PACIFIC CREST TRAIL, MILL CREEK SUMMIT TO MT. GLEASON OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013 PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




West of Mill Creek Summit the Mt. Gleason Road has been closed since the Station Fire of 2009. This area was heavily burned in that fire. Although the road is in perfectly good condition, there are many burned and dead trees along the road that could possibly pose a danger to motorists. The Forest Service currently estimates that approximately 1,700 trees must be removed from along a 12.2 mile section between Mill Creek Summit and Messenger Flats Campground, and that work will perhaps commence on that project next year. Meanwhile my keys to the gate and my administrative pass from the Forest Service allows me to enter this area and access the trailheads and places along the road where the Pacific Crest Trail either crosses or at least is adjacent. The trail itself is not closed and is available for anyone who can reach it, particularly the through hikers who in the spring are travelling north and at this time of the year are southbound for Mexico., some 450 miles away. The elevation at Mill Creek Summit is 4,910' and at Mt. Gleason is 6,520'. The trail particularly in the vicinity of Mt. Gleason right now is quite overgrown with deerbrush, oak and poodle-dog bush, and in places the tread is not in very good shape. I broke this 10-1/2 mile section into several parts and the pictures in this gallery were taken on 10/23, 11/1, 11/6 and 11/11. Naturally at this time of the year there isn't much in bloom, so many of the photos in this gallery show plants that are either dead or dormant, and are included here primarily as a record of what is growing along this section of the trail. An asterisk next to the common name indicates a non-native taxon and the symbol ^ is for a species I had never previously encountered.


   
Cithara wild buckwheat ^
Eriogonum cithariforme var. agninum
Polygonaceae


 
Southern mountain woolstar
Eriastrum densifolium ssp. austromontanum
Polemoniaceae



 
Durango root
Datisca glomerata
Datiscaceae
 
 
 
Fremont's bush mallow
Malacothamnus fremontii
Malvaceae


   
Thickleaf yerba santa
Eriodictyon crassifolium
Boraginaceae



   
Smoothleaf yerba santa
Eriodictyon trichocalyx var. trichocalyx
Boraginaceae
 
Whorl-leaf penstemon
Keckiella ternata var. ternata
Plantaginaceae



 
Chicalote
Argemone munita
Papaveraceae



 
 
Poodle-dog bush
Eriodictyon parryi
Boraginaceae

[Pictures bottom left and right show fasciated stems]
 
 
   



 
Poodle-dog bush
Eriodictyon parryi
Boraginaceae

[And these pictures show that even in the winter the glandular secretions are still present to cause a serious rash]


   
California-aster
Corethrogyne filaginifolia
Asteraceae
 
California wild buckwheat
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium
Polygonaceae
 
Frost on the trail


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