The Trail Companion
Theme: San Francisco Bay Area
A Few More Wildflower Tips
Butano State Park
Although yellow skunk cabbage (Lysichiton
americanum) may not sound like a reason to visit
Butano, the plant has a very prominent and colorful flower
- and is found in few places in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
From the parking lot at the entrance kiosk, take the
Jackson Flat Trail up the north side of the canyon. You can
see a nice specimen along this trail, growing next to a
spring roughly halfway to the Canyon Trail junction from
the parking lot. More exciting might be the fairy slipper
(or Calypso) orchid (Calypso bulbosa) that also
blooms along the Jackson Flat Trail closer to the Canyon
Trail junction. These small orchids are very colorful, but
easy to miss. Look for them February-late March.
If you continue to the top
of the ridge and meet the Butano Fire Trail, be on the
lookout for numerous bush poppies (Dendromecon
rigida) in the chaparral. Take a moment to smell these
bright yellow flowers - the cool scent may surprise
Getting there: Take Hwy 92 or 84 from
I-280 to Hwy 1 and go south to Pescadero Rd.; turn left and
go through the town of Pescadero to Cloverdale Rd., then
turn right and travel south 5 miles to the park entrance.
Alternatively, take Hwy 84 to La Honda and turn left on
Pescadero Rd; travel 8 miles to Cloverdale Cut-off; turn
left, then left again on Cloverdale Rd.
Distance/Elevation change: 3.5 miles to
Butano Fire Trail; approx. 900 ft. climb.
Best time for flowers: February-early
On the Web: Butano State Park on the
California State Parks site
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Sure-Fire Wildflower Hikes
Few More Wildflower Tips
Los Trancos Open Space Preserve
Stevens Creek County Park
Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve
Identifying the Mystery Plant
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