Survey of Fossil Canyon

December 23, 2010

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On December 23, 2010, I participated in "botanizing trip" to Fossil Canyon at Ocotillo with Tom Chester, an amateur botanist who blogs on a Web site of his own at

Fossil Canyon is also called Shell Canyon, because the road leading to it is called Shell Canyon Rd.

I'd hiked in Fossil Canyon before, more than ten years earlier. I didn't remember much of it.

We first looked for a specific plant of the species Callstroemia Californica at specified coordinates near Palm Canyon Wash. We didn't find that particular plant, but we found other species.

Then we drove up to Fossil Canyon, parked at the mouth of the canyon, and hiked in.

Examination of the topo shows that we didn't survey even half of Fossil Canyon. We may return some day to survey the rest.

Transcript of survey.
Image annotations.
Data plotted on topo

Philip J. Erdelsky