With a wetter fall than usual, SoCal might just have the vibrant carpet of flowers Mother Nature treated us to during super blooms (or “superblooms“) in previous years. While the California State Parks department has closed trails in anticipation of the influx of visitors, there are still some picturesque pockets of vivid landscapes to wander through with fresh floral scents. Here’s a list of the best places to find wildflower blooms near L.A.
1. Flower Fields
This 50-acre natural haven is covered in a technicolor blanket of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers. You’ll get to wander through bands of flowers overlooking the Pacific Ocean, get lost in the Sweat Pea Maze, browse the historic Poinsettia display and orchids. The swaths of flowers turn the rolling hills of Carlsbad Ranch into vivid displays for around seven weeks from March through early May. Advanced reservations are required and can be purchased online here.
2. Palos Verdes Peninsula
Because of its coastal location, wildflowers bloom year-round but the grounds reach their peak during March and April. After posting a mandatory flower power snap to your feed, head over to the beach while you’re in the area!
3. Point Mugu State Park
You’re bound to find the wildflower you’re looking for here. With over 900 native plants that grow in the area, the search may not be easy but it will definitely be worth it!
4. Malibu Creek State Park
Find some of the park’s most beautiful blooms near the oak woodlands south of Mulholland Drive in the northwest area of the park. And you should go on a quest for the stunning blue Lupines across the park. There are plenty of activities to fill your day with here and the lush setting makes it a visual feast with or without wildflowers.
5. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
You’ll find explosions of orange poppies here if you go looking for them. While you’re wandering through the breathtaking gardens, be sure to check out the astonishing Blaksley Boulder made up of sandstone from the Santa Ynez Mountains.
6. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
The grassy hills are usually covered in poppies, transforming them into stunning orange landscapes. This year you’ll need to go exploring along the eight miles of trails to see them. Poppies tend to open during the cooler temperatures like late afternoons, but you’ll find plenty of other blooms red maids and forget-me-nots bathing beneath the sun. Find out more here.
7. Chino Hills State Park
These beautiful green rolling hills currently have sprinkles of color contrasted with the fresh blue skies. Just be aware that some of the trails are closed and there are rattlesnakes. Eden always comes with a twist, doesn’t it? Find out more here.
8. Channel Islands
Sprinkled across the arid, rugged landscape, you’ll find California poppies, gum-plant, buckwheat, poppies and verbena adding bright pops of color to the rocky cliffs. Go on a botanical treasure hunt for the giant coreopsis, which can grow up to 6 feet tall between January and April. Find out more here.
9. Carrizo Plain National Monument
In this picturesque park, you’ll find Hillside Daisys, Goldfield patches, Thistle Sage, Owl Clover, Lupine, Perennial Bush Coreopsis growing amongst the silvery grass throughout spring. It’s only a couple of hours away from L.A. and offers the perfect way to immerse yourself in nature. Find out more here.
10. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is California’s largest state park and offers an incredible variety of plant species. If the weather permits, the arid landscape will have sprinkles of colorful wildflowers like hot pink Beavertail Cactus blossoms along trails. However, you’ll even in the driest seasons you’ll still be able to see the flowers blooming on the palo verde and desert willow. Check the park’s website for updates on blooms here.
11. Joshua Tree National Park
From February, in lower elevation areas, you can head to one of the most beloved deserts in SoCal and enjoy plenty of Arizona lupines, poppy and chuparosa blossoms along the Cottonwood Canyon Bajada Trail. In higher elevations, you’ll see more around June.
12. Death Valley
While Death Valley is one of the hottest and harshest landscapes in the world, for a brief period in spring the valleys come to life in a beautiful array of colors. Along the slopes and amounts the peaks, you’ll discover pockets of sunbonnets, dandelions, sage, mariposas and plenty more.
Featured Image: Flower Fields via Facebook
Also published on Medium.