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

Introduction and Explanation of Plant Trail Guides

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


Guide is updated from all fieldwork through 2017, 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
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"

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 for a list of the species in the guide below in traditional family order.

The mileages in the guide from the trailhead to Suicide Rock are from Topo! measurements of the actual trail from GPS dataMileages 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, and hence are not very accurate.

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (11 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (3 double-sided pages). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here
0.00Begin 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. (:-(
-Species found only in or near the dirt parking area west of the actual trailhead (there is a use trail north from the parking area)
-1golden daisyPentachaeta aurea /
-2wild pepper-grassLepidium virginicum ssp. menziesii /
-3*rough cat's earHypochaeris radicata /
-4*bulbous blue grassPoa bulbosa ssp. vivipara /
0.00lSpecies found in first 0.03 miles of the drainage off-trail to left or the actual trail, that are only found here, or beyond mile 0.12 on the trail: goldenstar, Bloomeria crocea; lesser paintbrush, Castilleja minor ssp. spiralis; diamond-petaled clarkia, Clarkia rhomboidea; few-flowered heterocodon, Heterocodon rariflorum; Palomar monkeyflower, Mimulus diffusus; common monkeyflower, Mimulus guttatus; false monkeyflower, Mimulus pilosus; variegated clover, Trifolium variegatum
0.00l(green miner's lettuce, Claytonia parviflora ssp. viridis; volcanic gilia, Gilia ochroleuca ssp. exilis)
0.00r5Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi99 / 9
0.00l6pine dwarf-mistletoeArceuthobium campylopodum+1 / 1
0.00b7pink-bracted manzanitaArctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea99 / 9
0.00r8Wright's buckwheatEriogonum wrightii var. membranaceum99 / 9
0.00l9*downy bromeBromus tectorum99 / 9
0.00b10pineland buckwheatEriogonum molestum20 / 5
0.00r11San Jacinto buckwheatEriogonum apiculatum50 / 9
0.00l12Parish' Jacumba milk-vetchAstragalus douglasii var. parishii15 / 2
0.00r13scarlet buglerPenstemon centranthifolius2 / 1
0.00l14spear-leaved mountain dandelionAgoseris retrorsa15 / 5
0.00l15beautiful hulseaHulsea vestita ssp. callicarpha10 / 3
0.00l16squirreltailElymus elymoides99 / 9
0.00b17coastal giliaGilia diegensis20 / 3
0.00b18showy bajada lupineLupinus concinnus ssp. optatus99 / 9
0.00b19strigose lotusAcmispon strigosus99 / 9
0.00l20mountain red-root cryptanthaCryptantha micrantha var. lepida99 / 9
0.00b21pinegrove groundsmokeGayophytum oligospermum30 / 3
0.00r22bur-ragweedAmbrosia acanthicarpa5 / 2
0.00r(slender everlasting, Pseudognaphalium thermale; splendid gilia, Saltugilia splendens ssp. splendens)
0.00l(incense-cedar, Calocedrus decurrens; California black oak, Quercus kelloggii)
0.00b23California-asterCorethrogyne filaginifolia99 / 9
0.01r24canyon live oakQuercus chrysolepis99 / 9
0.01l25leafy daisyErigeron foliosus var. foliosus99 / 9
0.01lSign: "3E17 (left-right)"
0.01r26Jepson's blue wildryeElymus glaucus ssp. glaucus30 / 9
0.02rDisplay Board: "Deer Springs Trail…"; trail turns left 90°
0.02Trail is now lined with pink-bracted manzanita, Arctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea
0.03r(Coulter pine, Pinus coulteri)
