The abundance of rain has gifted Southern California with a spring Super Bloom. For an amazing family activity, take a drive to these different southern California locations to check out the wildflowers in bloom.
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The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
On the 50 acres that comprise The Flower Fields, you’ll find a rainbow of color awaiting you as you marvel at the display of ranunculus. Children will also enjoy Santa’s Playground, the Sweet Pea Maze, and for an additional fee, open-air antique tractor wagon rides. Check the website for information about upcoming special events. The Fields are open daily (9:00 am to 6:00 pm) until May 12th. (Admission is $18 for adults; $17 with AAA discount; $16 for seniors 60+; $9 for children 3-10; and free for children 2 and younger).
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
15101 Lancaster Rd., Lancaster, CA
Here you’ll find “California’s most consistent poppy-bearing land.” The website’s report, as of March 13th, states that poppies are blooming on the east side of the park. Additionally, visitors will spot “Joshua trees, tiny forget-me-nots, and slender keeled fruit and filagree flowers” blooming as well. The bloom is expected to be best through April. Take your time, exploring among the eight miles of trails, and be sure to visit the Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center (open March 1st through Mother’s Day). While you’re out on the trails, remember that rattlesnakes may be out and about. Also, be sure to check the weather before you go (strong winds are frequent) and be sure to have more water than you think your family will actually drink. Parking fees are $10.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
200 Palm Canyon Dr., Borrego Springs, CA 92004
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California. Families will see wildflowers and know that a variety of animals are nearby as well (including roadrunners, bighorn sheep, and more) even if you don’t see them during your visit. Check the website before you go to determine the status of wildflowers in bloom. Different flowers in different parts of the park are being reported now (as of the website’s most recent information from March 12th). Be on the lookout for desert lilies, sand verbena, brown-eyed evening primrose, and more.
Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Dr., Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
“Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park.” Families will find wildflowers blooming now at certain elevations, with desert regions above 5,000-feet having blooms as late as June. Currently, Joshua Tree is experiencing a surge in visitors due to the blooming of wildflowers, so plan accordingly. As of mid-March, visitors are reporting seas of purple, yellow, and blue flowers.
Carrizo Plain National Monument
17495 Soda Lake Rd., California Valley, CA 93453
North of Los Angeles, in the Central Valley you’ll find the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Currently, families will find hillside daisies, baby blue eyes, and goldfields blooming, with many more flowers expected to bloom as the days go on. Keep in mind that Carrizo Plain is located in a more remote area and no services are located nearby.
boat rides departing from San Pedro and/or Long Beach
Whether you go just for the day, or decide to make it a little vacation, it’s worth taking a trip to Catalina to check out wildflower season there. Catalina Conservancy recommends a guided tour of the interior so you can see and experience the rainbow of beauty that is present in the blooming flowers. Wildflower season generally lasts through May.
Walker Canyon Trail
26900 Walker Canyon Rd., Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Walker Canyon Trail is a 3.5-mile trail near Lake Elsinore and is a part of the Temescal Mountains in Riverside County. Families will enjoy an abundance of beautiful wildflowers including vibrant orange, purple, and yellow flowers. Be prepared for crowds though, as the flowers are visible from the freeway and many families are venturing out to this spot to view the super bloom. Walker Canyon Trail was closed on Sunday because of crowds so be sure to check the website for information before you go.
Death Valley National Park
(there is no specific street address but many GPS users have success using the address for the nearby post office which is 328 Greenland Blvd., Death Valley, CA 92328)
While Death Valley may be most famous for its extreme temperatures and its designation as the “hottest, driest, and lowest national park,” families may also find some spring wildflowers in bloom. Wildflowers can be found in the lower elevations, though they are rather sparse right now, and more blooms may occur later in the spring. Click here to be directed to the most up-to-date information on the wildflower blooms as it becomes available.
Point Mugu State Park
9000 W. Pacific Coast highway, Malibu, CA 90265
Point Mugu State Park is a pretty spot to visit year-round. Located within the Santa Monica Mountains, Point Mugu State Park features five miles of ocean shoreline and incredible views. But now is an even better time to visit because wildflowers are currently blooming along La Jolla Valley. Check the website for wildflowers updates as they become available.
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