Plant Guide to Round Valley 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


The guide was updated on 9 September 2010, but the rest of this page has not yet been updated.

This guide is from the Long Valley Ranger Station, elevation ~8390 feet, in Long Valley to Wellman Divide, elevation ~9720 feet, going through Round Valley. It begins 0.2 miles west of the upper Palm Springs Tramway Station. The part of this trail from the Ranger Station to Round Valley is called the Low Trail by the rangers at the State Park, with the rest of this trail called the Wellmans Divide Trail.

The trail is somewhere between 2.8 and 3.3 miles long (see below), with about 1400 total feet of elevation gain.

A free wilderness permit is required, available at the Ranger Station.

Highlights of This Trail

The botanical highlights of this trail are:

Number of Unique Taxa On This Trail

Histogram not updated to include the field work after 2007.

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 109 trails in our database when this histogram was made; 10 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 "10" 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 Taxa38100%

We found 4 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

Table not updated with results after 2007.

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 Gabi and Cliff Mclean, and Linda and Ted St. John, for help with the fieldwork on 8/12/07.

Botanical Trip Reports

7 August 2007
12 August 2007

The Plant Guide

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

The mileages in the guide come from Topo!. The total mileage is almost surely slightly underestimated, probably by no more than 10%, due to some tight switchbacks on the trail that are not accurately measured by that program. The elevations come from the topo map, and should be fairly precise.

The mileage of this trail according to Tom Harrison maps is about a half mile more than given in this guide. Further work needs to be done to see which mileage is more accurate.