0.03l27goldenrodSolidago velutina ssp. californica99 / 9
0.03r(Ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa var. pacifica)
0.04r28mountain grape-soda lupineLupinus excubitus var. austromontanus50 / 9
0.04r(narrowleaf bedstraw Galium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium)
0.04l29California black oakQuercus kelloggii99 / 9
0.05r30San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushEricameria nauseosa var. bernardina50 / 9
0.05l31whisker-brushLeptosiphon ciliatus99 / 9
0.05l32southern mountain woolly-starEriastrum densifolium ssp. austromontanum99 / 3
0.05l33chaparral whitethornCeanothus leucodermis10 / 9
0.06l34narrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium99 / 9
0.06b35southern honeysuckleLonicera subspicata var. denudata50 / 9
0.07l36California elegant rock-cressBoechera californica45 / 5
0.07r(California coffeeberry, Frangula californica; Fremont's monkeyflower, Mimulus fremontii var. fremontii)
0.08l37*rattail fescueFestuca myuros99 / 1
0.08r38small fescueFestuca microstachys99 / 9
0.08r39silky lotusAcmispon heermannii var. heermannii99 / 9
0.08r40interior live oakQuercus wislizeni var. frutescens99 / 9
0.08b41bristly bird's beakCordylanthus rigidus ssp. setiger20 / 1
0.08r(Indian milkweed, Asclepias eriocarpa)
0.09r42California coffeeberryFrangula californica+10 / 9
0.09b43golden yarrowEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum99 / 9
0.09l44Lemmon's linanthusLeptosiphon lemmonii99 / 5
0.09l(Martin's paintbrush, Castilleja applegatei ssp. martinii)
0.10l45June grassKoeleria macrantha99 / 9
0.11l46incense-cedarCalocedrus decurrens50 / 9
0.12b(mountain California-fuchsia, Epilobium canum ssp. latifolium; Cleveland's horkelia, Horkelia clevelandii var. clevelandii; sticky cinquefoil, Drymocallis glandulosa var. viscida)
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 ssp. grantianum)
0.12Cross small drainage with culvert; switchback left
0.12b47tall bromeBromus grandis30 / 9
0.12r48blue dicksDichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum99 / 9
0.12r(Parish's tauschia, Tauschia parishii)
0.12l49mountain mugwortArtemisia ludoviciana ssp. incompta99 / 9
0.12l50deergrassMuhlenbergia rigens50 / 9
0.13r51small-head field cloverTrifolium microcephalum99 / 3
0.13r52tomcat cloverTrifolium willdenovii50 / 3
0.13r53slender everlastingPseudognaphalium thermale40 / 9
0.13b54Cleveland's horkeliaHorkelia clevelandii var. clevelandii10 / 3
0.13c55dwarf madiaHemizonella minima+1 / 1
~0.13l56mountain 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)
0.14l57volcanic giliaGilia ochroleuca ssp. exilis99 / 9
0.14r58Mexican rushJuncus mexicanus99 / 1
0.14b59dense-flowered rein orchidPiperia elongata2 / 1
0.14r60spike primroseEpilobium densiflorum3 / 1
0.14r61Pacific rushJuncus effusus ssp. austrocalifornicus10 / 1
0.14r62yarrowAchillea millefolium20 / 3
0.15r63Kentucky blue grassPoa pratensis ssp. agassizensis10 / 1
0.15r64Spanish cloverAcmispon americanus var. americanus99 / 1
0.15r65swamp sedgeCarex senta20 / 3
0.15r66arroyo willowSalix lasiolepis5 / 1
0.15r67~lesser paintbrushCastilleja minor ssp. spiralis60 / 1
0.15r68?flat-leaved rush or blue-eyed grassJuncus sp. or Sisyrinchium bellum10 / 1
0.15r(snow-plant, Sarcodes sanguinea)
0.17l69Indian milkweedAsclepias eriocarpa99 / 5
0.18r70*red bromeBromus madritensis ssp. rubens10 / 1
0.18lJct. use trail from parking area
0.20rTen wood posts blocking off road
0.20l71sugar pinePinus lambertiana50 / 9
0.20Trail curves right
0.24b72oak mistletoePhoradendron serotinum ssp. tomentosum99 / 9
