights of This Trail
Fieldwork Dates and Summary of List Changes With Time
Botanical Trip Reports
The Plant Guide
Comments On Specific Species

Introduction

Guide is updated from all fieldwork through 2015, but nothing else on this page has been updated from that work.

The Deer Springs Trail begins immediately north of the entrance to Idyllwild County Park, on SR243 one mile north of downtown Idyllwild. The Suicide Rock Trail branches off the Deer Springs Trail at mile 2.25; that branch is also included in this guide as a separate section at the bottom. The Deer Springs Trail continues past the Suicide Trail Junction to Strawberry Junction at mile 4.05 where it meets the PCT. The trails merge heading north to the junction with the Marion Mountain Trail at mile 6.01, which is the terminus of this Guide.

A free wilderness permit is required for day use, available either from the Forest Service office at 54270 Pinecrest, which is just east of SR243 in downtown Idyllwild, or from the San Jacinto State Park headquarters on Highway 243 just north of the Forest Service office. The permit is not available at the trailhead, and there are often rangers at the trailhead or along the trail checking permits on heavy use days. I have personally run into rangers checking permits on several different days.

Parking is extremely limited in the area. There are perhaps 10 spaces on the shoulder of SR243 immediately at the trailhead, and designated parking for perhaps another 10 cars at the signed parking area just west of the trailhead. Parking for the trail is no longer permitted at Idyllwild County Park, despite the presence of a fairly large usually-empty lot just south of the trailhead.

There is a shortcut trail on the northeast corner of the parking area; if you take that unsigned trail, you will miss the first 0.20 miles of this Guide.

The official Trail, the Parking Area, and the Shortcut Use Trail are shown in the following map (base map from Google Maps accessed on 25 June 2009):

The first ~0.25 miles of this trail, along with the entire Idyllwild County Park, are very depressing sites to any botanically-knowledgeable person. Due to the hysteria over fire safety, the area has mostly been nuked of all native plants, with many shrubs butchered into pathetic stick figures. Worse, the butchered parts have been shredded and spread as mulch to discourage the return of anything resembling a native landscape, disrupting the native soil seriously.

Worse yet, we don't think that there is any scientific evidence at all that this vandalization of the native landscape actually reduces the fire danger to the nearby homes or businesses. If anyone knows of any such evidence, please let us know.

Fortunately, the wilderness area has not yet been so vandalized, although we have seen tags with the same name as the organization that vandalized the lower part of the trail.

Highlights of This Trail

The botanical highlights of this trail are:

Number of Unique Taxa On This Trail

This section not updated from the 4/30/07 and 10/18/07 fieldwork.

The following histogram gives the number of trails in my database that contain each taxon on this trail. We had 94 trails in our database when this histogram was made; 6 of those trails, including this one, are in this area of San Jacinto Mountain. A number of "1" means the taxon has only been found on this trail among the trails in our database; numbers of "6" or smaller may indicate taxa found only in this area of San Jacinto Mountain.

Number of Trails
Containing A Taxon
Number Of Taxa
On This Trail
% of Taxa
On This Trail
111%
277%
366%
488%
566%
 
1-52827%
6-103029%
11-151918%
16-201111%
21-2555%
26-3022%
31-3511%
36-4022%
41-4522%
46-5011%
51-5511%
56-6011%
Total Taxa103100%

We found 9 additional species not in the above table, since they have not been fully identified yet. The unidentified ones are marked with ? or sp in the id? column in the guide, and have no entries in the #all column.

Fieldwork Dates and Summary of List Changes With Time

This section not updated from the 4/30/07 and 10/18/07 fieldwork.

The following table gives the dates the trail was walked and taxa recorded. After each visit, the table gives the total number of taxa on the list and the breakdown of the taxa without positive identification. See Explanation of Plant Trail Guides to understand the symbols below.

