California Native Plant Society
San Gabriel Mountains Chapter

Lily Spring Area Survey — miscellanea and trivia

As we progress with the Lily Springs Area Survey, there are bits and pieces of interesting and even useful information that come to light, which may be difficult to find later in the heap of email that one collects - or discards. This page is an attempt to collect some of that information into one place. There is no particular order. Contributions form others are welcome.

Highway in winter

During the winter months the study area is not readily accessible because of snow, and Highway 2 is usually closed until the spring. Click the thumbnail at the right to see the thoroughly snowed-in state of the highway and the drainage gully at Mile Marker 66.82, as it was in early March 2011. Click here to see other winter scenes.

What are the geographic cordinates of Lily Spring? (Yes, we mean the spring per se, or more precisely, the one-time camping area beside the creek flowing from the spring.)

Latitude: 34.34528º
Longitude: -117.80957º
UTM: Zone-11 N3800737 E425540

What were conditions like during the year (1981) that Sawyer made his survey? According to the Los Angeles Almanac, rainfall recorded at the Los Angeles Civic Center was only 8.96 inches, which is 6.02 inches below average. Rainfall in the mountains was no doubt consistent with this; that is, it was a dry year.

When does the Angeles Crest Highway become fully open to traffic after the winter season?

(This information based on data from Jane Strong, 22-Feb-2010) The road is typically closed to traffic and unplowed between Islip Saddle and Big Pines following the first snowfall of the winter, typically somewhere in the October to December period, but as late as February 20 in 2000. The reopening date depends on the severity of the winter effects of snow, etc., but is usually in the May-June time frame.

Here are some actual recent opening dates:

2010: May 7
2004: May 18
2003: July 3
2001: May 25
2000: May 9
1999: ~ May 15
1998: ~July 1
1992: June 12

As the winter of 2010-2011 closed in, the road was closed on December 22, 2010.

How can I determine the current conditions of roads leading to the study area, and whether they are open or closed? The most reliable method is to speak with someone who has been there recently. Of course, that's not always possible, but some web sites can help although none is ideal:
1) Los Angeles County Department of Public Works road closures page shows roads in the area except Highways 2 and 39.
2) California Department of Transport (CalTrans) road information page provides information about Highway 2 (Angeles Crest Highway).
3) California Highway Patrol (CHP)
4) Angeles National Forest (ANF) Incident Report
5) The forum at
6) CalTrans District 7 on Twitter and Status report on SR-2
7) CalTrans District 8 on Twitter (The dividing line between Districts 7 and 8 is at Islip Saddle, with District 8 being on the Wrightwood (Mojave Desert) side.

How did we construct our master list of plants? We took the list of RSABG vouchers, as compiled by Naomi Fraga, removed Poaceae, Cyperaceae, and Juncaceae, and removed duplicates. We added species on the Sawyer Crossoma list minus duplicates. Then we added new species. For purposes of this study, we regard the species names in the 1993 edition of The Jepson Manual as the primary names. Other names, including those assigned subsequent to 1993, are regarded as non-primary aliases. This provides a level of consistency across the range of species names within the study.

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Hillside and drainage gullies of the study area


Lily Spring overview page