2018 Field Trips
Most field trips are free and open to all, but read the trip outlines for parking/entrance fees or pass requirements and be sure they fit your physical abilities. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, appropriate trail shoes, a camera, a notepad and lots of enthusiasm. These are CA native plant field trips focused on the interpretation, identification and appreciation of our diverse flora and the ecosystems they support. We use botanical terms, discuss plant communities, plant ecology, invasive plants and especially native plant identification. Past trips are at the end of the list. Questions, leadership opportunities and suggestions should be sent to .
Past Trip Descriptions For summaries of completed trips, plus many species lists, please see the Past Trips section in the Field Trip drop-down menu
Fall Color Trip: Harding Canyon, Santa Ana Mountains – Sun, Nov 18
Enjoy the relaxing calmness and fall color of the beautiful and biologically rich Harding Canyon creek trail. An interesting mix of coast sage, chaparral and Riparian woodland highlight this species-rich walk. A short walk up the Harding Truck trail leads to the canyon which should be mostly dry this time of the year. A nice diversity of trees can be found including California ash (Fraxinus dipetala), Arizona ash (Fraxinus velutina), California bay (Umbellularia californica), and Big-leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum). There will also be a chance to see a few uncommon shrubs such as Nevin's brickllebuch (Brickellia nevinii) and Fish's milkwort (Polygala cornuta var. fishiae).
Meet 9:00 am at the parking lot just right of the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, obeying the signs of appropriate parking in the area. Take E. Santiago Canyon Road from either the N or S and turn onto Modjeska Canyon Road leading directly to the parking lot (Map). Leaders: Jonathan Frank and Ron Vanderoff.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate. Bring hat, sunscreen, camera, wildflower book/notepad, water and hiking shoes/boots. Limited water or restrooms. Plant Intensity moderate. Time: About 2 .5 hours.
Past Trips (click to expand)
The Pebble Plains and Cushenberry Canyon, San Bernadino Mtns - Jun 10
June 9 UPDATE: All is set for tomorrow. A fun trip to a new location! Plant lists are also prepared and will be available for each location. Join us!
The Big Bear area has a wealth of interesting plants that are unique to high elevations. This is a great area to visit in the summer after wildflowers in Orange County have faded from the heat. Pebble Plain is part of the Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve. The area was once a glacier lake (Pleistocene era 10,000 years ago). It consists of unique soils composed of quartzite pebbles that were deposited over eons and prevented conifers from taking seed. Pebble Plain is home to 17 protected plant species and 4 rare kinds of butterflies, 3 of which are found nowhere else in the world.
We will also visit Cushenbury Canyon (Cactus Flats), about 10 miles from Baldwin Lake. The rocky carbonate soils of this area support some uncommon species. Cushenbury carbonate flora includes the federally endangered Cushenbury Milk Vetch (Astragalus albens), Cushenbury Oxytheca (Acanthoscyphus parishii var goodmaniana), Cushenbury Buckwheat (Eriogonium ovalifolium var vineum), San Bernardino Mountains Bladderpod (Physaria kingii ssp bernardina), and Parish's Daisy (Erigeron parishii). Directions to Cushenbury, our second stop, will be provided to the participants during the trip.
Leader: Diane Etchison. Meet at 6:30 at the Caltrans Park-and-Ride Lot at 2555 Tustin Avenue, Orange (SE corner of Lincoln Ave. and Tustin Ave.). Map. Do not be late - we will be leaving promptly at 6:30 AM. Or meet at the Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve parking area just off Hwy 18 at the north end of Baldwin Lake (a few miles west of the junction with Baldwin Lake Road). It may be hard to find. There is a single small (closed) nature center just off Hwy 18. Bring hat, sunscreen, water and hiking shoes. The drive time is approximately 2.5 hours one-way.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate. Bring hat, sunscreen, water and hiking shoes. Plant Intensity: moderate to high.