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here#all
0.00l  Begin guide at sign at southwest of Ranger Station: "Round Valley Trail; Wilderness Permit Required", 0.22 miles from Tram Station; elevation ~8390 feet (2557 m). The very first part of the trail was rerouted a bit to the north as of 2010; this guide is to the old routing.
0.00b1 wild tarragonArtemisia dracunculus50 / 928
0.00r2 San Jacinto buckwheatEriogonum apiculatum5 / 18
0.00l  (San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrush, Chrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus)
0.00r3 groundsmokeGayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorum20 / 424
0.02l4 San Gabriel beardtonguePenstemon labrosus+10 / 212
0.04r5 San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushChrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus50 / 924
0.04b6 white firAbies concolor99 / 928
0.05r7 Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi50 / 929
0.07r  (sugar pine, Pinus lambertiana)
0.08l8 Parish's snowberrySymphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii99 / 915
0.08r9 green-leaf manzanitaArctostaphylos patula5 / 220
0.08r  (granite prickly phlox, Leptodactylon pungens)
0.09l10 San Jacinto Mts. keckiellaKeckiella rothrockii var. jacintensis50 / 98
0.09l  (Parish's bedstraw, Galium parishii)
0.09r  (southern mountain-monardella, Monardella australis)
0.10l11 Nevin's bird's beakCordylanthus nevinii10 / 121
0.10l  (little-leaf mock orange, Philadelphus microphyllus; mountain California-fuchsia, Epilobium canum ssp. latifolium)
0.12l  Jct. Long Valley to Willow Creek Trail; Sign: "[left] Willow Creek 3.7 mi; Skunk Cabbage Meadow 5 mi; Idyllwild 10.5 mi; [ahead] Long Valley; Round Valley 2 mi; Saddle Junction 5.5 mi; [back] Tramway 0.3 mi"
0.12l  (Fremont's goosefoot, Chenopodium fremontii)
0.12r12 sugar pinePinus lambertiana50 / 920
0.13r  (curl-leaf mountain-mahogany, Cercocarpus ledifolius)
0.13l13 goldenrodSolidago californica5 / 147
0.14b14 Fendler's blue grassPoa fendleriana ssp. longiligula5 / 112
0.15l15 Parish's bedstrawGalium parishii1 / 19
0.15l16 Fremont's goosefootChenopodium fremontii5 / 131
0.15   Trail begins series of minor high and low points, staying close to 8400 feet (2560 m)
0.15l  (western needlegrass, Achnatherum occidentale ssp. occidentale; Cleveland's horkelia, Horkelia clevelandii; Brewer's monkeyflower, Mimulus breweri; false monkeyflower, Mimulus pilosus; Suksdorf's monkeyflower, Mimulus suksdorfii)
0.15r  (pinewoods rock-cress, Arabis holboellii var. pinetorum)
0.25l  (Scouler's willow, Salix scouleriana)
0.25l17 Nevada cinquefoilPotentilla glandulosa ssp. nevadensis5 / 22
0.25l  (yarrow, Achillea millefolium; western columbine, Aquilegia formosa; Idaho bentgrass, Agrostis idahoensis; abrupt-beak sedge, Carex abrupta; fragile sheath sedge, Carex fracta; giant red paintbrush, Castilleja miniata ssp. miniata; slender hairgrass, Deschampsia elongata; western wallflower, Erysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum; spreading brown-headed rush, Juncus phaeocephalus var. paniculatus; floriferous monkeyflower, Mimulus floribundus; primrose monkeyflower, Mimulus primuloides ssp. primuloides; larger mountain monkeyflower, Mimulus tilingii; mat muhly, Muhlenbergia richardsonis; pine lousewort, Pedicularis semibarbata; young mountain pink currant, Ribes nevadense; thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus; willow-leaved dock, Rumex salicifolius var. salicifolius; pearlwort, Sagina saginoides; ranger's buttons, Sphenosciadium capitellatum; mountain carpet clover, Trifolium monanthum
0.28l  (brittle bladder fern, Cystopteris fragilis; mountain pink currant, Ribes nevadense; snow-plant, Sarcodes sanguinea)
0.33r  Jct. use trail to "Beach / Shangri-La"
0.33   Trail turns left 90°, then right
0.33l  (yellow form of San Gabriel beardtongue, Penstemon labrosus)
0.33b  (lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana)
0.35l  (vari-nerved sedge, Carex heteroneura var. heteroneura; tall mannagrass, Glyceria elata)
0.37r  (canyon live oak, Quercus chrysolepis)
0.37l18 bush chinquapinChrysolepis sempervirens50 / 915
0.39l  (western polypody, Polypodium hesperium)
0.41l19 lodgepole pinePinus contorta ssp. murrayana99 / 912
0.41r20 southern mountain-monardellaMonardella australis10 / 313
0.41l21 musk monkeyflowerMimulus moschatus30 / 231
0.41l  (white catch-fly, Silene verecunda ssp. platyota)
0.41l22 Scouler's willowSalix scouleriana10 / 310
0.42l  (San Jacinto lupine, Lupinus hyacinthinus)
0.47   (former) tight squeeze through rock walls and tree trunk has been opened up
0.48r  (mountain whitethorn, Ceanothus cordulatus)
0.48l23 wax currantRibes cereum var. cereum2 / 244
0.49l24 western marsh cudweedGnaphalium palustre10 / 111
0.49l25 willow-leaved dockRumex salicifolius var. salicifolius10 / 23
0.50 26 bitter cherryPrunus emarginata10 / 111
