Plant Guide to PCT East of Blue Ridge Summit

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


Directions to Trailhead: Park at the Blue Ridge Summit PCT Parking Area at milepost LA78.10 on the Angeles Crest Highway (ACH). There are two parking areas, one on the north side of ACH, with toilets; one on the south side for Inspiration Point. If you park in the north lot, walk carefully across ACH to the east to the beginning of the Blue Ridge Road. The trail is immediately on the left at the beginning of the Road. At the trailhead is a large sign saying "PCT Parking" with a left arrow pointing to the parking area where you parked your car.

This is the first San Gabriel Mountain plant trail guide that we have updated ten years after Jane and Tom did this guide in 2003 and 2004. The scientific name is now from the Jepson Manual Second Edition, and we've corrected four misdeterminations we made back when we were budding botanists. Our other early plant trail guides may still contain similar errors.

The misdeterminations corrected here are:

Highlights of This Trail

Botanical highlights of this trail include:

Number of Unique Taxa On This Trail

Section not updated yet.

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"

Only the first 0.23 miles was covered on 9/26/04. The fieldwork on 7/18/13 was confined to the PCT; no work was done on the second half on the guide returning along Guffy Road.

In addition to the visits above, Jane has made a number of visits to this trail previously without recording all the taxa.

The Plant Guide

See also Species list in Traditional Family Order which also includes species found on the PCT farther east.

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 below have not yet been done reliably. No mileages were recorded in the first fieldwork, and hence the location of some plants found later is uncertain relative to some of those plants. Raw mileages obtained on 9/23/04 and 9/25/04 have been rectified to values obtained from the USGS topographic map at miles 0.28, 0.44, 0.81, and 1.63.

