The Flora of the PCT
Section C. The San Bernardino Mountains

RT Hawke, Shaun Hawke and Tom Chester

Fig. 1. Pictures to be added.

Trail Sections With Links to the Plant Checklists


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

This section of the trail starts on the north side of I-10, traversing a residential area until it gets to the Cottonwood trailhead (elevation 1850 feet). The trail then proceeds through Gold Canyon past the windmill farms. It enters the Whitewater drainage, then the Mission Fork drainage in which it climbs up the south-east side of the San Bernardino Mountains. It reaches a high point of 8600 feet and stays in the conifer forest as it traverses the range. The trail slowly descends as you head eastward in the mountain range and changes to chaparral. The trail then follows Deep Creek drainage for a while before passing by Silverwood Lake. The elevation at the end of this section at Interstate 15 is 3000 feet. Table 1 gives the subsections of the trail, with the name linked to the online plant guide when the guide is available.

Fig. 2. Trail Map for the PCT through the San Bernardino Mountains, from USDA Forest Service Interactive Map.

Trail Sections With Links to the Plant Checklists

The Section Description name will be linked to the plant checklists as they become available.

The C sections were renumbered in 2014, and hence the target of the links may still have the old numbering system.

Table 1. Sections of the PCT in the San Bernardino Mountains

Section Description (linked to checklist)Length
Elevations (feet)
C1I-10 to Cottonwood trailhead2.313601840490
C2Cottonwood trailhead to Whitewater Canyon6.8184032101370
C3Whitewater Canyon to Mission Springs Trail Camp at road 1N0521.0228581158115
C4Road 1N05 (near Mission springs trail camp) to Rainbow Road9.6811581008635
C5Rainbow Road to road 2N015.3810078858635
C6Road 2N01 to Highway 1810.4788568297885
C7Highway 18 to Van Dusen road 3N098.9682972607630
C8Van Dusen road 3N09 to road 3N1410.7726065107755
C9Road 3N14 to Deep Creek Bridge (near Splinterís cabin)12.8651045806510
C10Deep Creek Bridge (near Splinterís cabin) to Highway 17315.9458031904580
C11Highway 173 to Highway 138 (Silverwood lake exit)15.4319033953580
C12Highway 138 (Silverwood lake exit) to Interstate 1513.6339530004160

The elevation profile of segments C1 through C12 is shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3. The approximate elevation vs. distance for the PCT in the San Bernardino Mountains from south to north (east to west in most of the area)

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Copyright © 2012-2015 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 28 May 2015.