California Native Plant Society
San Gabriel Mountains Chapter


Schabarum (Skyline) Trail

The Schabarum Trail, previously known as the Skyline Trail, extends along the ridge of the Puente Hills. These pictures are from a walk in February 2009 from the western end at Rio Hondo College's Police Academy approximately 1.5 miles to the top of Nike Hill. This provided grand views of the Los Angeles basin in every direction.

The banner image above is a wide-angle view of the San Gabriel Mountains taken from Nike Hill. At the far left, the range in the foreground (without snow) leads up to Mt. Wilson, just outside of the picture. Left of center and heavily snow-clad is Mt. Baden-Powell. In the middle of the right-hand half of the image is Mt. Baldy, the highest peak in the San Gabriels. The four smaller peaks at the far right are, from right to left, Cucamonga Peak, Ontario Peak, Telegraph Peak, and Thunder Peak.

As shown in the pictures, the walk goes by a land-fill area, where there is a small power station that is the the largest Gas-to-Energy plant in the U.S., generating 46.5 Megawatts of electricity. It is powered by the gases coming from decomposing organic matter within the land fill. Typically these gases are 50% methane.

Nike Hill is the site of a missile battery that was operational during the cold war of the 1960s.

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

San Gabriel Mountains Mt Piños Whittier Narrows and Downtown L.A. Monterey Park area Pasadena and Mt Lukens

Left: Mountains to the north. Right: In the distance is snow-capped Mt. Piños, 8,831 ft., near where Interstate 5 crossed the so-called Grapevine.

Left: Looking across Whittier Narrows to Downtown L.A. Right: Monterey Park area, and Hollywood sign in the background..

Pasadena in the background, and Mt. Lukens

Downtown Los Angeles
California sunflower

Downtown Los Angeles

Plants probably planted on the land-fill: Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) (L). California sunflower (Encelia californica) (R).

Saltbush (Atriplex lentiformis)

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)

Laurel sumac
California buckwheat
Red tailed hawk

Prickly pear (Opuntia X vaseyi) with Rio Hondo College buildings in the mid left (L) and fruit (R.

Laurel sumac
(Malosma laurina)

California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum var. fasciculatum)

Red tailed hawk on power pylon.

Poison hemlock
Poison hemlock
Arroyo lupine
Arroyo lupine

Eucalyptus species planted on the land fill

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum). The stem has a characteristic purple blotching.

Arroyo lupine (Lupinus succulentus)

Land fill and San Gabriel Mountains Puente Hills power plant On Nike Hill Plaque on Nike Hill Moss

Land-fill area (L) and the largest Gas-to-Energy plant in the U.S., 46.5 MW (R)

Looking east from Nike Hill

Plaque in memory of the missile battery


Moss Moss Moss Moss Moss

Enlargement of above-right moss

Another sample of moss. Enlargement at right..

Yet another moss. Enlargement at right.

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Images copyright © 2009 Graham Bothwell
Thanks to Jane Strong for assistance in identification of plants and flowers.