0.24Trail turns right 90°; do not continue ahead on road
0.24lSign: "No dogs beyond this point; wilderness permit required 1/4 mile ahead"; end nuking of landscape
0.24l73San Bernardino sun-cupCamissoniopsis confusa99 / 9
0.26Trail curves right
0.26r74thread plantNemacladus longiflorus var. longiflorus2 / 1
0.28b75Coulter pinePinus coulteri50 / 9
0.29l~(California chicory, Rafinesquia californica)
0.29l76Jones' prickly-nut cryptanthaTeh, SW, D; < 6600 feetCryptantha muricata var. jonesii99 / 9
0.30l77Parish's tauschiaTauschia parishii45 / 5
0.31Switchback left
0.31r78coast-range melicMelica imperfecta10 / 2
0.32r79splendid giliaSaltugilia splendens ssp. splendens99 / 3
0.34r80green miner's lettuceClaytonia parviflora ssp. viridis40 / 3
0.34Trail curves right
0.39l81Fremont's monkeyflowerMimulus fremontii var. fremontii99 / 9
0.39r82goldenstarBloomeria crocea3 / 1
0.39r(curve-flowered skullcap, Scutellaria siphocampyloides)
0.39Cross small drainage
~0.3983spgrey popcorn flowerPlagiobothrys canescens var. canescens1 / 1
0.39r84seashore bentgrassAgrostis pallens10 / 1
0.39r85Martin's paintbrushCastilleja applegatei ssp. martinii30 / 6
0.42l86western needlegrassStipa occidentalis5 / 2
0.43l87mustang mintMonardella breweri ssp. lanceolata10 / 2
0.44l(scattered blazing star, Mentzelia dispersa, 50 feet from trail)
0.44b88sticky cinquefoilDrymocallis glandulosa var. viscida30 / 5
0.44l89mountain carpet cloverTrifolium monanthum ssp. grantianum20 / 1
0.44Cross small drainage
0.44b90curve-flowered skullcapScutellaria siphocampyloides5 / 1
0.46Trail turns right 90°
0.48Trail gradually curves left
0.53Switchback left
0.55Switchback right
0.56Switchback left
0.56r(Coulter's snapdragon, Antirrhinum coulterianum)
0.56r91hollyleaf redberryRhamnus ilicifolia3 / 3
0.60r(chaparral yucca, Hesperoyucca whipplei)
0.59r92wide-throated yellow monkeyflowerMimulus brevipes4 / 2
0.59Cross small drainage
0.63b93whorledleaf penstemonKeckiella ternata var. ternata43 / 2
0.64Switchback right
0.64l94birch-leaf mountain-mahoganyCercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides2 / 2
0.65rBoulder with scooped-out "seat"
0.67Trail curves left at ridge
0.67b95chaparral yuccaHesperoyucca whipplei3 / 1
0.68Switchback left
0.70r96scattered blazing starMentzelia dispersa30 / 2
0.71l97hybrid manzanitaArctostaphylos patula X A. pringlei ssp. drupacea4 / 3
0.73Switchback right
0.73Switchback left; sign: "Mount San Jacinto State Park Wilderness"
0.73r98diamond-petaled clarkiaClarkia rhomboidea50 / 3
0.73r99forest sedgeCarex multicaulis15 / 5
0.74r100imbricate phaceliaPhacelia imbricata var. patula30 / 9
0.75r101snow-plantSarcodes sanguinea10 / 5
0.77Switchback right
0.78l(white fir, Abies concolor)
0.79Switchback left; jct. use trail to viewpoint 0.02 miles distant with California cliff-brake, Pellaea mucronata var. californica
0.82Local high point on trail
0.83l102twiggy wreath plantStephanomeria virgata8 / 3
0.84Local low point on trail
0.84r(purple nightshade, Solanum xanti)
0.87l103chickweed oxythecaSidotheca caryophylloides50 / 1
0.91Cross small drainage with big rocks and pipe on left above trail; trail curves right
0.92l104white catch-flySilene verecunda20 / 2
0.94105sand cressCalyptridium monandrum5 / 1
0.94Switchback left
0.94Switchback right
0.97l106Sierra Nevada lotusAcmispon nevadensis var. nevadensis99 / 9
0.97This area has some really old specimens of chaparral whitethorn, Ceanothus leucodermis, and pink-bracted manzanita, Arctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea
