It’s late June and a number of yuccas along the trail are in beautiful bloom. These photos were taken along the Gabrielino National Riding and Hiking Trail which originates at Chantry Flats in the Big Santa Anita Canyon of the Angeles National Forest. The specific location of the yucca photograph is a place called Tin Can Point, a switchback located just upslope from Fern Lodge Junction which is about a mile and a half in from Chantry Flats. From Tin Can Point, one can see the inverted triangular view of the San Gabriel Valley, bounded left and right by the lower Big Santa Anita’s steep slopes.
Yuccas as we know them in the San Gabriel mountains and most of southern California are known botanically as yucca whipplei. Two common names that many hikers know this plant by are Spanish Bayonet or Our Lord’s Candle. Regardless of your preference, the bloom of this sharp-spined plant is enough to cause you to stop and ponder its’ beauty. The yucca blooms but once in its’ lifetime. After the flowers have gone to seed, the base spines which are in a rosette pattern will wither and die. This beautiful floral stalk is the culmination of a life’s work.