Posted by: Sandy Steinman | July 19, 2019

Santa Monica Mountains Wildflowers 7/16/19

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has a new report

Rivas Canyon A trail that connects Temescal Gateway Park and Will Rogers State Park 7/16
         Find this trail by walking into Temescal Gateway Park. At the end of the parking lot take the paved fork to the right and continue on a quarter mile or so until you see a sign on the right indicating the Rivas Canyon Trail. This is a much less traveled trail than the Temescal “Loop”. It is about 2 miles to Will Rogers and then, of course, about 2 miles back. This trail starts and continues with a relentless uphill and you are rewarded with some lovely ocean views. Then it is downhill to Will Rogers and reversed on the return. It is quite an aerobic work out and the trail is mostly exposed chaparral so mornings and evenings are most enjoyable.
I was stunned at the profusion of flowers still in bloom. There was nothing out of the ordinary blooming but there was a tremendous amount of ordinary flowers in bloom. There were great banks of California buckwheat and of cliff aster, laurel sumac bushes and toyon trees were utterly covered in flowers. Heart leaf penstemon, wild morning glory, honeysuckle and black sage either draped over the banks of flowers or poked out through them. All of this is punctuated with some lovely pink bush mallow, purple big flower phacelia and yellow sunflowers. Blooming yucca crowns the hilltops. There are long stretches where the trail is lined with bright yellow slender tarweed. The greenback ceanothus are coming out with a second bloom on twigs that have grown out from the place where they had flowers in March and fruit in May. I don’t ever recall such a flower filled July.

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