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here
0.00   Begin PCT east at Angeles Crest Highway and Blue Ridge Road, elevation 7340 feet (2235 m).
0.00l1 big sagebrushArtemisia tridentata99 / 9
0.00r2 *tumble-mustardSisymbrium altissimum99 / 9
0.00l  Sign: "PCT Parking [left arrow]"
0.00l3 *intermediate wheatgrassElymus hispidus10 / 4
0.00b4 California bromeBromus carinatus var. carinatus20 / 9
0.00r5 bur-ragweedAmbrosia acanthicarpa5 / 2
0.00b6 *downy bromeBromus tectorum99 / 9
0.00r7 bitter cherryPrunus emarginata99 / 9
0.00r8 white firAbies concolor /
0.00r9 desert gooseberryRibes velutinum2 / 2
0.00l10 plain mariposa lilyCalochortus invenustus /
0.00l11 western morning-gloryCalystegia occidentalis ssp. fulcrata /
0.00l12 threadleaf common rabbitbrushEricameria nauseosa var. oreophila20 / 5
0.00l13 leafy daisyErigeron foliosus var. foliosus50 / 9
0.00l  PCT post.
0.00l14 Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi50 / 9
0.01b15 San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushEricameria nauseosa var. bernardina20 / 5
0.01l16 spineless horsebrushTetradymia canescens99 / 9
0.01l17 interior bush lupineLupinus excubitus var. johnstonii20 / 9
0.01l18 one-sided bluegrassPoa secunda ssp. secunda30 / 5
0.01r19 Fremont's goosefootChenopodium fremontii20 / 3
0.01r20 squirreltailElymus elymoides30 / 9
0.01r  (sulphur buckwheat, Eriogonum umbellatum var. munzii)
0.01l21 Wright's buckwheatEriogonum wrightii var. subscaposum99 / 9
0.01r22 *redstem filareeErodium cicutarium4 / 2
0.02l23 California dodderCuscuta californica var. californica3 / 3
0.02r  (Parish's snowberry, Symphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii)
0.02l24 thorny skeleton-plantPleiacanthus spinosus50 / 4
0.03b25 imbricate phaceliaPhacelia imbricata ssp. patula20 / 9
0.03r  (Fremont's bush mallow, Malacothamnus fremontii)
0.03r26 mountain whitethornCeanothus cordulatus99 / 9
0.03r27 smoothleaf yerba santaEriodictyon trichocalyx var. trichocalyx99 / 9
0.04l28 Fremont's bush mallowMalacothamnus fremontii99 / 9
0.05l29 sulphur buckwheatEriogonum umbellatum var. munzii99 / 9
0.05l30 sapphire woolly-starEriastrum sapphirinum /
0.05l31 forest goosefootChenopodium atrovirens /
0.05   Trail slowly curves right 90°.
0.05l  (prickly poppy, Argemone munita)
0.06r32 slender wreathplantStephanomeria exigua ssp. coronaria3 / 3
0.07l33 Mojave linanthusLeptosiphon breviculus /
0.07l34 volcanic giliaGilia ochroleuca ssp. vivida /
0.08r  Great view down the upper part of the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, including Vincent Gulch and Prairie Gulch.
0.08l35 prickly poppyArgemone munita3 / 3
0.10b36 California buckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium50 / 9
0.10   First Ribes velutinum in 2013
0.10l  (California thistle, Cirsium occidentale var. californicum)
0.12r37 Parish's snowberrySymphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii99 / 9
0.12l38 mountain blazing starMentzelia montana /
0.12l39 Davidson's phaceliaPhacelia davidsonii /
0.12l40 purple nightshadeSolanum xanti /
0.13r41 branching phaceliaPhacelia ramosissima5 / 5
0.15b42 Davidson's buckwheatEriogonum davidsonii /
0.15l43 golden yarrowEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum /
0.16r44 southern mountain woolly-starEriastrum densifolium ssp. austromontanum /
0.19r  (blue elderberry, Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea)
0.20r  (Martin's paintbrush, Castilleja applegatei ssp. martinii)
0.23r  PCT post.
0.23   Cross road that leads to the microwave towers on the left.
0.23r  (broad-leaved lotus, Hosackia crassifolia var. crassifolia)
0.23b45 splendid giliaSaltugilia splendens ssp. splendens /
0.24b46 broad-leaved lotusHosackia crassifolia var. crassifolia10 / 3
0.25b47 pinegrove groundsmokeGayophytum oligospermum50 / 4
0.25l48 blue elderberrySambucus nigra ssp. caerulea5 / 5
0.25r49 Martin's paintbrushCastilleja applegatei ssp. martinii /
0.26r50 mountain California-fuchsiaEpilobium canum ssp. latifolium20 / 2
0.26r51 California needlegrassStipa occidentalis var. californica10 / 5
0.26l52 prickly cryptanthaCryptantha muricata var. denticulata /
0.27l  PCT post.
0.27l53 *Russian thistleSalsola tragus10 / 3
0.27r54 knotweedPolygonum aviculare ssp. depressum /
0.27r55 arched elegant rock-cressBoechera arcuata /
0.28   Cross lower end of microwave tower road, parking lot, and pass the gated access road to Mountain High Ski Area on the left.
0.30l  PCT post.
0.32l56 California-asterCorethrogyne filaginifolia20 / 9
0.33l57 California thistleCirsium occidentale var. californicum /
0.33r58 California broomrapeOrobanche californica ssp. feudgei /
 l59 clustered broomrapeOrobanche fasciculata /
0.42l  (spur lupine, Lupinus arbustus)
0.42r60 San Gabriel beardtonguePenstemon labrosus /
0.43r61 beaked penstemonPenstemon rostriflorus /
0.43r62 wax currantRibes cereum var. cereum3 / 3
0.44r63 western wallflowerErysimum capitatum var. capitatum /
0.44l  Jct. path to Mountain High Ski Area access road; telephone pole with wires going underground at this point.
0.47r64 spur lupineLupinus arbustus5 / 2
0.47r65 southern mountain phloxPhlox austromontana20 / 5
0.47l  (poodle-dog bush, Eriodictyon parryi)
0.47r66 California black oakQuercus kelloggii1 / 1
 r67 Sierra gooseberryRibes roezlii var. roezlii5 / 1
0.48l68 Utah service-berryAmelanchier utahensis1 / 1
0.49r69 sticky cinquefoilDrymocallis glandulosa var. reflexa4 / 1
 r70 Wright's collinsiaCollinsia torreyi var. wrightii99 / 1
 r71 southern miner's lettuceClaytonia perfoliata ssp. mexicana /
0.51r72 blue wildryeElymus glaucus ssp. glaucus /
 r73 white catch-flySilene verecunda /
0.53l74 white false-giliaAllophyllum integrifolium10 / 1
0.53r75 low mountain bedstrawGalium bifolium30 / 1
 r76~Parry's sand cressCalyptridium parryi var. parryi /
0.55b77 wild tarragonArtemisia dracunculus20 / 5
 r78 spreading larkspurDelphinium patens ssp. montanum /
0.60r79 naked buckwheatEriogonum nudum var. pauciflorum /
 r80 little spring beautyClaytonia exigua ssp. exigua /
 r81 pine lousewortPedicularis semibarbata /
 r82 whispering bellsEmmenanthe penduliflora var. penduliflora /
 r83 spear-leaved mountain dandelionAgoseris retrorsa /
0.64   Round ridge; now on east-facing slope; elevation 7480 feet (2280 m).
0.64b84 poodle-dog bushEriodictyon parryi30 / 9
0.65l  In 2003, the entire hillside here is poodle-dog bush, Turricula parryi, and Fremont's bush mallow, Malacothamnus fremontii!
0.81r  PCT post; jct. Blue Ridge Road; highest point on loop, elevation 7540 feet (2300 m). Go right on the road, back to the trailhead.
 r  Jct. road to a parking area.
 l85~Davidson's lotusAcmispon nevadensis var. davidsonii /
 l86?unk grass similar to Festuca / Phalaris
0.86r  Jct. road.
0.88r87 bitter rootLewisia rediviva var. minor /
 r88 Parish's larkspurDelphinium parishii ssp. parishii /
0.92l89 canyon live oakQuercus chrysolepis5 / 2
0.95   Beautiful view ahead of Punchbowl Fault west of Vincent Gap.
 l90 Grinnell's beardtonguePenstemon grinnellii var. grinnellii1 / 1
1.35r  Parking area; road to microwave towers.
1.46r91 *desert crested wheatgrassAgropyron cristatum ssp. pectinatum5 / 1
1.62r  Boulder with very wavy layers.
1.63   Back at Trailhead; end guide

Comments On Specific Species

Eriastrum sapphirinum. These plants were the former ssp. ambiguum, which has a pale blue corolla, not the usual bright blue one.

Orobanche fasciculata. These plants were parasites on Eriogonum wrightii.

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Copyright © 2003-2014 by Jane Strong, Tom Chester, Walt Fidler, Adrienne Ballwey, and Michael Charters.
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 29 June 2014.