The Flora of the PCT
Section A. Southern Peninsular mountain ranges:
Hauser Mountain, Laguna Mountains and the San Felipe Hills

RT Hawke, Shaun Hawke and Tom Chester

Fig. 1. Left: Chamise chaparral surrounding the U.S. (left side) / Mexico (right side) border. The fences are on U.S. soil, with the dirt road area in-between them patrolled by Border Patrol vehicles. Right: The PCT Monument at the southern terminus.
Click on the pictures for larger versions.
The larger version of the PCT Monument picture shows the gear of a hiker who had just finished the entire PCT in 2014, heading north from Agua Dulce in June, arriving at Canada in October, and then hiking south from Agua Dulce, ending here on 3 November 2014.

Trail Sections With Links to the Plant Checklists


See The Flora of the Pacific Crest Trail: Overview for an Introduction to these plant checklists.

Mexican border to Highway S22 (Barrel Springs), distance ~100 miles

Section A begins at the border at ~2900 feet in elevation. It traverses chaparral-covered hills passing through Hauser wilderness. A couple of species are only found in this southern end of the trail, which are Munz's sage and the Pride of California. The trail emerges into an oak woodland before once again entering the chaparral covered slopes of Mt. Laguna. Upon reaching Mt. Laguna at ~6000 feet in elevation, you are now in a coniferous forest. The Lagunas are known for having a number of unusual plants, and the trail passes by three of them known more commonly from central California. They are California Bay, Redbud and Sonoma sage. The trail then follows the eastern scarp of the Laguna Mountains before descending into the Anza-Borrego desert along the face of Granite Mountain. The trail then climbs up the San Felipe hills that have recently recovered from the Pine fire of 2003 and a recent fire of 2012. The trail finishes this section by again passing through chaparral and oak woodland on the north side of the San Felipe hills.

Fig. 2. Trail Map for the PCT Section A in San Diego County, from USDA Forest Service Interactive Map. See also Satellite Map showing the terrain and map without the marked segments.

Trail Sections With Links to the Plant Checklists

The Section Description name will be linked to the plant checklists as they become available. See also Combined Flora of Sections A1 to A7.

Table 1. Sections of the PCT in the Southern Peninsular mountain ranges

Section DesignatorSection Description (linked to checklist)Length (miles)Elevations (feet)
A1Mexican Border to Highway 942.3  24802900420
A2Highway 94 to Lake Morena17.5  231535001185
A3Lake Morena to Highway 80 (Boulder creek campground)6.3  30403460420
A4Highway 80 to Kitchen Creek Road3.8  31503985835
A5Kitchen Creek Road to Mt. Laguna (Desert Overlook)

    A5a Kitchen Creek Road to 8.2 miles north (8.2 miles, 3990 to 5860 feet)
    A5b 8.2 miles north to Mt. Laguna (Desert Overlook) (3.6 miles, 5800 to 6040 feet)
12.4  399060402050
A6Mt. Laguna (Desert Overlook) to Pioneer Mail Picnic Area10.5  52206010790
A7Pioneer Mail Picnic Area to Sunrise parking area6.8  48405500660
A8Sunrise parking area junction to Highway 78

    A8a Sunrise parking area junction to Rodriguez Truck Trail (9.1 miles, 3630 to 5000 feet)
    A8b Rodriguez Truck Trail to Highway S2 (8.0 miles, 2240 to 3630 feet)
    A8c Highway S2 to Highway 78 (0.9 miles, 2240 to 2275 feet)
18.0  224050002760
A9Highway 78 to Highway S22 (Barrel Springs)

    A9a Highway 78 to 4.2 miles north (4.2 miles, 2250 to 3080 feet)
    A9ab Highway 78 to high point on the trail (18.5 miles, 2250 to 4420 feet)
    A9c Highway S22 (Barrel Springs) to high point on trail (5.5 miles, 3450 to 4420 feet)
24.0  225044202170

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Copyright © 2014-2015 by RT Hawke, Shaun Hawke and Tom Chester.
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 3 December 2015.