Mill Creek Summit to Mt. Gleason

This location covers some of the higher elevations at the western extremity of the San Gabriel Mountains.

We begin at Mill Creek Summit (4,900 ft), on the short interpretive trail to the lookout, which is a good place to see several manzanitas, including the San Gabriel Manzanita (Arctostaphylos gabrielensis).

Then we explore Mt. Gleason Road, following the ridge line all the way to Mt. Gleason (6,500 ft), with views sometimes to the west and sometimes to the east. A particular botanical attraction in this area is the Mt. Gleason paintbrush, which is our chapter logo, but there is also a good variety of other subalpine flora. The date was late April.

After passing a correctional facility (via a gravel road that detours around one side of the facility) the road ascends Mt. Gleason itself, where there is a disused microwave communications tower.

Click on the thumbnails to see higher-resolution images, 720 x 480 pixels.

AT MILL CREEK SUMMIT

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

Image

Entrance to Mill Creek picnic area

Image

Vieiw from Mill Creek Summit lookout

Image

Close-up of Strawberry Peak

Parry's manzanita

Parry's manzanita (Arctostaphylos parryana) is common at Mill Creek Summit. Here we see the flowers (L) and the full tree (R).

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

Image

Parry's manzanita (Arctostaphylos parryana)

Image

Parry's manzanita (Arctostaphylos parryana)

Comparing Parry's manzanita with Bigberry manzanita

Parry's has a bright green leaf. Glauca has a whitish green leaf., and very sticky, green fruit. The Parry's fruit is shiny, red, non-sticky. Glauca fruit will later turn red like a “little apple,” it's common name in Spanish. Here we see the Parry's fruit (L) and the Bigberry fruit (R).

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

Image

Parry's manzanita (Arctostaphylos parryana)

Image

Bigberry manzanita (Arctostaphylos glauca)

Bigberry manzanita

Here we see the trunk of Bigberry Manzanita with its magnificent bark. This specimen is along the interpretive trail at Mill Creek Summit.

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

Image

Bigberry manzanita (Arctostaphylos glauca)

Image

Bigberry manzanita (Arctostaphylos glauca)

San Gabriel manzanita

San Gabriel manzanita ([i]Arctostaphylos glandulosa[/i] subsp. [i]gabrielensis[/i]) is one of the rare plants at Mill Creek Summit — rank 1B2 (rare, threatened or endangered ia CA and elsewhere).
Distinguishing features, as shown in these three photos: relatively open flowers (L); erect nature of the tree (C); groiund level burl (R). The flowers of this species are white, but here had become charactyeristically pink after about a week.

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

Image

San Gabriel Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa subsp. gabrielensis)

Image

San Gabriel Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa subsp. gabrielensis)

Image

San Gabriel Manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa subsp. gabrielensis)

Other manzanita photos

Here we see (L) Parry's manzanita ([i]A. parryana[/i] and behind it bigberry manzanita ([i]A. glauca[/i]). Then (R) a very large bigberry manzanita [i]A. glauca[/i].

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

Image

Parry's manzanita (Arctostaphylos parryana)

Image

Bigberry manzanita (Arctostaphylos glauca)

Other photos from Mill Creek Summit

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

Image

Skunk bush (Rhus aromatica)

Image

Skunk bush (Rhus aromatica)

Image

Woodpecker holes in a tree trunk

Image

Mountain sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata subsp. vaseyana)

Image

Mountain sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata subsp. vaseyana)

Image

Desert ceanothus (Ceanothus greggii)

Image

Desert ceanothus (Ceanothus greggii)

Image

Sugar bush (Rhus ovata)

Top of page

MT. GLEASON ROAD

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

Image

Aliso Canyon from Mt. Gleason Road

Image

Popcorn flower (Cryptantha sp.)

Image

Pine bluegrass (Poa secunda)

Image

Gilia flowers scattered along the road

Image

Big-cone Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga macrocarpa)

Image

Coulter pine (Pinus coulteri)

Image

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

Image

Bajada lupine (Lupinus concinnus)

Image

Mount Gleason paintbrush (Castilleja gleasoni)

Image

Mount Gleason paintbrush (Castilleja gleasoni)

Image

Veatch's blazing star (Mentzelia veatchiana)

Image

Stigose lotus (Acmispon strigosus)

Image

Splendid woodland gilia (Saltugilia splendens)

Image

Unidentified Gllia

Image

Soputhern umbrellawort (Tauschia arguta)

Image

Interior bush lupine (Lupinus excubitus var. johnstonii)

Image

Interior bush lupine (Lupinus excubitus var. johnstonii)

Image

Martin's paintbrush (Castilleja applegatei var. martinii)

Image

Martin's paintbrush (Castilleja applegatei var. martinii)

Image

Looking back from the base of Mt. Gleason

Image

Golden yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum)

Image

Chaparral yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei)

Image

Chaparral yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei)

Image

Strawbetty Peak

Image

Wide angle view from Mt. Gleason

Top of page

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

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

Top of page