Plant Guide to Saddle Junction to Wellman Divide via PCT and Wellman Cienega Trail, San Jacinto Mountains

This is a working list, about which I make no guarantees at all until I 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
The Plant Guide
Comments On Specific Species


This segment of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) begins at Saddle Junction, which is at the top of the Devils Slide Trail in the San Jacinto Mountains. It heads north from Saddle Junction to a junction with the Wellman Cienega Trail, and continues through Wellman Cienega to Wellman Divide.

If you have arrived at Saddle Junction via the Devils Slide Trail, take the leftmost trail, leading north and marked by a sign indicating "San Jacinto Peak (ahead)".

Highlights of This Trail

The botanical highlights of this trail are:

Number of Unique Taxa On This Trail

(not updated for 8/21/06 fieldwork) The following histogram gives the number of trails in my database that contain each taxon on this trail. I had 93 trails in my database when this histogram was made; 5 of those trails, including this one, are in this same area of the San Jacinto Mountains. A number of "1" means the taxon has only been found on this trail among the trails in my database; numbers of "5" or smaller may indicate taxa found only in this area.

Number of Trails
Containing A Taxon
Number Of Taxa
On This Trail
% of Taxa
On This Trail
Total Taxa37100%

I found 1 additional species not in the above table, since it has not been 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"

The first 0.19 miles was also covered on 10/03/03. The fieldwork on 8/16/06 was only to mile 1.24.

There are two entries for 8/21/06. The first gives the numbers to mile 1.90, Strawberry Jct., where the guide previously ended. The second gives the numbers to mile 2.33, the end of the first portion of Wellman Cienega.