Visit DateVisit ## taxa# "?"# "sp"# "~"# "ssp"
9/29/20061572696
10/5/20062601233
10/5/20062902573
10/10/20063911584
10/10/2006310225104
10/21/2006410626123
10/21/2006411227123

The Suicide Trail is included in the above table. Since some of the species on it are also found later in the Deer Springs Trail, the number of unique species, given in the table above, is fewer than the combined numbers in the guide. For example, after the fieldwork on 10/10/06, there were 98 taxa found on the Deer Springs Trail proper, and 9 taxa found on the Suicide Trail. Of those 9 taxa, 5 of them were also found on the Deer Springs Trail past the Suicide Jct., and hence the Suicide Trail added 4 taxa to the total taxa on both trails, for a total of 102 taxa.

The fieldwork on 9/29/06 was only to mile 1.17. The fieldwork on 10/5/06 was to Suicide Rock. There are two entries for that date; the first gives the numbers up to mile 1.17 for comparison with 9/29/06; the second gives the complete survey. The fieldwork on 10/10/06 was to mile 4.88. The first time the entire route was covered was on 10/21/06.

Similarly, there are two entries for 10/10/06 and 10/21/06; for 10/10/06, the first gives the numbers up to mile 2.25, including the trail to Suicide Rock; the second gives the survey up to mile 4.88.

We thank Jim Adams for help with the initial reconnaissance of the first 0.20 miles of the trail on 9/29/06.

Botanical Trip Reports

The Plant Guide

See Plant Checklist For Deer Springs Trail to Suicide Rock for a list of the species in that portion of the guide below in traditional family order.

The mileages in the guide have been fit to GPS data up to mile 1.17 and should be accurate to ~0.01-0.02 miles. Mileages after 1.17, up to Strawberry Junction, are pedometer mileages adjusted to the claimed mileage, and hence have a higher uncertainty. Mileages after Strawberry Junction are pedometer mileages. The total mileage of 1.96 by pedometer is significantly shorter than the 2.3 miles on the Tom Harrison San Jacinto Wilderness Trail Map, and it is hard to believe that segment of trail is actually 2.3 miles long. Measurements using Topo! are only 1.71 miles, which is undoubtedly too low.

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Deer Springs to Suicide Rock Version only: Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (8 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (2 double-sided pages).