0.98Long switchback left
0.99Switchback right
1.01Switchback left
1.04rView of Tahquitz Lookout
1.07Local high point on trail, followed quickly by local low point
1.09l107California thistleCirsium occidentale var. californicum3 / 1
1.09l108false monkeyflowerMimulus pilosus20 / 1
1.10b109broad-leaved lotusHosackia crassifolia var. crassifolia20 / 2
rJct. use trail
1.11b110pine cryptanthaCryptantha simulans21 / 1
1.12l111spgoosefoot yellow violetViola purpurea ssp. quercetorum3 / 1
1.12r112California bromeBromus carinatus var. carinatus30 / 5
1.12Trail curves right
1.14Switchback left
1.15b113western morning-gloryCalystegia occidentalis ssp. fulcrata54 / 2
1.16l114brackenPteridium aquilinum var. pubescens99 / 9
1.17l115southern miner's lettuceClaytonia perfoliata ssp. mexicana5 / 1
1.18l116plain mariposa lilyCalochortus invenustus30 / 3
1.18l117white firAbies concolor50 / 9
1.19l118pinedropsPterospora andromedea5 / 3
1.21b119western azaleaRhododendron occidentale50 / 5
1.21b120woodland strawberryFragaria vesca+99 / 2
1.21r121little 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)
1.22Switchback left
1.23Switchback right
1.24Switchback left
1.25Switchback right
1.25r122?unk young plants?5 / 1
1.25l123naked buckwheatEriogonum nudum var. pauciflorum20 / 9
1.26rCanyon live oak, Quercus chrysolepis, hit by lightning. Many trees here have been struck by lightning.
1.29Cross small drainage where trail curves right
1.30Trail turns left 90°; enter Mistletoe Row
1.37Species found in meadowy area along drainage (Idyllwild Creek) to right, not found elsewhere on trail to Suicide Rock:
OTwhite hawkweedHieracium albiflorum8 / 1
OTScouler's St. JohnswortHypericum scouleri5 / 1
OTwillow-leaved dockCA (esp mtns, coast); < 3500 m; Munz doesn't have varieties; now a separate species in JM2, R. californicusRumex californicus1 / 1
OTspotted coralrootsplit into two varieties in JM2Corallorhiza maculata13 / 1
1.45r124San Jacinto lupineLupinus hyacinthinus99 / 5
1.47(incense-cedar mistletoe, Phoradendron juniperinum, at top of tree in distance)
1.48r(Parish's lupine, Lupinus latifolius var. parishii; California wild rose, Rosa californica)
1.49b125mountain pink currantRibes nevadense50 / 3
1.49l126fragile sheath sedgeCarex fracta2 / 1
1.49l127~rigid hedge-nettleStachys rigida10 / 2
1.49r128western columbineAquilegia formosa2 / 1
1.49Cross 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)
1.49rlive plants of woodland strawberry in 2015Fragaria vesca /
1.49b129lemon lilyLilium parryi10 / 2
1.49l130Parish's lupineLupinus latifolius var. parishii10 / 3
1.49Switchback right
1.50l(western wallflower, Erysimum capitatum var. capitatum; live plants of little prince's pine, Chimaphila menziesii, in 2015)
1.55Switchback left
1.58Switchback right
1.61lField of southern mountain woolly-star, Eriastrum densifolium ssp. austromontanum
1.66rCross small drainage
1.73Switchback left
1.81Cross small drainage
1.85Trail turns right 90° at ridge
1.86Trail turns right 90° again
1.93Cross small drainage
1.94Switchback left
1.94b131short-flowered monardellaMonardella nana20 / 2
1.95l132granite prickly phloxLinanthus pungens3 / 2
1.98Cross small drainage
2.04Cross small saddle on ridge
2.06b133San Gabriel beardtonguePenstemon labrosus20 / 2
2.10r134western wallflowerErysimum capitatum var. capitatum5 / 1
2.13l135woodland spurgeEuphorbia lurida1 / 1
2.13136leafless wintergreenPyrola aphylla2 / 1
2.18b137sapphire woolly-starEriastrum sapphirinum10 / 1
2.22Jct. 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

