Plant Guide to Desert View Trail, San Jacinto Mountains

This is a working list, about which we make no guarantees at all until we officially release it. Use at your own risk!

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


See An updated version of the flora for this area; the guide below does not yet have the latest additions.

The Desert View Trail is a loop trail off of the Long Valley Nature Trail, with 0.15 miles separating its beginning and ending intersection with the Nature Trail, as shown on the following map:

The Nature Trail is shown in green in the above map; the Desert View Trail is shown in dark blue.

This plant trail guide covers only the Desert View loop trail itself; the other portions that must be walked in order to get to and return from this loop trail are part of the Long Valley Nature Trail. No permit is required.

The total walking distance to do the Desert View Trail from the Tram Concrete sidewalk is 1.3 miles, with 200 feet of total elevation gain and loss. The portion covered by the plant trail guide below is 0.9 miles.

The loop can be done in either direction, but this guide travels the loop in a clockwise direction as seen from above, as shown by the blue arrow on the map above.

Although the map shown at the trailhead appears quite different from the above map, they are actually pretty much the same. The differences are:

This trail has been covered just once for this guide, on 8/16/07 in a drought year. More species would probably be seen in a normal rainfall year, as well as more specimens of some species found in the guide.

This trail, and the connecting Nature Loop Trail, are the only trails, out of the 114 for which we have produced plant trail guides across southern California, that contain a leach field from a septic tank. This leach field produces the densest stand of wild tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus, that we have ever seen.

Highlights of This Trail

The botanical highlights of this trail are:

Number of Unique Taxa On This Trail

The following histogram gives the number of trails in our database that contain each taxon on this trail (not including the taxa seen only off-trail given at the end of the guide). We had 114 trails in our database when this histogram was made; 13 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 "13" 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 Taxa13100%

We found 1 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

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"

We thank Philip Erdelsky for help with the fieldwork on 8/16/07, and for taking the picture of the trail map at the trailhead.

Botanical Trip Reports

The Plant Guide

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (2 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (1 page). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

The mileages in the guide come from a GPS recording of this trail on 8/16/07, measured with Topo!. They are probably accurate to 0.01-0.02 mile.

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here#all
0.00l  Begin guide at North jct. with Nature Loop, 0.14 miles south of Tram concrete sidewalk; elevation ~8360 feet (2548 m)
0.00r1 Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi30 / 934
0.00l  (San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrush, Chrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus)
0.02b2 wild tarragonArtemisia dracunculus99 / 932
0.02l  (white fir, Abies concolor)
0.02b3 western wallflowerErysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum5 / 129
0.03l  (Grinnell's beardtongue, Penstemon grinnellii var. grinnellii; Parish's snowberry, Symphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii)
0.04r  (baby wax currant, Ribes cereum var. cereum)
 r4 white firAbies concolor30 / 932
0.10b  Dense field of tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus, due to leach field of septic tank from Tram restrooms
0.10r  Manhole cover
0.12r5 San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushChrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus20 / 928
0.13   Trail curves right and begins climbing
0.20l  (curl-leaf mountain-mahogany, Cercocarpus ledifolius)
0.23   Y-jct: go left to first Desert Overlook
0.25r6 sugar pinePinus lambertiana5 / 222
0.25   First Desert Overlook on saddle; return to main trail and continue on it
0.27   Back at main trail; go left
0.33   Trail jogs left
0.34l  (mountain California-fuchsia, Epilobium canum ssp. latifolium; granite prickly phlox, Leptodactylon pungens; mountain spray, Holodiscus microphyllus var. microphyllus; in drainage above trail)
0.35   (San Jacinto Mts. Keckiella, Keckiella rothrockii var. jacintensis)
0.35l7 San Jacinto lupineLupinus hyacinthinus5 / 113
0.35b8 San Jacinto Mts. keckiellaKeckiella rothrockii var. jacintensis5 / 112
0.38l  Unusual rock formation, with balanced boulders and large depressions in rocks
0.38   Y-jct: go left to second Desert Overlook
0.42   Second Desert Overlook on saddle; high point on trail, elevation 8480 feet (2585 m); great views into Palm, Long Valley and Tahquitz Canyons; return to main trail and continue on it
0.45   Back at main trail; go left
0.47   Highest point on main trail; elevation ~8470 feet (2582 m)
0.56   Y-jct: go left to minor overlook
0.57   Minor overlook; (canyon live oak, Quercus chrysolepis, ahead); return to trail
0.58   Back at main trail; go left
0.62l  (lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana)
0.64r9 curl-leaf mountain-mahoganyCercocarpus ledifolius5 / 24
0.66r10 granite prickly phloxLeptodactylon pungens1 / 115
0.69r  (bush chinquapin, Chrysolepis sempervirens)
0.70r  (rose sage, Salvia pachyphylla)
0.72l11 Parish's bedstrawGalium parishii2 / 114
0.73l  (canyon live oak, Quercus chrysolepis)
0.74   Minor overlook very close to trail
0.82l12 lodgepole pinePinus contorta ssp. murrayana1 / 115
0.83b13spsedgeCarex sp. like C. fracta10 / 1 
0.83l  (Nebraska or swamp sedge, Carex nebrascensis or C. senta)
0.88r  (little-leaf mock orange, Philadelphus microphyllus)18
0.88l  Jct. Nature Trail; lowest point on trail, elevation 8320 feet (2536 m). End guide; continue ahead to get back to the Tram directly
1.17   Tram sidewalk

Mile: 0.00 includes all mileages from 0.000 to 0.009; etc.

S: Side of trail on which the first occurrence is found: left, right, both, or center

#: On-Trail species are numbered in order of first occurrence on trail (touchable without leaving the trail). Off-trail species are in parentheses.

id?: Species without an entry in this column are positively identified. "?" means we are just guessing the identification; "sp" means the genera is probably known, but the species name is uncertain; "~" means we have 95% confidence that this is the determination, but have not yet positively identified it; "ssp" means the subspecies or variety needs to be determined.

#here gives the minimum number of on-trail plants of this species on this trail, with the number of locations on this trail following the /, using maximum values of 99/9. 1/1 means a single plant in a single location; 10/9 means 10 plants occurring in at least 9 locations, etc.

#all gives the number of plant trail guides, from all over southern California, that contain this taxon.

Comments On Specific Species

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Copyright © 2007-2012 by Tom Chester, Eric Baecht and Dave Stith.
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 12 August 2012.