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here
0.00   Begin at trailhead (road entrance blocked by huge log directly across from Idyllwild County Park entrance); elevation 5620 feet (1710 m). The area here has been nuked of most native plants and the area mulched to prevent their regrowth. (:-( In wet area west of trailhead: lesser paintbrush, Castilleja minor ssp. spiralis
0.00l  (green miner's lettuce, Claytonia parviflora ssp. viridis; volcanic gilia, Gilia ochroleuca ssp. exilis)
0.00r1 Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi99 / 9
0.00l2 pine dwarf-mistletoeArceuthobium campylopodum+1 / 1
0.00b3 pink-bracted manzanitaArctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea99 / 9
0.00r4 Wright's buckwheatEriogonum wrightii var. membranaceum99 / 9
0.00l5 *downy bromeBromus tectorum99 / 9
0.00b6 pineland buckwheatEriogonum molestum20 / 5
0.00r7 San Jacinto buckwheatEriogonum apiculatum50 / 9
0.00l8 Parish' Jacumba milk-vetchAstragalus douglasii var. parishii15 / 2
0.00r9 scarlet buglerPenstemon centranthifolius2 / 1
0.00l10 spear-leaved mountain dandelionAgoseris retrorsa15 / 5
0.00l11 beautiful hulseaHulsea vestita ssp. callicarpha10 / 3
0.00l12 squirreltailElymus elymoides99 / 9
0.00b13 coastal giliaGilia diegensis20 / 3
0.00b14 showy bajada lupineLupinus concinnus ssp. optatus99 / 9
0.00b15 strigose lotusLotus strigosus99 / 9
0.00l16 mountain red-root cryptanthaCryptantha micrantha var. lepida99 / 9
0.00b17 pinegrove groundsmokeGayophytum oligospermum30 / 3
0.00r18 bur-ragweedAmbrosia acanthicarpa5 / 2
0.00r  (slender everlasting, Gnaphalium canescens ssp. thermale; splendid gilia, Gilia splendens ssp. splendens)
0.00l  (incense-cedar, Calocedrus decurrens; California black oak, Quercus kelloggii)
0.00b19 California-asterLessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia99 / 9
0.01r20 canyon live oakQuercus chrysolepis99 / 9
0.01l21 leafy daisyErigeron foliosus var. foliosus99 / 9
0.01l  Sign: "3E17 (left-right)"
0.01r22 Jepson's blue wildryeElymus glaucus ssp. jepsonii30 / 9
0.02r  Display Board: "Deer Springs Trail…"; trail turns left 90°
0.02   Trail is now lined with pink-bracted manzanita, Arctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea
0.03r  (Coulter pine, Pinus coulteri)
0.03l23 goldenrodSolidago californica99 / 9
0.03r  (Ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa)
0.04r24 mountain grape-soda lupineLupinus excubitus var. austromontanus50 / 9
0.04r  (narrowleaf bedstraw Galium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium)
0.04l25 California black oakQuercus kelloggii99 / 9
0.05r26 San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushChrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus50 / 9
0.05l27 whisker-brushLinanthus ciliatus99 / 9
0.05l28 southern mountain woolly-starEriastrum densifolium ssp. austromontanum99 / 3
0.05l29 chaparral whitethornCeanothus leucodermis10 / 9
0.06l30 narrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium99 / 9
0.06b31 southern honeysuckleLonicera subspicata var. denudata50 / 9
0.07l32 California elegant rock-cressArabis sparsiflora var. californica45 / 5
0.07r  (California coffeeberry, Rhamnus californica; Fremont's monkeyflower, Mimulus fremontii)
0.08l33 *rattail fescueVulpia myuros99 / 1
0.08r34 small fescueVulpia microstachys99 / 9
0.08r35 silky lotusLotus heermannii var. heermannii99 / 9
0.08r36 interior live oakQuercus wislizeni var. frutescens99 / 9
0.08b37 bristly bird's beakCordylanthus rigidus ssp. setigerus20 / 1
0.08r  (Indian milkweed, Asclepias eriocarpa)
0.09r38 California coffeeberryRhamnus californica+10 / 9
0.09b39 golden yarrowEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum99 / 9
0.09l40 Lemmon's linanthusLinanthus lemmonii99 / 5
0.09l  (Martin's paintbrush, Castilleja applegatei ssp. martinii)
0.10l41 June grassKoeleria macrantha99 / 9
0.11l42 incense-cedarCalocedrus decurrens50 / 9
0.12b  (mountain California-fuchsia, Epilobium canum ssp. latifolium; Cleveland's horkelia, Horkelia clevelandii; sticky cinquefoil, Potentilla glandulosa ssp. reflexa)
0.12r  (yarrow, Achillea millefolium; blue dicks, Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum; hairy wood rush, Luzula comosa; dense-flowered rein orchid, Piperia elongata; tree clover, Trifolium ciliolatum; mountain carpet clover, Trifolium monanthum var. grantianum)
0.12   Cross small drainage with culvert; switchback left
0.12b43 California bromeBromus carinatus var. carinatus60 / 9
0.12r44 blue dicksDichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum99 / 9
0.12r  (Parish's tauschia, Tauschia parishii)