The Plant Guide

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (4 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (1 double-sided pages). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here
0.00Begin trail heading north at Saddle Junction, elevation 8075 feet (2460 m); trail is in deep sand for 0.07 mile
0.00b1Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi99 / 9
0.01b2white firAbies concolor99 / 9
0.01rSign on tree: "Round Valley; San Jacinto Peak (both straight ahead)"
0.01lPCT post
0.02b3Parish's snowberrySymphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii99 / 9
0.02r4pussy pawsCalyptridium monospermum2 / 1
0.02r5San Gabriel beardtonguePenstemon labrosus5 / 1
0.03l6wax currantRibes cereum var. cereum10 / 5
0.03b7green-leaf manzanitaArctostaphylos patula99 / 9
0.05b8bitter cherryPrunus emarginata99 / 9
0.06b9mountain whitethornCeanothus cordulatus99 / 9
0.08r10changeable phaceliaPhacelia mutabilis20 / 4
0.08b11brackenPteridium aquilinum var. pubescens99 / 9
0.08Trails turns left 90°.
0.08l(slender wheatgrass, Elymus trachycaulus+)
0.08l12pinegrove groundsmokeGayophytum oligospermum20 / 3
0.08r(spotted coralroot, Corallorhiza maculata; pinedrops, Pterospora andromedea)
0.13l13Grinnell's beardtonguePenstemon grinnellii var. grinnellii3 / 2
0.13r14California groundconeBoschniakia strobilacea20 / 4
0.14b15bush chinquapinChrysolepis sempervirens99 / 9
0.14lPCT post
0.14Trails turns right 90°.
0.14Trail covered with deep sand for 0.05 mi.
0.16r16pinedropsPterospora andromedea3 / 2
0.20r(sugar pine, Pinus lambertiana)
0.23Switchback left.
0.27Switchback right.
0.30r17sugar pinePinus lambertiana99 / 9
0.30Trail curves left 90° at ridge.
0.31r18canyon live oakQuercus chrysolepis3 / 3
0.32Switchback left.
0.33r19San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushChrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus50 / 9
0.36Switchback right.
0.42Switchback left.
0.45Switchback right.
0.46r20Fremont silk tasselGarrya fremontii20 / 9
0.53l21short-flowered monardellaMonardella nana ssp. tenuiflora10 / 1
0.54l22Sierra gooseberryRibes roezlii var. roezlii1 / 1
0.56Trail curves left 45° at ridge
0.63Switchback left.
0.64Switchback right.
0.67r23San Jacinto Mts. keckiellaKeckiella rothrockii var. jacintensis99 / 9
0.67r24Martin's paintbrushCastilleja applegatei ssp. martinii1 / 1
0.69Switchback left.
0.82r25California fuchsiaEpilobium canum50 / 5
0.82Switchback right.
0.85Switchback left.
0.88Switchback right.
0.88r26goldenrodSolidago californica10 / 1
0.89Switchback left.
0.94Switchback right.
0.99Switchback left.
1.02Switchback right.
1.04lDead tree "holding up" a boulder with a chin.
1.06Trail makes a small jag to right and back
1.07rDesert view
1.07Switchback left.
1.11b27fragile sheath sedgeCarex fracta30 / 5
1.11r28long-anthered rushJuncus macrandrus40 / 4
1.11r29~Idaho bentgrassAgrostis idahoensis99 / 3
1.11l30forest goosefootChenopodium atrovirens20 / 2
1.12Switchback right.
1.14Switchback left.
1.16r31prickly hawkweedHieracium horridum2 / 1
1.16r32mountain sprayHolodiscus microphyllus var. microphyllus2 / 1
1.17r33granite prickly phloxLeptodactylon pungens2 / 1
1.18Trail zigzags
1.18Switchback right
1.18l34Parish's campionSilene parishii1 / 1
1.22l35?limber pinePinus flexilis50 / 9
1.22r36little-leaf mock orangePhiladelphus microphyllus1 / 1
1.22Switchback left.
1.23l37lodgepole pinePinus contorta ssp. murrayana50 / 9
1.24lTrail turns right 90° then left 90°
1.26Trail turns right 90°, then left 90°.
1.28lPCT post; then trail zig-zags left-right and up and down
1.32Cross near top of drainage to right, a branch of Willow Creek, and trail turns right 90°
l38pine lousewortPedicularis semibarbata3 / 2
1.44Switchback left.
1.46Trail curves right; local high point on trail at elevation ~8960 feet (2730 m); trail now descends.
1.46r(limber pine, Pinus flexilis)
1.49r39little prince's pineChimaphila menziesii1 / 1
1.50l(San Jacinto lupine, Lupinus hyacinthinus)
1.50Cross near top of drainage to right; local low point.
1.54Local high point on trail; then small up and down quickly, and then sustained downhill
1.60Trail makes broad curve left at ridge
1.64b40San Jacinto lupineLupinus hyacinthinus20 / 5
1.71Local low point on trail at elevation ~8880 feet (2705 m); trail resumes its ascent.
1.74l41white catch-flySilene verecunda ssp. platyota2 / 1
1.74l42western wallflowerErysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum20 / 2
1.82rPCT post.
1.87Cross very small drainage to right
1.89rPCT post.
1.90lJct. trail to Strawberry Junction at elevation ~8970 feet (2735 m). Sign: "(left) 1 mi Strawberry Cienega; (left) 2.3 mi Deer Springs Trail; (right) Wellmans Jct 1.3 mi; (right) Round Valley 2.3 mi; (right) San Jacinto Peak 3.5 mi; (back) 1.8 mi Saddle Junction; (back) 4.3 mi Humber Park; (back) 7.3 mi Idyllwild". Stay right and continue to Wellmans Jct.
1.91lSign: "Entering Mt. San Jacinto State Park Wilderness…"
2.11Leave dense shade; enter chinquapin-dominated area with scattered trees
2.13b43southern mountain-monardellaMonardella australis20 / 3
2.19Enter Wellman Cienega
2.19b44ranger's buttonsSphenosciadium capitellatum10 / 2
2.19b45Nevada cinquefoilPotentilla glandulosa ssp. nevadensis /
2.19l46spmystery sedgeCarex sp. /
2.19b47California corn lilyVeratrum californicum var. californicum /
2.19l48larger mountain monkeyflowerMimulus tilingii /
2.19l49musk monkeyflowerMimulus moschatus /
2.19l50few-flowered cloverTrifolium monanthum var. grantianum /
2.19r51yarrowAchillea millefolium /
2.19l52sspwillowherbEpilobium ciliatum ssp. ciliatum /
2.19r53spsedgeCarex sp. /
2.21l54rush blue grassPoa secunda ssp. juncifolia /
2.21l55groundsmokeGayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorum /
2.21l56plain mariposa lilyCalochortus invenustus /
2.21l57California bromeBromus carinatus var. carinatus /
2.21l58splupineLupinus sp. /
2.21l59slender hairgrassDeschampsia elongata /
2.21b60Cleveland's horkeliaHorkelia clevelandii /
2.22l61Sierra Nevada lotusLotus nevadensis var. nevadensis /
2.23b62willow-leaved dockRumex salicifolius var. salicifolius /
2.24c63mat muhlyMuhlenbergia richardsonis /
2.25r64blue wildryeElymus glaucus ssp. glaucus /
2.29l65Fremont's goosefootChenopodium fremontii /
2.29r66swamp sedgeCarex senta /
2.29l67glaucus willowherbEpilobium glaberrimum ssp. glaberrimum /
2.30r(mountain timothy, Phleum alpinum; western cow-bane, Oxypolis occidentalis)
2.30r68blue-eyed grassSisyrinchium bellum /
2.30r69Anderson's oreastrum-asterAster alpigenus var. andersonii /
2.30r70wide-leaved Parish's yampahPerideridia parishii ssp. latifolia /
2.30b71California geraniumGeranium californicum /
2.33Leave first portion of meadow

Comments On Specific Species

Elymus trachycaulus. This plant has a lemma awn of 13.5 mm and a lemma body of 10.2 mm, which would clearly key to ssp. subsecundus, supposedly found only SN, MP. All eight vouchers for this area are just given to the species, which seems eminently reasonable given the clear problems in the subspecies here. It is possible that the subspecies are spurious.

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Copyright © 2003-2006 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 31 August 2006 (page updated 10 August 2016 to include rest of 8/28/06 updates).