Plant Guide to Mt. Lewis Trail

This is a working list, about which we make no guarantees at all until we officially release it. Use at your own risk!

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


This is a very steep use trail leading directly up the south-southeast ridge of Mt. Lewis. A portion of the trail near the top is obscure, but it is easy to find your way to the peak. The reward for all this work is the view from the top, and the journey itself through a climax forest providing deep shade.

Warning: do not take this route if you are not good about finding your way when the trail becomes obscure!

Highlights of This Trail

The main botanical highlight of this trail is to see the characteristics of the climax forest in the San Gabriel Mountains in this area:

See also Jane's 80-2 Mt. Lewis from Dawson Saddle, which describes the views from the top and other species near the trail.

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. We had 66 trails in our database when this histogram was made. A number of "1" means the taxon has only been found on this trail among the trails in our database.

Number of Trails
Containing A Taxon
Number Of Taxa
On This Trail
% of Taxa
On This Trail
Total Taxa21100%

We found 5 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.

Every taxon is a native species.

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 Plant Guide

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page (2 pages)

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here#all
0.00   Trailhead between Maintenance Shed and propane tank. Trail is very steep uphill. The following taxon is found on the roadside just east of the Shed:
0.00   (Parish's oxytheca)(Oxytheca parishii var. parishii)20 / 11
0.00l1 Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi99 / 915
0.01l2 mountain whitethornCeanothus cordulatus20 / 511
0.01r  (curl-leaf mountain-mahogany, Cercocarpus ledifolius var. intermontanus)
0.01r3?unk baby plant, with just a few largish leaves almost in a rosette
0.02r4 white firAbies concolor99 / 915
0.03r5 curl-leaf mountain-mahoganyCercocarpus ledifolius var. intermontanus10 / 36
0.04r  (San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrush, Chrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus)
0.04r  Weird metal structure at bottom of slope to right. It looks like a frisbee gamepost.
0.04r6?unk Brassica annual, fr dehiscent, pedicel 9 mm, silique 63 x 1 mm.
0.05b7 California fuchsiaEpilobium canum+20 / 28
0.05l8~Davidson's phaceliaPhacelia davidsonii1 / 16
0.06l9 Grinnell's beardtonguePenstemon grinnellii var. grinnellii99 / 911
0.09   Trail splits, with old trail to left. Go right.
0.10l10spbeaked penstemonPenstemon rostriflorus / 9
0.10b11 rock buckwheatEriogonum saxatile30 / 95
0.15   Trail jags left due to downed tree.
0.15l12 santolina pincushionChaenactis santolinoides1 / 17
0.17r13 San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushChrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus3 / 211
0.19r14 California squirreltailElymus elymoides ssp. californicus5 / 24
0.20r15 sugar pinePinus lambertiana / 8
0.21   Switchback left.
0.22   Switchback right.
0.22l16 woolly mountain-parsleyOreonana vestita20 / 52
0.23   Trail jags left due to downed tree.
0.24l17spgroundsmokeGayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorum5 / 113
0.25   Trail begins to parallel lip of broad shallow drainage to right
0.28l18 Wright's buckwheatEriogonum wrightii var. subscaposum99 / 910
0.28   Cross drainage.
0.28c19 unk small plant like knotweed.
0.28   Jct. with the no-longer-blocked-off old trail coming in from left. Turn right 90 degrees.
0.31b20 alpine sulfur-flowered buckwheatEriogonum umbellatum var. minus5 / 22
0.31r21 southern alpine buckwheatEriogonum kennedyi var. alpigenum10 / 22
0.31l22?unk Carex or Juncus.Juncus orthophyllus?10 / 2 
0.31b23spBurlew's onion?Allium burlewii?20 / 13
0.32   Trail becomes indistinct; continue travelling in a straight direction and you'll pick up the trail again.
0.39l24spParish's needlegrassAchnatherum parishii5 / 12
0.43l25?white catch-fly?Silene verecunda ssp. platyota?5 / 1 
0.43   Trail ends at Mt. Lewis summit, marked no longer with some piled rocks.

Comments On Specific Species

Epilobium canum. We have found that determining a subspecies for specimens of this species is problematic in the San Gabriel Mountains at higher elevations. This is probably because the two ssp. intergrade in Southern California, as reported in the JM, or because the leaf widths reflect moisture conditions. See Comments on the Jepson Manual and A Flora of Southern California by Munz: Epilobium canum ssp. canum.
The plants here have leaves up to 28 mm long x 11 mm wide in 2003.

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Copyright © 2002-2003 by Tom Chester and Jane Strong.
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 | Jane Strong
Updated 20 September 2003.