Option to continue on Deer Springs Trail

See below for option to continue on the Suicide Rock Trail.
2.23Switchback right
2.24Trail turns left 90° and then curves right
2.31Switchback left
2.33r138mountain whitethornCeanothus cordulatus99 / 9
2.34Switchback right; trail soon zags right and then curves left
2.39l(rock goldenbush, Ericameria cuneata var. cuneata)
2.40Switchback right
2.42Switchback left
2.44Switchback right
2.45Switchback left
2.45lAnother hybrid manzanita, Arctostaphylos patula X A. pringlei ssp. drupacea
2.49Switchback right
2.55Switchback left
2.58Switchback right
2.62Switchback left
2.64(fir mistletoe, Phoradendron bolleanum, ahead in distance)
2.73Switchback left
2.77Switchback right at ridge
2.84Switchback left
2.87rSwitchback right; view of Tahquitz Peak and top of Suicide Rock
2.91Switchback left
2.95Switchback right
2.98Switchback left
3.05r139fir mistletoePhoradendron bolleanum1 / 1
3.10Switchback left
3.17Long switchback right at ridge
3.29b140green-leaf manzanitaArctostaphylos patula30 / 9
3.29Switchback left
3.30Switchback right
3.38Trail zigzags right then left
3.42rcanyon 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)
3.46rNice patch of San Jacinto lupine, Lupinus hyacinthinus
3.46rCheck these plants to make sure they are western wallflower, Erysimum capitatum var. capitatum
3.48Trail zigzags right then left
3.48l(spotted coralroot, Corallorhiza maculata)
3.60lFour honking incense-cedars, Calocedrus decurrens, struck by lightning, with 3 still alive
3.64Switchback right
3.65Switchback left
3.80Long switchback left
3.82Switchback right
3.95lCheck for different Monardella
3.98Switchback left
4.02Strawberry 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"
4.16r141bush chinquapinChrysolepis sempervirens5 / 2
4.22Trail curves right at ridge; now hiking through wonderland of rocks, with lots of big boulders on flat ground
4.24l(blue elderberry, Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea)
4.35b142Idaho bentgrassAgrostis idahoensis30 / 2
4.36Highest elevation deergrass, Muhlenbergia rigens
4.39l(Fendler's meadow-rue, Thalictrum fendleri var. fendleri)
4.39Enter meadowy area
4.39r143glaucus willowherbEpilobium glaberrimum ssp. glaberrimum10 / 2
4.39r144scarlet monkeyflowerMimulus cardinalis5 / 1
4.40Cross drainage
4.40l145?knotweed?Polygonum sp.?3 / 1
4.42r(Check for different plant similar to lemon lily)
4.42r146tinker's pennyHypericum anagalloides5 / 1
4.42r~(brittle bladder fern, Cystopteris fragilis)
4.44Cross flowing creek
4.44b147streambank lotusHosackia oblongifolia var. oblongifolia5 / 1
4.47Switchback right
4.47l148San Jacinto Mtns. bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. jacinticum20 / 2
4.49Switchback left
4.51Switchback right
4.51l149~Sierra gooseberryRibes roezlii var. roezlii1 / 1
4.52Switchback left
4.53Switchback right
4.54Switchback left
4.56Switchback right at ridge
4.59Switchback right
4.62Switchback left
4.70Switchback right
4.76Local high point on trail; elevation ~8360 feet (2550 m)
4.78Cross small moist drainage
4.83~(bitter cherry, Prunus emarginata)
4.84l(wax currant, Ribes cereum var. cereum)
4.85b150California corn lilyVeratrum californicum var. californicum10 / 1
4.85b151larger mountain monkeyflowerMimulus tilingii10 / 1
4.85b152spsedge like Carex almaCarex sp.20 / 2
4.85b153musk monkeyflowerMimulus moschatus5 / 1
4.87lBoulder with lots of eroded concavities and some convex protrusions
4.95r154bitter cherryPrunus emarginata50 / 9
5.01Local low point on trail; elevation ~8320 feet (2535 m)
5.02r155floriferous monkeyflowerMimulus floribundus20 / 1
5.29Switchback right
5.30Switchback left
5.32Switchback right
5.34Switchback left
5.36r156thimbleberryRubus parviflorus10 / 1
5.39Switchback right
5.46r157California geraniumGeranium californicum5 / 3
5.48r158spotted coralrootCorallorhiza maculata1 / 1
5.54Now directly west of Marion Mountain Peak, which is 1800 feet of elevation above this point
5.58Cross moist drainage
5.58r159splong-anthered rushJuncus macrandrus /
5.64Switchback right
5.66Switchback left and trail curves right
5.71Switchback left
5.73Local high point on trail; elevation ~8700 feet (2652 m)
5.98Jct. Marion Mountain Trail; elevation ~8690 feet (2649 m). End Guide

