With the unusual amount of rain California has had this winter, nature lovers are expected to see the first Superbloom since 2019. In 2019, Jordan and I were able to hike in Walker Canyon and see the flourish of California poppies coating the hills. It was incredible. I was so sad to learn they closed the trail this year due to the traffic it created and the damage visitor’s caused by trampling the flowers for Instagram worthy pictures. With that closure, I’ve been doing my research, looking up other trails that are supposed to be vibrantly blooming this year and this is sort of just a bucket list blog of places I want to explore this spring rather than an experts guide on where to go and what to see this spring. Let me know if you stopped by any of these locations yet or have any other suggestions!
Indian Canyons – Palm Springs
While I have been here many, many times, I’ve heard the wildflowers are popping right now! Located just a few miles south of downtown Palm Springs, the Indian Canyons are home to a variety of wildflowers that bloom from March to May. There are three canyons within Indian Canyons worth exploring; Murray Canyon, Palm Canyon and Andreas Canyon. Each canyon offers several hiking trails where you can see a wide range of desert wildflowers, including lupine, poppies, and desert marigolds! You can also take a guided tour with a knowledgeable guide who can point out the different species and share interesting facts about the area’s flora and fauna.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is only a short drive from Palm Springs (and about 20 minutes from where I live) and is one of the best places to see wildflowers in the region! The park’s high desert landscape is home to a variety of wildflowers that bloom from February to April, including desert dandelions, Mojave asters, and desert primrose. I keep seeing pictures of the trails starting to bloom and beautiful Joshua Trees lining a soft green landscape and I’d love to hike out there sometime soon!
Anza-Borrego State Park
Located about an hour’s drive southeast of Palm Springs, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is one of the largest state parks in California and is home to a stunning array of wildflowers. I was actually just here back in January and it was stunning but we did miss the wildflowers. The park’s vast desert landscape is home to a wide range of wildflowers that bloom from February to April, including desert sunflowers, sand verbena, and lupine.
Big Morongo Canyon Preserve
Located about 30 minutes west of Palm Springs, the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is a protected area of desert habitat that’s home to a variety of wildflowers. The preserve offers several hiking trails that take you through lush canyons and along the streams, where you can see wildflowers such as California poppies, desert marigolds, and lupine. The Morongo Preserve is actually walking distance from where I live in the city of Morongo, near Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree. I actually haven’t made my way over there in quite a while and want to head over soon to see if spring is in full bloom!
Located about 20 minutes north of Palm Springs, the Whitewater Preserve is a protected area of desert habitat that’s home to a variety of wildflowers. The preserve offers several hiking trails that take you through the lush riparian area and up to the rugged canyons, where you can see wildflowers such as desert dandelion, lupine, and sand verbena. The White Water Preserve is one of my absolute favorite places to hike, especially during spring. There’s a trail, “White Water Ranger Station to Cottonwood TH via the PCT” that allows dogs and is a vibrant green every spring so I can only image what the trail is looking like this year.I can’t wait to go!
Mission Creek Preserve
Located about 20 minutes northwest of Palm Springs in the city of Desert Hot Springs, the Mission Creek Preserve is a protected area of desert habitat that’s home to a variety of wildflowers. The preserve offers several hiking trails that take you through the rugged canyons and up to the high ridges, where you can see wildflowers such as Indian paintbrush, chia, and desert dandelions. This is another area I love to visit because it’s dog friendly and my pups love to play in the fresh water. Last year the hills were a vibrant bright yellow so again, I can only image what they’re looking like this year. I can’t wait to take the pups over there soon.
By the Windmills in Palm Springs
This one isn’t really a hiking area but I keep driving by the windmills off the Interstate 10 on my way to work down in La Quinta and really want to stop one day and snag a few pictures. I read that visitors can see a variety of wildflowers here, including desert sunflowers, sand verbena, and purple mat, which you can see displayed in the carousel post from Greater Palm Springs below!
Chino Hills State Park
Located about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles, Chino Hills State Park is a beautiful park that’s home to a variety of wildflowers. The park’s rolling hills and canyons are covered in wildflowers in the spring, including California poppies, lupines, and Indian paintbrush. Visitors can see the flowers on the park’s many hiking trails, which offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. When I look up wildflower locations this spring, Chino Hills State Park keeps popping up as a top location. It’s only about an hour and 15 minutes for me so I’m hoping I can cross this one off my list this year.
Death Valley National Park
Located in eastern California near the Nevada border, Death Valley National Park is a surprising place to see wildflowers in the spring. The park’s lower elevations receive less rainfall than other parts of Southern California, but when conditions are right, wildflowers will bloom vibrantly across the entire desert floor. I am so excited for this one. My family actually has had a trip planned for early May for a while now before even knowing how much rain we’d be getting this winter. It sounds like we will be visiting during the perfect time and the perfect year to see the the wildflowers in full bloom.
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Located about 75 miles north of Los Angeles, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is a must-visit destination for wildflower enthusiasts. The reserve is home to the largest remaining stand of California poppies in the state, and the bright orange flowers typically bloom from late February to May. The reserve also offers several hiking trails and picnic areas for visitors. I probably won’t make it out this location since it’s over 3 hours away from me but man, I sure want to. It looks like THE place to see poppies.
Carrizo Plain National Monument
Located in eastern San Luis Obispo County, the Carrizo Plain National Monument is a remote and rugged area that’s home to a wide variety of wildflowers in the spring. Visitors can see a carpet of California poppies, lupines, and other flowers covering the hills and valleys of the plain. The area also offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the Temblor Range. This is another location I probably won’t get to check off my list, but wow it looks stunning!
Point Mugu State Park
Located along the coast in western Ventura County, Point Mugu State Park is a great place to see wildflowers in the spring. The park is home to a variety of coastal wildflowers, including California poppies, lupines, and sea figs. Visitors can see the wildflowers on the many hiking trails that wind through the park, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding coastline. This is another location that is over 3 hours away for me but the pictures of the poppies with an ocean view, ugh, I would love to explore here.
And that completes my list of places I want to explore to see the wildflowers this year! What locations did I miss and have you had the chance to stop by any of these destinations yet?
While I am a summer girl through and through, I do love spring so very much. April is my birth month, and I love when when nature begins to bloom it starts getting warm enough to hit the trails again. May you all have a wonderful and “vibrant” spring this year!
As always, travel on my friends.