My goal today was to reach Burkhart Saddle which is approximately 5-1/2 miles from Buckhorn Campground in the San Gabriel Mountains, but it was a very hot day and by the time I reached the four mile marker I was burning up. Once you start climbing out of the Rock Creek drainage about 1-1/2 miles from the parking area, you are pretty much in the open with very little shade along the way. The idea of doing another 1-1/2 miles and another 900' or so up to the top of the ridge was more than I was prepared for, so I turned around and headed back. I had to soak my feet in the cold water of the creek and pour water over my head, and I was pretty tired when I got back to the car. The star of the show today was the lemon lilies growing in a seapy area about 3/4 of a mile from the beginning of the trail and also farther along where the trail crosses the creek. They were growing in great profusion there along with scarlet monkeyflowers, making a beautiful display. This has been a good year for both lemon lilies and humboldt lilies, and now that I have seen both, I need to photograph leopard lilies which I have never seen. If anyone who reads this knows of a place where they are in bloom (in southern California anyway), please let me know right away and I will be there in a flash. The symbol ^ is for a species that was new to me when I photographed it on this field trip. Thanks to Hartmut Wisch for bug id's.
And thanks to Mike Lewis of the Lewis Ranch for the following information regarding the origin of the name of the Burkhart Trail: Originally, B.K. Burkhart (he only used his initials according to Mike) homesteaded what is now the Lewis Ranch (160 acres) during Woodrow Wilson’s Presidency. A trail was constructed to carry supplies to the top of Pallet Mountain for some sort of tower (lookout ?). Later, Burkhart borrowed against the property to buy piping to bring water down the canyon to the homestead. When he couldn’t pay back the loan, the homestead property was taken by an employee of the pipe company, and the property continued to change hands until Mike’s dad and grandfather purchased it in the 1960’s. David Hollombe adds that his name was Benjamin Franklin Burkhart and he was born in Iowa in 1870.