Plant Guide to Laws Loop (Willow Creek Trail, Laws Camp, Caramba Trail), San Jacinto Mountains

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


The plant guide itself is current through 9 July 2018, but the rest of the text on this page has not yet been updated.

This Loop begins at Saddle Junction, and follows the Willow Creek Trail to the junction with the connector trail that heads to Laws Junction on the Caramba Trail. The guide then follows the Caramba Trail back to Saddle Junction.

The Willow Creek Trail begins at Saddle Junction, which is at the top of the Devils Slide Trail in the San Jacinto Mountains. It heads E-NE from Saddle Junction, crosses Willow Creek at mile 1.41, and meets the connector trail at mile 1.84.

Interestingly, there seems to be no formal name for this trail. Robinson, in his 1986 San Bernardino Mountain Trails, simply says At Saddle Junction take the trail fork leading northeast, marked "Willow Creek" and "Long Valley".

(Add complete description)

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 my database that contain each taxon on this trail. I had 66 trails in my database when this histogram was made. A number of "1" means the taxon has only been found on this trail among the trails in my database.

Histogram not updated since 2004.

Number of Trails
Containing A Taxon
Number Of Taxa
On This Trail
% of Taxa
On This Trail
Total Taxa33100%

I found 10 additional species not in the above table, since they have not been identified yet. The unidentified ones are marked with ? or sp in the id? column in the guide, and have no entry in the #all column.

Fieldwork Dates and Summary of List Changes With Time

The following table gives the dates the trail was walked and when notes were made for the field guide.

Visit DateFarthest Mile SurveyedNotes made to update guide

The fieldwork on 6/13/02 was only cursory, noting just a few species from memory.

The following table gives some of the early information on the total number of taxa on the list and the breakdown of the taxa without positive identification, after each survey. See Explanation of Plant Trail Guides to understand the symbols below.

Visit DateVisit ## taxa# "?"# "sp"# "~"# "ssp"

The guide was not updated after each of the trips after 8/28/03, so the information isn't readily available to update the table above.

The Plant Guide

See Plant Checklist For Laws Loop Trail for a list of the species in the guide below in traditional family order, including links to the Jepson eFlora and Calphotos.

The Plant guide incorporates all fieldwork up to and including that on 7/9/18.

The plant guide uses the 2012 second edition Jepson Manual names.

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (7 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (2 double-sided pages). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

