About 35 people combined into 11 trucks and four-wheel drives and headed into the Santa Ana Mountains and Cleveland National Forest for a full day of great scenery and a variety of natiral history highlights. Now in its tenth year this much anticipated tour through our local mountains never disappoints. After meeting at the USFS Fire Station in lower Silverado Canyon, we drove up the road for our first stop at the newly completed Silverado Nature Center at the end of the canyon, near the forst forest gate.
Debra Clarke of the USFA Cleveland National Forest was our host and Lee Shoemaker was our guide. We traveled mountain roads for the next six or seven hours stopping periodically to experience the diversity of the forest. From Silverado we continued up Maple Springs Road to the intersection with Main Divide Road. From there we slowly caravaned south on Main Divide up to the summit of Santiago Peak, OC's highest point. Afterward we continued further south on Main Divide until we intersected Indian Truck Trail. We followed Indian Truck Trail down the eastern flank of the mountains to our finish at the edge of the city of Corona. We then completed the loop via freeway back into Orange County.
Although not specifically a plant trip, we did note several interesting species. including: Agoseris grandiflora - mountain dandelion Allium haematochiton - red-skinned onion Allium monticola - san bernardino mountains onion Arctostaphylos glandulosa - eastwood manzanita Argemone minuta ssp. robusta - prickly poppy Arnica discoidea - rayless arnica Ceanothus leucodermis - whitebark ceanothus Clarkia bottae - punchbowl clarkia Clarkia purpurea - four-spot clarkia Claytonia perfoliata (with leaf variegations) - miner's lettuce Dudleya cymosa - sierran live-forever Eriogonum saxitile - rock buckwheat Erysimum capitatum - western wallflower Gilia capitata - ball gilia Keckiella antirrhinoides - yellow beardtongue Mimulus clevelandii - cleveland monkeyflower Monardella macrantha ssp. hallii - hall's monardella Nemophila menziesii - baby blue eyes Nolina cismontana - chaparral beargrass Orabanche fasciculata - pine broom rape Phacelia imbricata - imbricate phacelia Quercus chrysolepis - canyon oak Sanicula graveolens - sierra panicle Sanicula tuberosa - tuberous sanicle Turricula parryi - poodle dog bush Viola pedunculata - johnny jump up Viola sheltonii - shelton's violet