Plant Guide to Long Valley Nature Trail, San Jacinto Mountains

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 Long Valley Nature Trail begins near the bottom of the concrete sidewalk from the upper Tram Station. It is an easy walk of just 0.6 miles, with only 80 feet of elevation gain and loss. The trail has nine informative signs telling a bit about the natural history of this area. No permit is required.

Most of the trail is a loop that can be done in either direction. For this guide, we have traversed the trail counterclockwise as seen from above, heading to the right at the beginning of the loop 0.05 miles from the Tram sidewalk, as shown on the following map:

The Nature Trail is shown in green in the above map; the Desert View Trail that connects with it is shown in dark blue. Although the map shown at the trailhead appears quite different from the above map, they are actually pretty much the same. The differences are:

This trail has been covered just twice for this guide, on 16 August 2007 in a drought year and on 3 August 2012. More species would probably be seen in a normal rainfall year, as well as more specimens of some species found in the guide.

This trail, and the connecting Desert View Trail, are the only trails, out of the 114 for which we have produced plant trail guides across southern California, that contain a leach field from a septic tank. This leach field produces the densest stand of wild tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus, that we have ever seen.

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 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 114 trails in our database when this histogram was made; 13 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 "13" 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 Taxa16100%

We found 1 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

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 Philip Erdelsky for help with the fieldwork on 8/16/07, and for taking the picture of the trail map at the trailhead.

Botanical Trip Reports

The Plant Guide

This version has been converted to the 2012 Jepson Manual Second Edition plant species names.

See a family order version of the flora for this area, and a print version that has the tram plant trail guide, the long valley nature trail, and this desert view guide.

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (2 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (1 page). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

The mileages in the guide come from a GPS recording of this trail on 8/16/07, measured with Topo!. They are probably accurate to 0.01-0.02 mile.

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here
0.00lBegin guide by going left at sign "Trail Information" near bottom of concrete sidewalk from Tram; elevation ~8395 feet (2559 m). Sign shows a (not very accurate) map of this Nature Loop Trail and Long View Loop (aka Desert View) Trail.
0.00b1Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi50 / 9
0.00b2San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushEricameria nauseosa var. bernardina50 / 9
0.00r3wild tarragonArtemisia dracunculus99 / 9
0.00l(white fir, Abies concolor; Fremont's goosefoot, Chenopodium fremontii)
0.01r4Parish's snowberrySymphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii10 / 3
0.02lJct. blocked trail (possibly older route of Nature Trail)
0.02l5groundsmokeGayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorum /
0.02lSign: "Desert View Trail [ahead]"
0.02l(yarrow, Achillea millefolium; Parish's bedstraw, Galium parishii; Grinnell's beardtongue, Penstemon grinnellii var. grinnellii; wax currant, Ribes cereum var. cereum)
0.03lSign: "Welcome to Long Valley", which now calls this trail the "Long Valley Discovery Trail"!
l6San Gabriel beardtonguePenstemon labrosus /
0.05r7wax currantRibes cereum var. cereum10 / 3
0.05l8forest goosefootChenopodium atrovirens /
0.05rY Jct. for loop portion of this trail; go right to do the loop in the order of this guide
0.05l9goldenrodSolidago velutina ssp. californica20 / 3
0.07lLong Valley Meadow; sign: "Fragile Area; stay on trail"
0.08r10white firAbies concolor10 / 9
0.08l11lodgepole pinePinus contorta ssp. murrayana5 / 5
0.08rsp(willow-leaved dock, Rumex salicifolius; Idaho bentgrass, Agrostis idahoensis; blue grass, Poa sp.)
0.08r12abrupt-beak sedgeCarex abrupta30 / 9
0.08r13swamp sedgeCarex senta /
0.08r14brown sedgeCarex subfusca /
0.08l15tall mannagrassGlyceria elata5 / 2
0.08l(western marsh cudweed, Gnaphalium palustre; larger mountain monkeyflower, Mimulus tilingii; pearlwort, Sagina saginoides)
0.08lSign: "How special is Long Valley?"
0.08l16Nevada cinquefoilDrymocallis lactea var. lactea1 / 1
0.09rJct. use trail
0.09r(western wallflower, Erysimum capitatum var. capitatum)
0.10rJct. trail to Adventure Centure (winter sport equipment rental)
0.11r(San Jacinto lupine, Lupinus hyacinthinus)
0.11l17western needlegrassStipa occidentalis /
0.13l(Mexican rush, Juncus mexicanus)
0.15r(San Jacinto Mts. Keckiella, Keckiella rothrockii var. jacintensis)
0.17l18mat muhlyMuhlenbergia richardsonis5 / 1
0.18r(Ross' sedge, Carex rossii; little-leaf mock orange, Philadelphus microphyllus; Fendler's meadow-rue, Thalictrum fendleri var. fendleri)
0.18l19false monkeyflowerMimulus pilosus /
0.18lSign: "Birds on the wing"
0.23lSign: " 'Cool' plants and birds"
0.25l20Fendler's meadow-rueThalictrum fendleri var. fendleri2 / 1
0.28l(ranger's buttons, Sphenosciadium capitellatum)
0.30Cross Long Valley Creek; low point on trail, elevation 8320 feet (2536 m)
0.30b21slender hairgrassDeschampsia elongata10 / 1
0.30lSign: "Dependent on moisture"
0.30rSouth jct. with Desert View Trail; go left
0.35lSign: "A different habitat"
0.39rSign: "The fight for survival"
0.44r22western wallflowerErysimum capitatum var. capitatum10 / 3
0.44l23yarrowAchillea millefolium10 / 2
0.45rNorth jct. with Desert View Trail; continue ahead on left
0.46rSign: "Meet Jeff"
0.51rDense field of tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus, due to leach field of septic tank from Tram restrooms
0.53lSign: "The fragile meadow"
0.54End Nature Trail Loop. Continue ahead to the Tram sidewalk, or go back to do the Desert View Trail.
0.59Tram sidewalk

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.

Comments On Specific Species

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Copyright © 2007-2017 by Tom Chester, Dave Stith, Keir Morse, James Dillane and Eric Baecht.
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 26 June 2017.