MileS#id?Common NameScientific Name#here
0.00Begin trail at Saddle Junction; elevation 8075 feet (2460 m)
0.00b1Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi99 / 9
0.00b2white firAbies concolor99 / 9
0.01lSign: "Skunk Cabbage; Willow Creek; Long Valley" with an arrow pointing ahead.
0.02b3Sierra Nevada lotusAcmispon nevadensis var. nevadensis99 / 9
0.02l4pinegrove groundsmokeGayophytum oligospermum99 / 5
0.02l(San Gabriel beardtongue, Penstemon labrosus; Parish's snowberry, Symphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii)
0.02b5pussy pawsCalyptridium monospermum99 / 3
0.03r6Elmer's needlegrassStipa occidentalis var. pubescens5 / 3
0.03r(squirreltail, Elymus elymoides)
0.05b7Parish's snowberrySymphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii99 / 9
0.05r8spotted coralrootCorallorhiza maculata99 / 9
0.06Trail turns left 90°
0.07l9San Gabriel beardtonguePenstemon labrosus30 / 2
0.07l10western wallflowerErysimum capitatum var. capitatum99 / 9
0.07l11Fremont's goosefootChenopodium fremontii99 / 5
0.07l12groundsmokeGayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorum99 / 2
0.07l13changeable phaceliaPhacelia mutabilis99 / 9
0.09b14fragile sheath sedgeCarex fracta99 / 9
0.09r15Scouler's willowSalix scouleriana50 / 4
0.09b16fringed bromeBromus richardsonii18 / 1
0.09r17Nevada cinquefoilDrymocallis lactea var. lactea40 / 3
0.09Cross dry drainage.
0.09r18Brewer's monkeyflowerMimulus breweri5 / 1
0.09r(musk monkeyflower, Mimulus moschatus; larger mountain monkeyflower, Mimulus tilingii)
0.09l19brackenPteridium aquilinum var. pubescens99 / 9
0.09r20wax currantRibes cereum var. cereum20 / 9
0.12r(pine lousewort, Pedicularis semibarbata)
0.13r21San Jacinto lupineLupinus hyacinthinus99 / 9
0.13b22pine lousewortPedicularis semibarbata70 / 9
0.13l23white catch-flySilene verecunda99 / 9
0.16l24Cleveland's horkeliaHorkelia clevelandii var. clevelandii20 / 2
0.19l(mountain mugwort, Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. incompta)
0.19r(California corn lily, Veratrum californicum var. californicum)
0.19r(pinedrops, Pterospora andromedea)
0.20r25horseweedErigeron canadensis1 / 1
0.20r26*downy bromeBromus tectorum99 / 9
0.20r27mountain whitethornCeanothus cordulatus99 / 9
0.23r28mountain mugwortArtemisia ludoviciana ssp. incompta99 / 9
0.28l(slender wheatgrass, Elymus trachycaulus ssp. trachycaulus)
0.29l29purple false-giliaAllophyllum divaricatum2 / 1
0.32l(bitter cherry, Prunus emarginata)
0.32This area is said to have the finest bracken stand in all of southern California (Vogel 1976)
0.34r(ranger's buttons, Sphenosciadium capitellatum)
0.37r30little false-solomon's-sealMaianthemum stellatum99 / 2
0.37l31plain mariposa lilyCalochortus invenustus30 / 2
0.37l32~pine violetViola pinetorum ssp. pinetorum2 / 1
0.37r(California brome, Bromus carinatus var. carinatus)
0.38b33yarrowAchillea millefolium99 / 5
0.38r(lemon lily, Lilium parryi)
0.38b34blue wildryeElymus glaucus ssp. glaucus99 / 9
0.38l35squirreltailElymus elymoides99 / 9
0.39l36ranger's buttonsSphenosciadium capitellatum99 / 5
0.39r37California bromeBromus carinatus var. carinatus99 / 9
0.40rView of Skunk Cabbage Meadow
0.41b38Parish's lupineLupinus latifolius var. parishii6 / 1
0.41l39vari-nerved sedgeCarex heteroneura2 / 1
0.41l40Kentucky blue grassPoa pratensis ssp. agassizensis99 / 1
0.41b41abrupt-beak sedgeCarex abrupta50 / 2
0.41l42musk monkeyflowerMimulus moschatus99 / 1
0.41l43Idaho bentgrassAgrostis idahoensisx /
0.41b44mountain carpet cloverTrifolium monanthum ssp. grantianum5 / 1
0.41l45slender wheatgrassElymus trachycaulus ssp. trachycaulus75 / 9
0.41l46glandular willowherbEpilobium ciliatum ssp. glandulosum5 / 1
0.41l47western bistortBistorta bistortoides15 / 1
0.41b48slender hairgrassDeschampsia elongata99 / 3
0.41b49slender cinquefoilPotentilla gracilis var. fastigiata20 / 2
0.41l50Parish's yampahPerideridia parishii5 / 1
0.41l51western marsh cudweedGnaphalium palustre10 / 1
0.41r52mat muhlyMuhlenbergia richardsonis1 / 1
0.42l53lemon lilyLilium parryi50 / 3
0.45r54goldenrodSolidago velutina ssp. californica99 / 5
0.46Cross small drainage
0.48b55rigid hedge-nettleStachys rigida20 / 2