0.12l45 mountain mugwortArtemisia ludoviciana ssp. incompta99 / 9
0.12l46 deergrassMuhlenbergia rigens50 / 9
0.13r47 small-head field cloverTrifolium microcephalum99 / 3
0.13r48 tomcat cloverTrifolium willdenovii50 / 3
0.13r49 slender everlastingGnaphalium canescens ssp. thermale40 / 9
0.13b50 Cleveland's horkeliaHorkelia clevelandii10 / 3
0.13c51 dwarf madiaMadia minima+1 / 1
~0.13l52 mountain California-fuchsiaEpilobium canum ssp. latifolium50 / 9
0.14l  (birch-leaf mountain-mahogany, Cercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides)
0.14l  (Jones' prickly-nut cryptantha, Cryptantha muricata var. jonesii)
0.14l53 volcanic giliaGilia ochroleuca ssp. exilis99 / 9
0.14r54 Mexican rushJuncus mexicanus99 / 1
0.14b55 dense-flowered rein orchidPiperia elongata2 / 1
0.14r56 spike primroseEpilobium densiflorum3 / 1
0.14r57 Pacific rushJuncus effusus var. pacificus10 / 1
0.14r58 yarrowAchillea millefolium20 / 3
0.15r59 Kentucky blue grassPoa pratensis ssp. agassizensis10 / 1
0.15r60 swamp sedgeCarex senta20 / 3
0.15r61 arroyo willowSalix lasiolepis5 / 1
0.15r62~giant red paintbrushCastilleja miniata ssp. miniata3 / 1
0.15r63?flat-leaved rush or blue-eyed grassJuncus sp. or Sisyrinchium bellum10 / 1
0.15r  (snow-plant, Sarcodes sanguinea)
0.17l64 Indian milkweedAsclepias eriocarpa99 / 5
0.18r65 *red bromeBromus madritensis ssp. rubens10 / 1
0.18l  Jct. use trail from parking area
0.20r  Ten wood posts blocking off road
0.20l66 sugar pinePinus lambertiana50 / 9
0.20   Trail curves right
0.24b67 oak mistletoePhoradendron villosum99 / 9
0.24   Trail turns right 90°; do not continue ahead on road
0.24l  Sign: "No dogs beyond this point; wilderness permit required 1/4 mile ahead"; end nuking of landscape
0.24l68 San Bernardino sun-cupCamissonia confusa99 / 9
0.26   Trail curves right
0.26r69 thread plantNemacladus longiflorus var. longiflorus2 / 1
0.28b70 Coulter pinePinus coulteri50 / 9
0.29l ~(California chicory, Rafinesquia californica)
0.29l71 Jones' prickly-nut cryptanthaTeh, SW, D; < 6600 feetCryptantha muricata var. jonesii99 / 9
0.30l72 Parish's tauschiaTauschia parishii45 / 5
0.31   Switchback left
0.31r73 coast-range melicMelica imperfecta10 / 2
0.32r74 splendid giliaGilia splendens ssp. splendens99 / 3
0.34r75 green miner's lettuceClaytonia parviflora ssp. viridis40 / 3
0.34   Trail curves right
0.39l76 Fremont's monkeyflowerMimulus fremontii99 / 9
0.39r77 goldenstarBloomeria crocea3 / 1
0.39r  (curve-flowered skullcap, Scutellaria siphocampyloides)
0.39   Cross small drainage
~0.39 78spgrey popcorn flowerPlagiobothrys canescens1 / 1
0.39r79 seashore bentgrassAgrostis pallens10 / 1
0.39r80 Martin's paintbrushCastilleja applegatei ssp. martinii30 / 6
0.42l81 western needlegrassAchnatherum occidentale5 / 2
0.43l82 mustang mintMonardella lanceolata10 / 2
0.44l  (scattered blazing star, Mentzelia dispersa, 50 feet from trail)
0.44b83 sticky cinquefoilPotentilla glandulosa ssp. reflexa30 / 5
0.44l84 mountain carpet cloverTrifolium monanthum var. grantianum20 / 1
0.44   Cross small drainage
0.44b85 curve-flowered skullcapScutellaria siphocampyloides5 / 1
0.46   Trail turns right 90°
0.48   Trail gradually curves left
0.53   Switchback left
0.55   Switchback right
0.56   Switchback left
0.56r  (Coulter's snapdragon, Antirrhinum coulterianum)
0.56r86 hollyleaf redberryRhamnus ilicifolia3 / 3
0.60r  (chaparral yucca, Yucca whipplei)
0.59r87 wide-throated yellow monkeyflowerMimulus brevipes4 / 2
0.59   Cross small drainage
0.63b88 whorledleaf penstemonKeckiella ternata var. ternata43 / 2
0.64   Switchback right
0.64l89 birch-leaf mountain-mahoganyCercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides2 / 2
0.65r  Boulder with scooped-out "seat"
0.67   Trail curves left at ridge
0.67b90 chaparral yuccaYucca whipplei3 / 1
0.68   Switchback left
0.70r91 scattered blazing starMentzelia dispersa30 / 2
0.71l92 hybrid manzanitaArctostaphylos patula X A. pringlei ssp. drupacea4 / 3
0.73   Switchback right
0.73   Switchback left; sign: "Mount San Jacinto State Park Wilderness"
0.73r93 diamond-petaled clarkiaClarkia rhomboidea50 / 3
0.73r94 forest sedgeCarex multicaulis15 / 5
0.74r95 imbricate phaceliaPhacelia imbricata ssp. patula30 / 9
0.75r96 snow-plantSarcodes sanguinea10 / 5
0.77   Switchback right
0.78l  (white fir, Abies concolor)
0.79   Switchback left; jct. use trail to viewpoint 0.02 miles distant with California cliff-brake, Pellaea mucronata var. californica
0.82   Local high point on trail
0.83l97 twiggy wreath plantStephanomeria virgata8 / 3
0.84   Local low point on trail
0.84r  (purple nightshade, Solanum xanti)
0.87l98 chickweed oxythecaOxytheca caryophylloides50 / 1
