Heaton Flat Trail

The Heaton Flat Trail is one of the most rewarding in terms of mountain scenery in the San Gabriel Mountains. It begins at Heaton Flat, not far beyond the parking lot at the end of East Fork Road. For details of the trail itself, see Dan Simpson's or Tom Chester's web pages. This trail is part of Hike No. 87 in John Robinson's book, Trails of the Angeles. Be aware that the trail is rough in places, and less frequently used. But it is readily walked to Heaton Saddle, with an elevation gain of about 2,500 feet in approximately 4.5 miles. There are several destinations beyond that, but on rugged trails, generally not recommended.

All of the photographs here were taken in February, 2009, less than a week after a winter storm that deposited considerable snow on the mountains. Although the spring flora was limited, there was plenty to see, including a variety of ferns, and multitudinous numbers of the white-flowered Ceanothus crassifolius at the peak of their bloom, and budding sugar bush (Rhus ovata).

Click on the thumbnails to see higher-resolution images.

[Note: Thumbnails arranged vertically as your browser does not support the “flexbox” feature.]

Image

Start of Heaton Trail

Image

White alder (Alnus rhombifolia)

Image

California polypody (Polypodium californicum)

Image

California polypody (Polypodium californicum)

Image

Bird's fooit fern (Pellaea mucronata var. mucronata)

Image

Coffee fern (Pellaea andromedifolia)

Image

Coffee fern (Pellaea andromedifolia)

Image

Goldback fern (Pentagramma triangularis subsp. triangularis)

Image

Coastal wood fern (Dryopteris arguta)

Image

A liverwort

Image

Streambank springbeauty (Claytonia parviflora)

Image

Live forever (Dudleya sp.)

Image

San Gabriel Mountains leather oak (Quercus durata var. gabrielensis)

Image

Southern miner's lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata subsp. mexicana)

Image

Creek that drains the canyon

Image

Bigelow's spikemoss (Selaginella bigelovii)

Image

Plain moss surrounded by snow

Image

Western sycamore (Platanus racemosa)

Image

Typical chaparral on the ridge

Image

At the saddle above Heaton Flats

Image

Sugar bush (Rhus ovata)

Image

Sugar bush (Rhus ovata)

Image

Hoaryleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus crassifolius)

Image

Switchback trail above the saddle

Image

Canyon to Heaton Flats goes down to the right

Image

White sage (Salvia apiana)

Image

Chaparral whitethorn (Ceanothus leucodermis)

Image

Bigberry manzanita (Arctostaphylos glauca)

Image

First tunnel on Shoemaker Cyn Road

Image

Second tunnel on Shoemaker Cyn Road

Image

L to R sweep 1: Rattlesnake Peak

Image

L to R sweep 2: Upper E. Fork valley, Mt. Baden-Powell (C), Iron Mtn (R)

Image

L to R sweep 3: Mt. Baden-Powell, Iron Mtn, Mt. Baldy

Image

L to R sweep 4: Mt. Baldy and ranges to the east

Image

Iron Mtn with snow-covered conifers

Top of page

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

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

Top of page