0.48r56long-anthered rushJuncus macrandrus99 / 1
0.48r57larger mountain monkeyflowerMimulus tilingii99 / 9
0.48l58tinker's pennyHypericum anagalloides10 / 1
0.48b59thyme-leaved speedwellVeronica serpyllifolia ssp. humifusa10 / 1
0.48l60swamp sedgeCarex senta50 / 3
0.48l61small white violetViola macloskeyi30 / 1
0.48Cross wet drainage with a low depression to the left.
0.48r62floriferous monkeyflowerMimulus floribundus20 / 2
0.48b63spike bentgrassAgrostis exarata10 / 1
0.52rSkunk Cabbage Jct.: elevation ~8000 feet (2438 m); jct. trail to Tahquitz Valley; continue ahead; trail flat for next 0.3 miles
0.61r64pinedropsPterospora andromedea20 / 9
0.61l65wild tarragonArtemisia dracunculus99 / 9
0.61lJct. trail to campsite
0.74r66Wright's buckwheatEriogonum wrightii var. subscaposum99 / 9
0.74b67San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushEricameria nauseosa var. bernardina99 / 9
0.74rJct. trail to campsite
0.77Leave bracken and wet area
0.78l68forest goosefootChenopodium atrovirens4 / 1
0.80Trail resumes descent
0.81l(green-leaf manzanita, Arctostaphylos patula)
0.83l(southern mountain-monardella, Monardella australis ssp. australis)
0.84l(Davidson's buckwheat, Eriogonum davidsonii; California thistle, Cirsium occidentale var. californicum; rock buckwheat, Eriogonum saxatile)
0.86l69twiggy wreath plantStephanomeria virgata20 / 9
0.87l70Martin's paintbrushCastilleja applegatei ssp. martinii20 / 3
0.87l71broad-leaved lotusHosackia crassifolia var. crassifolia99 / 2
0.88b72glaucus willowherbEpilobium glaberrimum ssp. glaberrimum50 / 9
0.88Cross moist drainage and ascend briefly
0.88l73slender everlastingPseudognaphalium thermale5 / 4
0.93r74short-flowered monardellaMonardella nana99 / 9
0.93r(naked buckwheat, Eriogonum nudum var. pauciflorum)
0.94Cross small dry drainage
0.98Cross drainage; willows resprouting here from small lightning-caused fire in 2000, but kept low by deer
0.99b75San Jacinto buckwheatEriogonum apiculatum99 / 5
1.01r76zig-zag gayophytumGayophytum heterozygum25 /
1.01l77bitter cherryPrunus emarginata99 / 9
1.01Cross small drainage
1.06l(bush chinquapin, Chrysolepis sempervirens)
1.09l(leafy daisy, Erigeron foliosus var. foliosus)
1.09Cross small drainage
1.09l78naked buckwheatEriogonum nudum var. pauciflorum80 / 9
1.10l(incense-cedar, Calocedrus decurrens)
1.12r(Grinnell's beardtongue, Penstemon grinnellii var. grinnellii)
1.12l(Sierra gooseberry, Ribes roezlii var. roezlii)
1.1379San Jacinto Mts. keckiellaKeckiella rothrockii var. jacintensis10 / 3
1.15r(fir dwarf-mistletoe, Arceuthobium campylopodum)
1.16r80California black oakQuercus kelloggii1 / 1
1.17l81hybrid manzanitaArctostaphylos patula X A. pringlei ssp. drupacea2 / 1
1.19l(canyon live oak, Quercus chrysolepis)
1.23l82Sierra gooseberryRibes roezlii var. roezlii60 / 7
1.24l83leafy daisyErigeron foliosus var. foliosus99 / 2
1.26l84beaked penstemonPenstemon rostriflorus50 / 5
1.26b85bush chinquapinChrysolepis sempervirens50 / 9
1.30r86California-asterCorethrogyne filaginifolia12 / 2
1.31b87green-leaf manzanitaArctostaphylos patula99 / 9
1.31l88red-rayed hulseaHulsea heterochroma3 / 2
1.32b89sugar pinePinus lambertiana5 /
1.32r90canyon live oakQuercus chrysolepis50 / 9
1.35l91Nevin's bird's beakCordylanthus nevinii1 / 1
1.36r(snow-plant, Sarcodes sanguinea)
1.36l92pipsissewaChimaphila umbellata50 / 1
1.36l93Ross' sedgeCarex rossiix /
1.37r(fir mistletoe, Phoradendron bolleanum)
1.38r94mountain pink currantRibes nevadense10 / 2
1.38r95western columbineAquilegia formosa30 / 2
1.38b96pearlwortSagina saginoides10 / 1
1.38b97brittle bladder fernCystopteris fragilis1 / 1
1.38b98tall mannagrassGlyceria elata75 / 2
1.38Cross Willow Creek; local low point; elevation ~7800 feet (2377 m)
1.38r99bull thistleCirsium vulgare4 / 1
1.38l100streambank lotusHosackia oblongifolia var. oblongifolia10 / 1
1.38l101giant red paintbrushCastilleja miniata ssp. miniata1 / 1
1.38r102western azaleaRhododendron occidentale10 / 2
1.38l(hairy wood rush, Luzula comosa)
1.38r103sticky cinquefoilDrymocallis glandulosa var. viscida5 / 1
1.38l104Grinnell's beardtonguePenstemon grinnellii var. grinnellii99 / 9
1.39r105fir dwarf-mistletoeArceuthobium campylopodum15 / 1