0.91   Cross small drainage with big rocks and pipe on left above trail; trail curves right
0.92l99 white catch-flySilene verecunda ssp. platyota20 / 2
0.94 100 sand cressCalyptridium monandrum5 / 1
0.94   Switchback left
0.94   Switchback right
0.97l101 Sierra Nevada lotusLotus nevadensis var. nevadensis99 / 9
0.97   This area has some really old specimens of chaparral whitethorn, Ceanothus leucodermis, and pink-bracted manzanita, Arctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea
0.98   Long switchback left
0.99   Switchback right
1.01   Switchback left
1.04r  View of Tahquitz Lookout
1.07   Local high point on trail, followed quickly by local low point
1.09l102 California thistleCirsium occidentale var. californicum3 / 1
1.09l103 false monkeyflowerMimulus pilosus20 / 1
1.10b104 broad-leaved lotusLotus crassifolius var. crassifolius20 / 2
 r  Jct. use trail
1.11b105 pine cryptanthaCryptantha simulans21 / 1
1.12l106spgoosefoot yellow violetViola purpurea ssp. quercetorum3 / 1
1.12   Trail curves right
1.14   Switchback left
1.15b107 western morning-gloryCalystegia occidentalis ssp. fulcrata54 / 2
1.16l108 brackenPteridium aquilinum var. pubescens99 / 9
1.17l109 southern miner's lettuceClaytonia perfoliata ssp. mexicana5 / 1
1.18l110 plain mariposa lilyCalochortus invenustus30 / 3
1.18l111 white firAbies concolor50 / 9
1.19l112 pinedropsPterospora andromedea5 / 3
1.21b113 western azaleaRhododendron occidentale50 / 5
1.21b114 woodland strawberryFragaria vesca+99 / 2
1.21r115 little prince's pineChimaphila menziesii+3 / 1
1.21b  (western columbine, Aquilegia formosa; Durango root, Datisca glomerata; glaucus willowherb, Epilobium glaberrimum ssp. glaberrimum; lemon lily, Lilium parryi; mountain pink currant, Ribes nevadense; thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus)
1.22   Switchback left
1.23   Switchback right
1.24   Switchback left
1.25   Switchback right
1.25r116?unk young plants?5 / 1
1.25l117 naked buckwheatEriogonum nudum var. pauciflorum20 / 9
1.26r  Canyon live oak, Quercus chrysolepis, hit by lightning. Many trees here have been struck by lightning.
1.29   Cross small drainage where trail curves right
1.30   Trail turns left 90°; enter Mistletoe Row
1.37   Species found in meadowy area along drainage (Idyllwild Creek) to right, not found elsewhere on trail to Suicide Rock:
  OT white hawkweedHieracium albiflorum8 / 1
  OT Scouler's St. JohnswortHypericum formosum var. scouleri5 / 1
  OT willow-leaved dockRumex salicifolius var. denticulatus1 / 1
  OT spotted coralrootCorallorhiza maculata13 / 1
1.45r118 San Jacinto lupineLupinus hyacinthinus99 / 5
1.47   (incense-cedar mistletoe, Phoradendron libocedri, at top of tree in distance)
1.48r  (Parish's lupine, Lupinus latifolius var. parishii; California wild rose, Rosa californica)
1.49b119 mountain pink currantRibes nevadense50 / 3
1.49l120 fragile sheath sedgeCarex fracta2 / 1
1.49l121~rigid hedge-nettleStachys ajugoides var. rigida10 / 2
1.49r122 western columbineAquilegia formosa2 / 1
1.49   Cross the main drainage we've been hiking along, informally called “Idyllwild Creek”, which has abundant western azalea, Rhododendron occidentale, here; elevation 6480 feet (1975 m)
1.49r  live plants of woodland strawberry in 2015Fragaria vesca /
1.49b123 lemon lilyLilium parryi10 / 2
1.49l124 Parish's lupineLupinus latifolius var. parishii10 / 3
1.49   Switchback right
1.50l  (western wallflower, Erysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum; live plants of little prince's pine, Chimaphila menziesii, in 2015)
1.55   Switchback left
1.58   Switchback right
1.61l  Field of southern mountain woolly-star, Eriastrum densifolium ssp. austromontanum
1.66r  Cross small drainage
1.73   Switchback left
1.81   Cross small drainage
1.85   Trail turns right 90° at ridge
1.86   Trail turns right 90° again
1.93   Cross small drainage
1.94   Switchback left
1.94b125 short-flowered monardellaMonardella nana ssp. tenuiflora20 / 2
1.95l126 granite prickly phloxLeptodactylon pungens3 / 2
1.98   Cross small drainage
2.04   Cross small saddle on ridge
2.06b127 San Gabriel beardtonguePenstemon labrosus20 / 2
2.10r128 western wallflowerErysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum5 / 1
2.13l129 woodland spurgeEuphorbia palmeri1 / 1
2.18b130 sapphire woolly-starEriastrum sapphirinum10 / 1
2.22   Jct. trail to Suicide Rock; elevation ~6900 feet (2105 m). Sign: "(r): Suicide Rock 1 mi; (back): Highway 243 2.3 mi; (ahead) Strawberry Jct. 1.8 mi, Little Round Valley 5.5 mi, San Jacinto Peak 7.0 mi". Guide to the Suicide Rock Trail is at the bottom of this Guide
    
