SAN MATEO CANYON WILDERNESS, CLEVELAND
NATIONAL FOREST
APRIL 2012 PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




It had been nine years since I was last in the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness so I thought the time was well overdue for a return visit. The Wilderness was officially designated in 1984 and contains almost 40,000 acres of prime habitat. To get to the Tenaja Falls trailhead, you go past the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, turn right on Tenaja Road and then right again on Cleveland Forest Road. Route S704 passes the Tenaja trailhead, the Fisherman's Camp trailhead and finally the parking area of the Tenaja Falls trailhead, where a hiker has the option of either going north to the falls and a couple of miles further upcanyon, or, as I did, of going south downcanyon along San Mateo Creek. There were so many flowers blooming along the trail that I was only able to make it the two miles to Fisherman's Camp, and this gallery is a long one as a result. Fortunately I had Steve Boyd's Vascular Flora of the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness Area along with me to help out with identifications. This is one of the loveliest trails that I know of in Southern California. Thanks to Jane Strong for the rattlesnake ID and Hartmut Wisch for the katydid ID. An asterisk indicates a non-native taxon, and the symbol ^ is for a taxon that was new to me when I photographed it on this field trip.


   
Yellow penstemon
Keckiella antirrhinoides var. antirrhinoides
Plantaginaceae


 
Creek monkeyflower
Mimulus guttatus
Phrymaceae
 
Blue dicks
Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum
Themidaceae


   
Bush monkeyflower
Mimulus aurantiacus var. puniceus
Phrymaceae

[Above right: Katydid nymph, Tettigoniidae. Below left: stigma before being touched. Below right: stigma after being touched]
 



 
 
Hollyleaf redberry
Rhamnus ilicifolia
Rhamnaceae
 
 
 
 
Sticky cinquefoil
Drymocallis glandulosa var. wrangelliana
Rosaceae
Chamise
Adenostoma fasciculatum
Rosaceae
 
 


   
Slender-leaved sunflower
Helianthus gracilentus
Asteraceae
 



 
Prickly phlox
Linanthus californicus
Polemoniaceae
 
   
Thickleaf yerba santa
Eriodictyon crassifolium var. crassifolium
Boraginaceae


   
Golden yarrow
Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum
Asteraceae
 
Willow-herb
Epilobium ciliatum ssp. ciliatum
Onagraceae


 
Water speedwell *
Veronica anagallis-aquatica
Plantaginaceae
 
   
Two-tone everlasting
Pseudognaphalium biolettii
Asteraceae


 
Red diamond rattlesnake
Crotalus ruber
Viperidae