1.41l106Davidson's buckwheatEriogonum davidsonii33 / 3
1.44b107prickly-nut cryptanthaCryptantha muricata var. denticulata5 / 1
1.55r(purple nightshade, Solanum xanti)
1.58Local high point; elevation ~7880 feet (2402 m)
1.70r108yellow willowSalix lutea2 / 2
1.70Cross creek (short tributary to Willow Creek) with running water; local low point; elevation 7840 feet (2390 m)
1.74l109mountain rock-cressBoechera retrofracta X12 / 2
1.74b110coyote tobaccoNicotiana attenuata99 / 1
1.75l111false monkeyflowerMimulus pilosus19 / 1
1.76Trail turns right 90°
1.76l112purple nightshadeSolanum xanti10 / 2
1.82rJct trail to Laws; local high point; elevation ~7900 feet (2408 m); turn right and go to Laws Camp
1.82lSign: "Laws (to right)"
1.88l113mountain California-fuchsiaEpilobium canum ssp. latifolium99 / 3
1.99l114mountain red-root cryptanthaCryptantha micrantha var. lepida99 / 1
1.99Trail curves right at drainage and then curves left
2.00rView of entire Tahquitz ridge
2.05b115granite prickly phloxLinanthus pungens4 / 1
2.05r116Yosemite rockcressBoechera repanda1 / 1
2.12bSwitchback left, then trail makes half circle on flattened spot; many dead firs with dead fir mistletoe, Phoradendron bolleanum here
2.15Good view of desert
2.17r117splendid giliaSaltugilia splendens ssp. splendens99 / 6
2.18l118beautiful hulseaHulsea vestita ssp. callicarpha65 / 2
2.19r119June grassKoeleria macranthax /
2.19r120?San Jacinto Mtns. bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. jacinticumx /
2.22Switchback left
2.35Trail curves right
2.36r121incense-cedarCalocedrus decurrens30 / 3
2.41Long switchback right
2.41r122narrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifoliumx /
2.44r(Interesting green-leaf manzanita, Arctostaphylos patula, which appears to have split a boulder)
2.54Switchback left
2.65Trail curves right
2.69b123breakfast bedstrawKelloggia galioides99 / 3
2.70l~(~willowherb, ~Epilobium ciliatum ssp. ?)
2.70Cross Willow Creek again; elevation 7440 feet (2268 m)
2.70rSign: "Willow Creek (back); Long Valley (back)"; Trail turns left 90°
2.72r(Fendler's meadow-rue, Thalictrum fendleri var. fendleri)
2.74l(Campsites on other side of Willow Creek)
2.74r124Hall's bromeBromus hallii40 /
2.85Laws Jct.; jct. Caramba Trail; go right on it; low point on loop, elevation ~7425 feet (2263 m)
3.16l125southern miner's lettuceClaytonia perfoliata ssp. mexicana80 / 1
3.25r126tall trisetumTrisetum canescensx /
3.25Cross lush creek without water
3.25l127bigleaf lupineLupinus polyphyllus var. burkeix /
3.26l128thimbleberryRubus parviflorus40 / 1
3.26l(California geranium, Geranium californicum, along bank of creek)
3.33Trail curves left at small drainage
(closer California corn lily, Veratrum californicum var. californicum)
3.64lFirst good view of Tahquitz Creek
3.71r129Utah service-berryAmelanchier utahensis1 / 1
3.74Cross drainage in moist area
3.87r130spear-leaved mountain dandelionAgoseris retrorsa3 / 1
3.88r131Fendler's meadow-rueThalictrum fendleri var. fendleri10 / 3
3.95b132Mexican rushJuncus mexicanus10 / 1
3.96Cross moist drainage
3.97rSign: "Candy's Creek"
4.42Jct. trail to Skunk Cabbage Meadow (r) and Tahquitz Meadow (l)
4.65r133southern mountain-monardellaMonardella australis ssp. australis99 / 1
5.02Saddle Junction; end loop
Plants only found off-trail:
0.19134California corn lilyVeratrum californicum var. californicum99 /
0.84135California thistleCirsium occidentale var. californicum15 /
0.84136rock buckwheatEriogonum saxatile1 /
1.36137snow-plantSarcodes sanguineaOT /
1.37138fir mistletoePhoradendron bolleanumOT /
1.38139hairy wood rushLuzula comosaOT /
3.26140California geraniumGeranium californicumOT /

Comments On Specific Species

We thank Nancy Accola for spotting the Eriogonum davidsonii, Cirsium occidentale var. californicum and Eriogonum saxatile at mile 0.84, and Don Rideout for spotting the off-trail Monardella australis at mile 0.83, all on 9 June 2018.

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Copyright © 2002-2018 by Tom Chester and Dave Stith.
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Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 11 July 2018.