MARION MOUNTAIN/DEER SPRINGS TRAIL TO LITTLE ROUND
VALLEY, SAN JACINTO MTS
JULY 2010 PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




Lured by the prospect of seeing a species I hadn't ever found before, Orthilia secunda (which unfortunately turned out to be still a week or two from blooming), I joined Tom Chester and Dave Stith for a hike up the very strenuous Marion Mountain and Deer Springs Trails to Little Round Valley at about 10,000' in Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Considered one of the more difficult hikes in Southern California, especially if going to the summit of San Jacinto, this trail is mostly unremittingly steep and rocky which affects one both going up and coming down. It begins at the Marion Mountain Campground which is located 1-1/2 miles from SR-243 (going toward Pine Cove from Banning you turn left on 4S02, also signed Azalea Trails Road, then left again almost immediately, and then right on 4S71 to the campground). The elevation gain just to Little Round Valley is almost as great as we did last weekend going to the summit of San Gorgonion, but in less than half the distance! The first couple of miles are the worst. There are several beautiful wet areas along the way with many lovely plants growing in great profusion. It's interesting that there are seven genera of the Ericaceae represented in this area, but it was frustrating that another species I hadn't ever seen, Chimaphila umbellata, was showing no sign of budding, blooming or having bloomed even though June-August is its normal bloom time. An upside-down V next to the common name indicates a taxon that was new to me when I photographed it on this field trip.


 

Twiggy wreathplant
Stephanomeria virgata
Asteraceae
   
  Western azalea
Rhododendron occidentale
Ericaceae
 
 
 
California fuchsia
Epilobium canum ssp. latifolium
Onagraceae
 


 
 
Few-flowered naked buckwheat
Eriogonum nudum var. pauciflorum
Polygonaceae
 


 
 
 
Plain mariposa lily
Calochortus invenustus
Liliaceae
 
 



 
 
Short-flowered monardella
Monardella nana ssp. tenuiflora
Lamiaceae
 


   
White-flowered hawkweed
Hieracium albiflorum
Asteraceae
 
 
White catchfly, Dolores campion
Silene verecunda
Caryophyllaceae
  Parish's catchfly
Silene parishii
Caryophyllaceae


 
White-veined wintergreen
Pyrola picta
Ericaceae
 
 



   
Many-flowered monkeyflower
Mimulus floribundus
Phrymaceae
 
Snow plant
Sarcodes sanguinea
Ericaceae


 
 
 
San Jacinto lupine
Lupinus hyacinthinus
Fabaceae



   
Parish's lupine
Lupinus latifolius var. parishii
Fabaceae


 
Brewer's monkeyflower
Mimulus breweri
Phrymaceae