2.22   Continue on Deer Springs Trail
2.23   Switchback right
2.24   Trail turns left 90° and then curves right
2.31   Switchback left
2.33r131 mountain whitethornCeanothus cordulatus99 / 9
2.34   Switchback right; trail soon zags right and then curves left
2.39l  (rock goldenbush, Ericameria cuneata var. cuneata)
2.40   Switchback right
2.42   Switchback left
2.44   Switchback right
2.45   Switchback left
2.45l  Another hybrid manzanita, Arctostaphylos patula X A. pringlei ssp. drupacea
2.49   Switchback right
2.55   Switchback left
2.58   Switchback right
2.62   Switchback left
2.64   (fir mistletoe, Phoradendron pauciflorum, ahead in distance)
2.73   Switchback left
2.77   Switchback right at ridge
2.84   Switchback left
2.87r  Switchback right; view of Tahquitz Peak and top of Suicide Rock
2.91   Switchback left
2.95   Switchback right
2.98   Switchback left
3.05r132 fir mistletoePhoradendron pauciflorum1 / 1
3.10   Switchback left
3.17   Long switchback right at ridge
3.29b133 green-leaf manzanitaArctostaphylos patula30 / 9
3.29   Switchback left
3.30   Switchback right
3.38   Trail zigzags right then left
3.42r  canyon live oak, Quercus chrysolepis, with weird galls of two kinds: terminal galls like a chinquapin male inflorescence, and stem galls like acorns
3.43l  (Idaho bentgrass, Agrostis idahoensis)
3.46r  Nice patch of San Jacinto lupine, Lupinus hyacinthinus
3.46r  Check these plants to make sure they are western wallflower, Erysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum
3.48   Trail zigzags right then left
3.48l  (spotted coralroot, Corallorhiza maculata)
3.60l  Four honking incense-cedars, Calocedrus decurrens, struck by lightning, with 3 still alive
3.64   Switchback right
3.65   Switchback left
3.80   Long switchback left
3.82   Switchback right
3.95l  Check for different Monardella
3.98   Switchback left
4.02   Strawberry Jct., elevation ~8030 feet (2450 m); sign: "(back) Suicide Trail 1.8 mi, Banning Highway 4.3 mi, Idyllwild 4.8 mi; (ahead) Deer Springs (Camp) 2.3 mi, Little Round Valley 3.8 mi, San Jacinto Peak 5.5 mi; (right) Strawberry Cienega 1.5 mi, Wellman Trail 2.3 mi, Round Valley 4.3 mi, Strawberry Camp 100 yards"
4.16r134 bush chinquapinChrysolepis sempervirens5 / 2
4.22   Trail curves right at ridge; now hiking through wonderland of rocks, with lots of big boulders on flat ground
4.24l  (blue elderberry, Sambucus mexicana)
4.35b135 Idaho bentgrassAgrostis idahoensis30 / 2
4.36   Highest elevation deergrass, Muhlenbergia rigens
4.39l  (Fendler's meadow-rue, Thalictrum fendleri var. fendleri)
4.39   Enter meadowy area
4.39r136 glaucus willowherbEpilobium glaberrimum ssp. glaberrimum10 / 2
4.39r137 scarlet monkeyflowerMimulus cardinalis5 / 1
4.40   Cross drainage
4.40l138?knotweed?Polygonum sp.?3 / 1
4.40l  
4.42r  (Check for different plant similar to lemon lily)
4.42r139 tinker's pennyHypericum anagalloides5 / 1
4.42r ~(brittle bladder fern, Cystopteris fragilis)
4.44   Cross flowing creek
4.44b140 streambank lotusLotus oblongifolius var. oblongifolius5 / 1
4.47   Switchback right
4.47l141 San Jacinto Mtns. bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. jacinticum20 / 2
4.49   Switchback left
4.51   Switchback right
4.51l142~Sierra gooseberryRibes roezlii var. roezlii1 / 1
4.52   Switchback left
4.53   Switchback right
4.54   Switchback left
4.56   Switchback right at ridge
4.59   Switchback right
4.62   Switchback left
4.70   Switchback right
4.76   Local high point on trail; elevation ~8360 feet (2550 m)
4.78   Cross small moist drainage
4.83  ~(bitter cherry, Prunus emarginata)
4.84l  (wax currant, Ribes cereum var. cereum)
4.85b143 California corn lilyVeratrum californicum var. californicum10 / 1
4.85b144 larger mountain monkeyflowerMimulus tilingii10 / 1
4.85b145spsedge like Carex almaCarex sp.20 / 2
4.85b146 musk monkeyflowerMimulus moschatus5 / 1
4.87l  Boulder with lots of eroded concavities and some convex protrusions
4.95r147 bitter cherryPrunus emarginata50 / 9
5.01   Local low point on trail; elevation ~8320 feet (2535 m)
5.02r148 floriferous monkeyflowerMimulus floribundus20 / 1
5.29   Switchback right
5.30   Switchback left
5.32   Switchback right
5.34   Switchback left
5.36r149 thimbleberryRubus parviflorus10 / 1
5.39   Switchback right
5.46r150 California geraniumGeranium californicum5 / 3
5.48r151 spotted coralrootCorallorhiza maculata1 / 1
5.54   Now directly west of Marion Mountain Peak, which is 1800 feet of elevation above this point
5.58   Cross moist drainage
5.58r152splong-anthered rushJuncus macrandrus /
5.64   Switchback right
5.66   Switchback left and trail curves right
5.71   Switchback left
5.73   Local high point on trail; elevation ~8700 feet (2652 m)
5.98   Jct. Marion Mountain Trail; elevation ~8690 feet (2649 m). End Guide
    
