Notes: This plant is a non-photosynthesizing plant living off decomposing material in the soil.
Common Name: Sticky Cinquefoil
Scientific Name: Drymocallis glandulosa
TRAIL through POCKET MEADOW
The trail crosses several seeping springs which provide seasonal water for moisture loving plants such as Thimble Berry, Alpine Lily, Scouler’s Willow, Shooting star, Rein Orchid, Creek Dogwood, Applegate’s Paintbrush and Bishop’s Cap.
Common Name: Thimbleberry
Scientific Name: Rubus parvifllorus
Notes: Thimbleberry plants produce an edible red berry and are related to California Blackberries.
Common Name: Alpine Lily
Scientific Name: Lilium parvum
Notes: Alpine lilies look similar to Leopard lilies but are usually taller than Alpine lilies. Alpine lilies are often found with Alders and Willows.
Common Name: Scouler’s Willow
Scientific Name: Salix scouleriana
Notes: The leaves of this willow are oblanceolate. Catkins appear before the leaves.
SIERRA SHOOTING STAR
Common Name: Sierra Shooting star
Scientific Name: Dodecatheon jeffreyi
Notes: This flower is also know as Jeffrey’s Shooting Star. It has a maroon ring above and yellow above the lobes.
Common Name: Rein Orchid
Scientific Name: Platanthera leucostachys
Common Name: Creek Dogwood
Scientific Name: Cornus sericea
Notes: This plant is also known as American Dogwood. The seeds are edible but they are not very sweet and the twigs of this plant are bright red-purple.
Common Name: Applegate’s Paintbrush
Scientific Name: Castilleja applegatei
Notes: These plants are parasitic tapping into roots of other plansts. This plant has the ability to store selenium.
Common name: Bishop’s Cap
Scientific Name: Mitella breweri
Notes: Name refers to similarity to a Bishops hat!
TRAIL through WHITE FIR
The trail continues along a Bracken Fern laden path though a section of White Fir trees, Red Fir and Western White Pine
Common Name: Bracken Fern
Scientific Name: Peteridium aqualinum var. pubescens
Notes: This fern is often found in moist areas mixed with Thimbleberry.The young fronds are edible but mature plant is toxic if eaten in large quantities.
RED FIR & JEFFERY PINE
Common Name: Red Fir
Scientific Name: Abies magnifica
Notes: Red fir typically are found above an elevation of 7,000 feet.
Desolation Wilderness Boundry
At about 2.5 miles the trail enters the Desolation Wilderness boundary and the trail parallels Meek’s creek and more groves of firs
The trail continues through a dense strain of White Firs and an occasional butterfly such as Western Tiger Swallowtail.
Common Name: Western Tiger Swallowtail
Scientific Name: Papilio nutulus
Notes: The larvae of this butterfly are often found on willows.
White Fir open areas
In the exposed understories of these firs can be seen plants that can survive in these more volcanic soils such as Woolly Mule ears, Silverleaved Phacelia, Scarlet Gilia and dense patches of Brewer’s Lupin.
Woolly Mule Ears
Common Name: Woolly Mule’s Ears
Scientific Name: Wyethia mollis
Notes: This plants often grow in granitic soil
Common Name: Silverleaved Phacelia
Scientific Name: Phacelia hastata
Notes: This plant is found below tree line but above tree-line it is replaced by Timberline Phacelia.
Common Name: Scarlet Gilia
Scientific Name: Ipomopsis aggregata
Notes: The brilliant red colors of the petals attract pollinators.
Common Name: Brewer’s Lupin
Scientific Name: Lupins breweri
Notes: Brewer’s Lupin can be found in matted patches in open granitic areas. When in full bloom these can be very fragrant.
The trail eventually crosses Taylor creek at about 3.3 miles. In this riparian habitat can be found Crimson Columbine, Carex, Fendler’s Rue, and Red Elderberry. Check out the Lady Beetle on the Mt. Alder leave.
Common Name: Crimson Columbine
Scientific Name: Aquilegia formosa
Notes: This flower attracts hummingbirds.
Common Name: Sedge
Scientific Name: Carex
Notes: Sedges stems have rough edges compared with smooth, round rushes.
FENDLER’S MEADOW RUE
(mixed in with Ferns)
Common Name: Fendler’s Meadow rue
Scientific Name: Thalictrum fendleri
Notes: This plant is dioecious having separate male and female plants.
Common Name: Blue Elderberry
Scientific Name: Sambucus mexicana
Notes: Berries are edible after cooking.
Convergent Lady Beetle
Common Name: Convergent Lady Beetle
Scientific Name: Hippodamia convergens
Notes: The brillant colors of the Lady Beetle are a warning to predators that they contain distasteful juices.
Trail into RED FIR forest
The trail continues to climb up to the edges of a Red Fir forest. The edge of the trail is dotted again with Mountain Pride, Indian Paintbrush, Sticky Current and Mountain Strawberry .
Common Name: Mountain Strawberry
Scientific Name: Fragaria virginiana
Notes: Fruits of this plant are a food source for many animals.
In the occasional moist soil areas can be seen more butterflies such as the Blues and Checkerspots.
