Colby Canyon

The Angeles Crest Highway meanders its way across the San Gabriel Mountains, and Colby Canyon is one of the many canyons that it goes by. The Colby Canyon hiking trail starts from the small parking lot on the highway about a half-mile beyond Switzers, a few miles before the turn-off to Mt. Wilson. The primary destination for this trail is Strawberry Peak, the tallest mountain in the southern part of the San Gabriels. Before reaching the long, steep zigzag pathway up towards Strawberry Peak, the canyon rises relatively gently, and the trail is an easy one, all the way to a group of sycamore trees that serves as a comfortable picnic area. It's a delightful canyon to walk through, and doesn't take too long, at least for this lower part. There is water in the creek for much of the year.

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A. IN EARLY SPRING (March 20098)

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View from the track

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Looking down to a small waterfall

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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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Martin's paintbrush (Castilleja applegatei var. martinii)

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Sycamore grove

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Narrow leaved sword fern (Polystichum imbricans)

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View from the track

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Coville's lip fern (Myriopteris covillei)

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Elegant rockcress (Boechera sparsiflora)

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Coulter's snapdragon (Antirrhinum coulterianum)

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Coulter's snapdragon (Antirrhinum coulterianum)

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Spreading larkspur (Delphinium patens)

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Spreading larkspur (Delphinium patens)

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Blue dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum)

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Purple nightshade (Solanum xanti)

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Purple nightshade (Solanum xanti)

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Chaparral whitethorn (Ceanothus leucodermis)

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Along the track

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View into the canyon

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B. IN SUMMER (June 2008)

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Caterpillar phacelia (Phacelia cicutaria var. hispida)

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Sticky monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus)

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Parry's collinsia (Collinsia parryi)

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Sticky snapdragon (Antirrhinum multiflorum)

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Heart leaved keckiella (Keckiella cordifolia)

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ACKNOWLLEDGMENT

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

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