2.22   Suicide Rock Trail: Turn right on trail to Suicide Rock; species numbering is continued from lower portion of trail
2.26l131 Nevin's bird's beakCordylanthus nevinii20 / 3
2.28l132 mountain whitethornCeanothus cordulatus10 / 5
2.28   Cross small drainage
2.34r  (Largest stand at SnJt of Parish's lupine, Lupinus latifolius var. parishii, ~150 feet long and 20 feet wide)
2.48l133 Yosemite sedgeCarex sartwelliana5 / 1
2.49l  (rock goldenbush, Ericameria cuneata var. cuneata)
2.62l  (Beautiful hanging garden of rock goldenbush, Ericameria cuneata var. cuneata)
2.66r  (Scouler's willow, Salix scouleriana)
2.66   Cross small drainage
2.73b  (subarctic lady-fern, Athyrium filix-femina var. cyclosorum)
2.73r ssp(willowherb, Epilobium ciliatum; streambank lotus, Lotus oblongifolius var. oblongifolius)
2.73l  (five-fingered fern, Adiantum aleuticum; Parish's burning bush, Euonymus occidentalis var. parishii)
2.73 134 scarlet monkeyflowerMimulus cardinalis5 / 1
2.73   Cross Marion Creek, with flowing water, elevation ~7080 feet (2160 m). Up the creek out of sight is the happy home of Parish's burning bush, Euonymus occidentalis var. parishii, with hundreds of plants; brittle bladder fern, Cystopteris fragilis; white bog orchid, Platanthera leucostachys; and California geranium, Geranium californicum, at a 30 feet waterfall above the other species
2.77r  Sign: "San Jacinto Wilderness"; honking Jeffrey pine, Pinus jeffreyi, and incense-cedar, Calocedrus decurrens, trees here
2.91   Switchback left
2.93   Switchback right
2.94   Switchback left
2.99   Cross small drainage
3.06   Trail turns left 90°
3.14r  Last two plants of hybrid manzanita, Arctostaphylos patula X A. pringlei ssp. drupacea, on trail
3.19b135 pine lousewortPedicularis semibarbata5 / 1
3.24   Switchback left
3.30l  (fir mistletoe, Phoradendron pauciflorum)
3.35b  Field of San Jacinto lupine, Lupinus hyacinthinus
3.40   End trail on top of the white cliffsides of Suicide Rock, elevation 7440 feet (2268 m); Suicide Rock itself is ~90 feet above you. Return to jct. with Deer Springs Trail
    