Variable Northern Checker Spots
Trail Montane Zone
The trail climbs out of the forest and out to a ridge to a drier montane chaparral. Plants that can tolerate more exposure, less water can be seen such as Pine Mat Manzanita, Huckleberry Oak, White-Veined Mallow, Pussy Paws, Sierra Chinquapine, Spreading phlox and Sierra Onion
Pine Mat Manzanita
Common Name: Pine Mat Manzanita
Scientific Name: Arctostaphylos nevadensis
Notes: Berries are eaten by many herbivores.
Huckleberry Oak & Gall
Common Name: Huckleberry Oak
Scientific Name: Quercus vaccinifolia
Notes: This plant has male and female catkins. The acorn, the fruit of this plant, takes several years to mature. The Gall is caused by a Paper wasp.
Common Name: White-veined Mallow
Scientific Name: Sildalcea glaucescens
Notes: Look for the white nectar lines inside the petals of this flower.
Common Name: Pussy Paws
Scientific Name: Calyptridium monospermum
Notes: The stems of this plant become more erect as the day warms.
Name: Sierra Chinquapin
Scientific Name: Chrysolepis sempervirens
Notes: This plant is monoecious with the female flowers located below the male.
Common Name: Spreading Phlox
Scientific Name: Phlox diffusa
Notes: The color of the petals changes from pink/lavender to white after it has been pollinated. This color change may help insects to know which flowers to pollinate.
Common Name: Sierra Onion
Scientific Name: Allium campanulatum
Notes: This plant has an onion odor!
The trail continues up General Creek canyon. In the shadier areas plants like False Solomen Seal, Double Flowered Honeysuckle and Spreading Dogbane dot the understory
False Solomen’s Seal
Common Name: False Solomon’s Seal
Scientific Name: Maianthemum racemosa
Common Name: Double-Flowered Honeysuckle
Scientific Name: Linneaa conjugialis
Common Name: Spreading Dogbane
Scientific Name:Apocynum androsacemifoli
Notes: This plant blooms later in the summer and has white to pink bell-shaped flowers. The shape of the corolla is a good fit for honeybees which pollinate it.
Trail Montane Zone
The trail continues through the upper Montane Zone which has also been referred to as the Transition Zone because it lies in the temperature & precipitation edge between those plants that rely on more rain than snow. Typically this zone receives between 25-80 inches of snow which usually results in a growing season of around 4-7 months.
Mixed in the understory of the Lodgepole, Western White Pines and Sierra Junipers are Crest Lupin, Sticky Current, Mountain spirea and Alpine Lady Fern.
Western White Pine
Common Name: Western White Pine
Scientific Name: Pinus monticolor
Notes: Western White Pines can tolerate colder conditions and are found above 7,000 replacing Sugar Pine trees which are found below 7,000 ft.
Western White Pinecone
Common Name: Sierra Juniper
Scientific Name: Juniperus occidentalis var. australis
Notes: These trees are some of the oldest in the Tahoe basin some over a 1000 years old!
Common Name: Crest Lupin
Scientific Name: Lupinus arbustus
Notes: Lupins have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria that fix nitrogen from the air and turn into nitrates for the plant.
Common Name: Sticky Current
Scientific Name: Ribes viscosissimum
Common Name: Mountain Spiraea
Scientific Name: Spiraea densiflora
Notes: The name of this plant is derived from the Greek word for plants used in garlands!
ALPINE LADY FERN
Common Name: Alpine Lady Fern
Scientific Name: Athyrium falpestre
Notes: The tips of this Fern have toothed lobes.
General Creek/PCT sign
At about 4.6 miles from the trailhead is a post marking the old Lake Genevieve Trail to the right that connects to General Creek and the Pacific Crest Trails. The best way to reach Lake Genevieve is to continue straight on the Tahoe-Yosemite trail that you have been following.
Lake Genevieve is a shallow lake rimmed by Lodgepole pines. There are several campsites spread around the far side of the lake.
Common Name: Lodgepole pine
Scientific Name: Pinus contorta-murrayana
Notes: Lodge pole pines can tolerate both wet anaerobic environments as well as dry rocky soils. The genus, contorta, refers to the ability of Lodge Pole pines to grow around rocks and on the sides of cliffs.
Mt. Alder catkins
Along the Lakes edge can also be found plants that require more moist habitats such as Mountain Alders.
Common Name: Mountain AlderScientific Name: Alanus incana ssp. tenuifolia
Notes: Mountain Alders prefer habitats near the water and have small woody catkins.
Crag Lake & Crag Peak
By taking the TYT around the east shore of Lake Genieve the trail continues another ½ mile to Crag Lake, the second of the Tallant Lakes . Crag Lake lies underneath 9054 foot Crag Peak.
Swimming in Crag Lake
Around the east shore of the lake are also some great campsites and fishing spots and dog swimming holes!
Tahoe-Yosemite Trail sign
The TYT continues on to Phipps pass and the other Tallant Lakes: Hidden Lake, Shadow Lake, at 6.3 miles Stony Ridge Lake and eventually 8 miles out, Rubicon Lake.
Tahoe-Yosemite Trail to the rest of the Tallant Lakes
All photographs were taken by Lynn Hori. Plant information was gathered from: Plants of the Tahoe Basin by Michael Graft and A Siera Nevada Flora by Norman F. Weeden and A Natural History of Western Trees by Donald Culross Peattie, Sierra Nevada Natural History by Tracy I. Storer and Robert L. Ursinger and A Sierra Nevada Flora by Norman F. Weeden.. Trail information was gathered from Top Trails Lake Tahoe by Mike White.