Plant Guide to Round Valley Loop 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


This guide is to the Upper Willow Creek Trail / High Round Valley Trail to Round Valley, which is the longer way to get to Round Valley from the Upper Tram Station. A loop can be made by returning via the Low Round Valley Trail; see its guide if you are returning that way. (But note that guide is for travel in the opposite direction, and hence has to be followed backwards, which is not ideal except for species present in only a single location on that trail.)

The trailhead for the Willow Creek Trail is 0.12 miles west of the Ranger Station in Long Valley, which is 0.2 miles west of the upper Palm Springs Tramway Station.

The portion of the loop covered in this guide is roughly 2.0 miles one way, with 600 feet of elevation gain. The entire loop is 3.5 miles long, with the same 600 feet of elevation gain and loss. Including the trail from the Tram Station, the entire loop is 4.3 miles roundtrip, with 700 feet of elevation gain and loss. Adding the optional excursion to Hidden Divide adds 0.6 miles and another 100 feet of elevation gain and loss.

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

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"

The guide was not updated after the fieldwork on 8/30/07, so the 6/25/08 numbers reflect the additions from both trips.

We thank Phillip Erdelsky for help with the fieldwork on 8/16/07, and Michael Charters and Richard Sapiro for help with the fieldwork on 6/25/08. The work on 8/30/07 was only for the Willow Creek portion, and was interrupted by showers. One species, Allium burlewii, was added on 5/2/12 from a hike on a short section of this loop.

Botanical Trip Reports

The Plant Guide

The family order flora of this loop is given in the next to last column of the Flora of Long Valley, in the column with header "Hi" (for the High trail). The linked flora is not yet updated from the 6/30/17 field work.

This version of the guide has names updated to the 2012 Jepson Manual Second Edition system; see Notes on the Scientific Names Used At This Site.

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

The mileages in the guide come from Topo! and a GPS recording of the trail made on 8/16/07. The mileage might be slightly underestimated due to switchbacks not accurately recorded by the GPS track. The mileage given on the Tom Harrison map is 0.2 mile greater. The elevations come from the topo map, and should be fairly precise.

See Explanation of Plant Trail Guides for an explanation of the column headers.