    Species only found off-trail in route to Suicide Rock
2.73   five-fingered fernAdiantum aleuticumOT /
0.56   Coulter's snapdragonAntirrhinum coulterianumOT /
2.73   subarctic lady-fernAthyrium filix-femina var. cyclosorumOT /
0.00   lesser paintbrushCastilleja minor ssp. spiralisOT /
1.37   spotted coralrootCorallorhiza maculataOT /
1.21   Durango rootDatisca glomerataOT /
2.73  sspwillowherbEpilobium ciliatumOT /
1.21   glaucus willowherbEpilobium glaberrimum ssp. glaberrimumOT /
2.49   rock goldenbushEricameria cuneata var. cuneataOT /
2.73   Parish's burning bushEuonymus occidentalis var. parishiiOT /
1.37   white hawkweedHieracium albiflorumOT /
1.37   Scouler's St. JohnswortHypericum formosum var. scouleriOT /
2.73   streambank lotusLotus oblongifolius var. oblongifoliusOT /
0.12   hairy wood rushLuzula comosaOT /
0.79   California cliff-brakePellaea mucronata var. californicaOT /
1.47   incense-cedar mistletoePhoradendron libocedriOT /
3.30   fir mistletoePhoradendron pauciflorumOT /
0.03   ponderosa pinePinus ponderosaOT /
0.31  ~California chicoryRafinesquia californicaOT /
1.48   California wild roseRosa californicaOT /
1.21   thimbleberryRubus parviflorusOT /
1.37   willow-leaved dockRumex salicifolius var. denticulatusOT /
2.66   Scouler's willowSalix scoulerianaOT /
0.84   purple nightshadeSolanum xantiOT /
0.12   tree cloverTrifolium ciliolatumOT /

Comments On Specific Species

Arceuthobium campylopodum. This was growing on a young 3-needle pine at the trailhead in 2010, but that pine was no longer present in 2015.

Rhamnus californica. The subspecies are not distinct in this area, so none are given. See Note in Devils Slide Trail Guide.

Stephanomeria virgata. It isn't clear to me that the subspecies exist, so none are given. See Stephanomeria virgata.

Madia minima. There is a large field of this species off-trail near mile 1.4.

Fragaria vesca, Chimaphila menziesii. A large tree fell on the location of these two species in 2010, and they haven't been seen since at that location. Both are found later in the guide.


We thank Adrienne Ballwey and Bruce Watts for help with the 2 June 2015 survey.



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Updated 12 July 2015.