Messenger Flats & Lightning Point

The Mt. Gleason road branches from the Angeles Forest Highway and follows a ridge all the way to Mt. Gleason (6,500 feet). Beyond that the road becomes a single lane, with few places to pass. The primary destinations are the campgrounds at Lightning Point and Messenger Flats. Lightning Point has a Group Campground behind a locked gate, about 10 miles from Mill Creek Summit, and requires Group Campground reservations to be made with the Forest Service. We walked in to Lightning Point, where there is a good wildflower trail extending out along the ridge.

A further mile of narrow, dirt road reaches Messenger Flats. The road extends for a further 20 miles through to the Santa Clarita area, but is narrow and windy, best for high-clearance vehicles only.

NOTE: The Mt. Gleason road to Lightning PoInt and Messenger Flats has been closed ever since the Station Fire in 2009, about three months after the field outing when these photos were taken.

Click on the thumbnails to see higher-resolution images.

A. Messenger Flats

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Chaparral whitethorn (Ceanothus leucodermis)

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Chaparral whitethorn (Ceanothus leucodermis)

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Chaparral whitethorn (Ceanothus leucodermis)

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View towards Los Angeles

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Mountain violet (Viola purpurea)

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The campground at Messenger Flats

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The campground at Messenger Flats

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Near the campground

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Western wallflower (Erysimum capitatum)

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Redstem filaree (Erodium cicutarium)

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Interior bush lupine (Lupinus excubitus var. johnstonii)

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Interior bush lupine (Lupinus excubitus var. johnstonii)

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Spearleaf mountain dandelion (Agoseris retrorsa)

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Spearleaf mountain dandelion (Agoseris retrorsa)

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Scarlet bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius)

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Tall trees around the campground

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Mount Gleason paintbrush (Castilleja gleasoni)

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Golden yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum)

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The road to Messenger Flats

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Looking south

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B. Lightning Point

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Chaparral whitethorn (Ceanothus leucodermis)

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Chaparral whitethorn (Ceanothus leucodermis)

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Martin's paintbrush (Castilleja applegatei var. martinii)

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Martin's paintbrush (Castilleja applegatei var. martinii)

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Wildflowers along the trail

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Veatch's blazing star (Mentzelia veatchiana)

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Spearleaf mountain dandelion (Agoseris retrorsa)

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Prickly phlox (Linanthus californicus)

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Prickly phlox (Linanthus californicus)

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View towards the coast

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Morning glory (Calystegia sp.)

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Morning glory (Calystegia sp.)

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Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.)

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Davidson's phacelia (Phacelia davidsonii)

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Davidson's phacelia (Phacelia davidsonii)

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Blue dicks (Dipterostemon capitatus)

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Davidson's Sierra Nevada lotus (Acmispon nevadensis var. davidsonii)

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A lupine (Lupinus sp.)

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A lupine (Lupinus sp.)

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A forest road beyond Lightning Pt.

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Deer bush (Ceanothus integerrimus)

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Deer bush (Ceanothus integerrimus)

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Indian milkweed (Asclepias eriocarpa)

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Chaparral yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei)

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Ceanothus hillsides

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ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Thanks to Jane Strong for assistance in identificaiton of plants and flowers.

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