0.51r  (Parish's campion, Silene parishii; western azalea, Rhododendron occidentale)
0.53l  (Check for thyme-leaved speedwell, Veronica serpyllifolia ssp. humifusa, possibly observed once here)
0.54r  (beautiful hulsea, Hulsea vestita ssp. callicarpha)
0.54r  Jct. use trail to Tamarack Campground
0.55r27 thimbleberryRubus parviflorus5 / 17
0.55   Trail turns left to cross Long Valley Creek
0.55r  Sign: "Round Valley (ahead)"
0.55l28 western columbineAquilegia formosa1 / 145
0.55r29 mountain pink currantRibes nevadense20 / 912
0.55r30 ranger's buttonsSphenosciadium capitellatum20 / 910
0.55   Cross Long Valley Creek in middle of a switchback left; elevation ~8475 feet (2583 m)
0.59   First of a number of tight switchbacks; trail now climbs significantly
0.61b31 Parish's campionSilene parishii5 / 317
0.63b32 Martin's paintbrushCastilleja applegatei ssp. martinii1 / 142
0.64r33 San Jacinto lupineLupinus hyacinthinus99 / 911
0.65l  (pinedrops, Pterospora andromedea)
0.68l34 pine lousewortPedicularis semibarbata20 / 415
0.73   Minor local high point
0.82r35 mountain gooseberryRibes montigenum40 / 92
0.96r36 limber pinePinus flexilis20 / 911
0.97   Begin switchbacks on slope separating Long Valley from Round and Tamarack Valleys
0.98r  (Two waterfalls)
0.99r  (California corn lily, Veratrum californicum var. californicum)
1.03b  (bracken, Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens)
1.06   Trail is less steep for a while now
1.07l37 brackenPteridium aquilinum var. pubescens5 / 219
1.07r  (changeable phacelia, Phacelia mutabilis)
1.07r  (Small meadowy area at Round Valley Creek with thyme-leaved speedwell, Veronica serpyllifolia ssp. humifusa. Farther off-trail: purple false-gilia, Allophyllum divaricatum; rosy everlasting, pussytoes, Antennaria rosea; plain mariposa lily, Calochortus invenustus; toad lily, Montia chamissoi; Sierra nemophila, Nemophila spatulata; Douglas' knotweed, Polygonum douglasii ssp. douglasii)
1.08l38 western wallflowerErysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum10 / 226
1.08r39 changeable phaceliaPhacelia mutabilis10 / 411
1.09l40 fragile sheath sedgeCarex fracta99 / 945
1.10b41 white catch-flySilene verecunda ssp. platyota5 / 216
1.10l42 pussy pawsCalyptridium monospermum10 / 213
1.19r  Eric's spot along Creek
1.22r  (spotted coralroot, Corallorhiza maculata)
1.37l  (Ross' sedge, Carex rossii)
1.49l  Jct. Round Valley to Willow Creek trail; elevation 8960 feet (2731 m); Sign: "[left] Willow Creek Trail 3.8 mi; [back] Long Valley 1.7 mi; [ahead] Round Valley 0.3 mi"
1.51b43 Ross' sedgeCarex rossii5 / 117
1.51r  (mountain sweet-cicely, Osmorhiza chilensis)
1.59r  (Begin Round Valley Meadow)
1.71r44 mountain sweet-cicelyOsmorhiza chilensis10 / 111
1.72l45 California corn lilyVeratrum californicum var. californicum10 / 17
1.72b46 California geraniumGeranium californicum5 / 13
1.72l47 mountain carpet cloverTrifolium monanthum var. grantianum10 / 228
1.72l48 western bistortPolygonum bistortoides5 / 12
1.72l49 Kentucky blue grassPoa pratensis ssp. agassizensis5 / 127
1.72l50 larger mountain monkeyflowerMimulus tilingii5 / 111
1.72l51 vari-nerved sedgeCarex heteroneura var. heteroneura2 / 17
1.72l52 tall mannagrassGlyceria elata5 / 13
1.72l53 toad lilyMontia chamissoi2 / 11
1.72l54 slender buttercupRanunculus alismifolius var. alismellus5 / 12
1.73l  (hairy wood rush, Luzula comosa; white bog orchid, Platanthera leucostachys; small white violet, Viola macloskeyi)
1.80l  Trail to outhouse (toilet)
1.86l  Trail to his and her outhouses
1.87r  Nice long log for a rest stop
1.89   Jct. trails to Wellman Divide (l) and Tamarack Valley (r); go left; elevation 9040 feet (2755 m). Sign: "[left] Wellman Divide 1 mi; San Jacinto Peak 3.3 mi; Saddle Junction 4.3 mi; Humber Park 6.8 mi; [right] Tamarack Valley 0.5 mi; [back] Long Valley 2.0 mi; Willow Creek 4.0 mi; Saddle Junction 5.5 mi"
1.89r  Tapped spring with available water
1.90r55 floriferous monkeyflowerMimulus floribundus10 / 115
2.07r56 forest goosefootChenopodium atrovirens10 / 17
2.81   Wellman Divide; elevation ~9720 feet (2963 m); Sign: "[right] San Jacinto Peak 2.3 mi; [back] Round Valley 1.0 mi; Long Valley 3.0 mi"

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

Penstemon labrosus. The first specimens on the trail have the normal red flowers; there is one patch of yellow-flowered penstemons later on the trail, which are just color variants of this species. The Jepson Manual reports that this species does rarely produce yellow flowers, and we have infrequently seen such variation elsewhere at San Jacinto Mountain.

Red flowers often produce yellow variants; see Species With Color Variants.

We thank Nick Nixon for the names of the trails used by the Rangers.

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Copyright © 2007-2010 by Tom Chester, Dave Stith, James Dillane, Eric Baecht and Pete Dodge.
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 9 September 2010.