MileS#id?Common NameScientific Name#here
0.00Begin guide at Willow Creek Trail jct. with Round Valley Trail 0.12 miles west of Ranger Station; elevation 8400 feet (2560 m); go left on 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"
0.00r1sugar pinePinus lambertiana20 / 9
0.00b2white firAbies concolor99 / 9
0.00b3Parish's snowberrySymphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii99 / 9
0.00l4San Jacinto Mts. keckiellaKeckiella rothrockii var. jacintensis99 / 9
0.00b5San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushEricameria nauseosa var. bernardina99 / 9
0.00b6western needlegrassStipa occidentalis var. occidentalis50 / 2
0.00r7goldenrodSolidago velutina ssp. californica10 / 1
0.00l8mountain sprayHolodiscus discolor var. microphyllus15 / 1
The next five species are In the drainage to the right of the trail:
0.00r9pinegrove groundsmokeGayophytum oligospermum99 / 9
0.00r10Cleveland's horkeliaHorkelia clevelandii var. clevelandii50 / 2
0.00r11Brewer's monkeyflowerMimulus breweri99 / 2
0.00r12false monkeyflowerMimulus pilosus99 / 2
0.00r13Suksdorf's monkeyflowerMimulus suksdorfii50 / 1
Back on trail
0.00b14little-leaf mock orangePhiladelphus microphyllus20 / 4
0.01r15Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi50 / 9
0.01l16Parish's bedstrawGalium parishii15 / 2
0.02l17granite prickly phloxLinanthus pungens50 / 2
0.02l18mountain California-fuchsiaEpilobium canum ssp. latifolium99 / 1
0.02r19prickly hawkweedHieracium horridum3 / 2
0.02r20fringed bromeBromus richardsonii1 / 1
0.02r21sticky cinquefoilDrymocallis glandulosa var. viscida20 / 2
0.02r22brown sedgeCarex subfusca99 / 3
0.02r23squirreltailElymus elymoides5 / 2
0.02rCheck for Carex rossii
0.03r24canyon live oakQuercus chrysolepis1 / 1
0.03l25wax currantRibes cereum var. cereum2 / 1
0.04r26Scouler's willowSalix scouleriana10 / 2
0.04Jct. new trail; jog right across it on new boardwalk that crosses a small drainage
0.07l27wild tarragonArtemisia dracunculus50 / 9
Jct. with north fork of Long Valley Creek, coming from Round and Tamarack Valleys. The following 21 species are in the creek area within 100 feet or so of the trail, given in alphabetical order:
0.08l28yarrowAchillea millefolium99 / 1
0.08b29Idaho bentgrassAgrostis idahoensis99 / 1
0.08l30western columbineAquilegia formosa1 / 1
0.08l31abrupt-beak sedgeCarex abrupta25 / 1
0.08l32fragile sheath sedgeCarex fracta1 / 1
0.08l33Martin's paintbrushCastilleja applegatei ssp. martinii6 / 2
0.08r34brittle bladder fernCystopteris fragilis2 / 1
0.08l35Nevada cinquefoilDrymocallis lactea var. lactea99 / 1
0.08l36willowherbEpilobium ciliatum10 / 1
0.08l37western wallflowerErysimum capitatum var. capitatum99 / 3
0.08l38toad rushJuncus bufonius99 / 1
0.08l39long-anthered rushJuncus macrandrus2 / 1
0.08l40floriferous monkeyflowerMimulus floribundus99 / 1
0.08r41musk monkeyflowerMimulus moschatus20 / 1
0.08b42primrose monkeyflowerMimulus primuloides var. primuloides99 / 1
0.08l43larger mountain monkeyflowerMimulus tilingii20 / 1
0.08l44San Gabriel beardtonguePenstemon labrosus10 / 1
0.08l45pearlwortSagina saginoides1 / 1
0.08r46snow-plantSarcodes sanguinea4 / 4
0.08l47ranger's buttonsSphenosciadium capitellatum / 1
0.08l48thyme-leaved speedwellVeronica serpyllifolia ssp. humifusa10 / 1
0.08Check for Deschampsia elongata and Thalictrum fendleri
0.08Now back on trail in trail order; cross creek on wood plank bridge
0.11rSign: "Permit required"
0.12Small switchback right
0.12r49lodgepole pinePinus contorta ssp. murrayana99 / 9
0.12b50Parish's campionSilene parishii35 / 3
0.12Small switchback left
0.14b51San Jacinto lupineLupinus hyacinthinus99 / 9
0.15Switchback right
0.24Trail turns left 90°
0.25Switchback right
0.26Switchback left
0.26r52bush chinquapinChrysolepis sempervirens65 / 9
0.28Four switchbacks in next 0.04 miles
0.29l53Ross' sedgeCarex rossii75 / 9
0.34b54Nevin's bird's beakCordylanthus nevinii99 / 1
0.35Trail zigzags up
0.35r55pine lousewortPedicularis semibarbata99 / 2
0.47Trail enters large flattish area extending for 1/4 mile
0.4756pussy pawsCalyptridium monospermum99 / 1
0.47l57San Jacinto Mtns. daisyErigeron breweri var. jacinteus99 / 2
0.48r58curl-leaf mountain-mahoganyCercocarpus ledifolius20 /
The following three species are in the flat area to the left:
59green-leaf manzanitaArctostaphylos patula2 / 1
60mountain red-root cryptanthaCryptantha micrantha var. lepida / 1
61mountain whitethornCeanothus cordulatus3 / 3
Back on trail
0.58b62plain mariposa lilyCalochortus invenustus2 / 1
0.58Cross small drainage
0.59r63white catch-flySilene verecunda10 / 2
0.63Cross western branch of south fork of Long Valley Creek, a very minor drainage here; trail resumes going up
0.65r64spotted coralrootCorallorhiza maculata1 / 1
0.81rJct. high Round Valley Trail; go right. Sign: "[ahead] Willow Creek 2.7 mi; Saddle Junction 4.8 mi; Humber Park 6.8 mi; [back] Long Valley 1 mi; Tram 1.3 mi; [right] Round Valley 2 mi; San Jacinto Peak 5.5 mi". Hidden Divide is 0.29 miles straight ahead if you want a side excursion.
1.05l65Southern California rock drabaDraba saxosa36 / 1
1.12Cross same western branch of south branch of Long Valley Creek at higher elevation
1.22rConcrete post
1.35b66dusky onionAllium campanulatum99 / 4
1.40rone-sided bluegrassPoa secunda ssp. secunda /
1.45l(Burlew's onion, Allium burlewii; southern mountain-monardella, Monardella australis ssp. australis, several hundred feet to left)
1.4867Burlew's onionAllium burlewii99 / 3
1.50Now in another flattish area, the higher elevation extension of the previous flattish area
1.60r(rosy everlasting, pussytoes, Antennaria rosea)
1.74l68rosy everlasting, pussytoesAntennaria rosea2 / 1
1.79High point on route, elevation ~8980 feet (2737 m)
1.92r69mountain gooseberryRibes montigenum9 / 1
1.93Jct. low Round Valley Trail; end guide; go right to return to Tram Station
3.44Ranger Station

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

#: Species are numbered in order of first occurrence on trail. Unlike most of our plant trail guides, off-trail species are numbered as long as they are easily reachable from the trail. Species that are not visible from the trail, or are difficult to reach, 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

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

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Copyright © 2007-2017 by Tom Chester, Dave Stith, James Dillane, Nancy Accola, Bruce Watts 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 4 July 2017.