Option to continue on Suicide Rock Trail

: Turn right on trail to Suicide Rock; species numbering is continued from lower portion of trail
2.26l138Nevin's bird's beakCordylanthus nevinii20 / 3
2.28l139mountain whitethornCeanothus cordulatus10 / 5
2.28Cross small drainage
2.34r(Largest stand at SnJt of Parish's lupine, Lupinus latifolius var. parishii, ~150 feet long and 20 feet wide)
2.48l140Yosemite 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)
2.66Cross small drainage
2.73b(subarctic lady-fern, Athyrium filix-femina var. cyclosorum)
2.73rssp(willowherb, Epilobium ciliatum; streambank lotus, Hosackia oblongifolia var. oblongifolia)
2.73l(five-fingered fern, Adiantum aleuticum; Parish's burning bush, Euonymus occidentalis var. parishii)
2.73141scarlet monkeyflowerMimulus cardinalis5 / 1
2.73Cross 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; and California geranium, Geranium californicum, at a 30 feet waterfall above the other species
2.73l142white bog orchidPerianth white to cream; spur gen >= 1.5 × lipPlatanthera dilatata var. leucostachys6 / 1
2.77rSign: "San Jacinto Wilderness"; honking Jeffrey pine, Pinus jeffreyi, and incense-cedar, Calocedrus decurrens, trees here
2.91Switchback left
2.93Switchback right
2.94Switchback left
2.99Cross small drainage
3.06Trail turns left 90°
3.14rLast two plants of hybrid manzanita, Arctostaphylos patula X A. pringlei ssp. drupacea, on trail
3.19b143pine lousewortPedicularis semibarbata5 / 1
3.24Switchback left
3.30l(fir mistletoe, Phoradendron bolleanum)
3.35bField of San Jacinto lupine, Lupinus hyacinthinus
3.40End 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
2.73five-fingered fernAdiantum aleuticumOT /
0.56Coulter's snapdragonAntirrhinum coulterianumOT /
2.73subarctic lady-fernAthyrium filix-femina var. cyclosorumOT /
1.37spotted coralrootCorallorhiza maculataOT /
2.73brittle bladder fernCystopteris fragilisOT /
1.21Durango rootDatisca glomerataOT /
2.73sspwillowherbEpilobium ciliatumOT /
1.21glaucus willowherbEpilobium glaberrimum ssp. glaberrimumOT /
2.49rock goldenbushEricameria cuneata var. cuneataOT /
2.73Parish's burning bushEuonymus occidentalis var. parishiiOT /
0.00few-flowered heterocodonHeterocodon rariflorumOT /
1.37white hawkweedHieracium albiflorumOT /
1.37Scouler's St. JohnswortHypericum scouleriOT /
2.73streambank lotusHosackia oblongifolia var. oblongifoliaOT /
0.12hairy wood rushLuzula comosaOT /
0.00Palomar monkeyflowerMimulus diffususOT /
0.00common monkeyflowerMimulus guttatusOT /
0.79California cliff-brakePellaea mucronata var. californicaOT /
1.47incense-cedar mistletoePhoradendron juniperinumOT /
3.30fir mistletoePhoradendron bolleanumOT /
0.03ponderosa pinePinus ponderosa var. pacificaOT /
0.31~California chicoryRafinesquia californicaOT /
1.48California wild roseRosa californicaOT /
1.21thimbleberryRubus parviflorusOT /
0.03ponderosa pinePinus ponderosa var. pacifica /
2.66Scouler's willowSalix scoulerianaOT /
0.84purple nightshadeSolanum xantiOT /
0.12tree cloverTrifolium ciliolatumOT /
0.00variegated cloverTrifolium variegatumOT /
Species found only off-trail on upper Deer Springs Trail
4.24blue elderberrySambucus nigra ssp. caerulea /
4.39Fendler's meadow-rueThalictrum fendleri var. fendleri /
4.84wax currantRibes cereum var. cereum /
look for:
rslender wheatgrassElymus trachycaulus ssp. trachycaulus /
changeable phaceliaPhacelia mutabilis30 / 9

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 for help with the 2 June 2015 survey.

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Copyright © 2006-2017 by Tom Chester, Dave Stith, and Bruce Watts.
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 13 September 2017.