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The Absolute Best Places To See Wildflowers In California This Spring 😍

The spring of 2024 COULD be one of the best in a long time for wildflowers and super blooms in California.

So you DON’T want to miss this opportunity to see the craziest display of mother nature that you could ask for.

Today we’ll cover some of the best places in California to see wildflowers if a superbloom DOES happen.

AND we also include links to where you can stay up to date with the current bloom status for each place so you can time your visit perfectly.

Make sure to stay till the end after the main list, where we have a list of some bonus places where you could see wildflowers in California. βœ…

Note: All the pictures in this post are from past years and not from 2024.

1. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, Lancaster

Experience vast fields of vibrant California poppies, the state flower, in their peak bloom.

Best Time to Visit: Mid-March to May

If you want to witness California Poppies in their element you need to visit this place.

California Poppy, Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. Lancaster, California. (1)

Head to Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster and you won’t be disappointed.

This place turns into an orange wonderland in spring. 

It’s not just poppies; you’ll see owl’s clover, lupine, goldfields, cream cups, and coreopsis too. 

Walking the trails, you’ll be surrounded by color and the sweet smells of spring.

Just make sure to bring anti-histamines if you have allergies.

But here’s the thing, the flowers have their own schedule, influenced by weather. 

California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica, Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. Lancaster, California. (1)

So, the show can start anytime between mid-March and early May but it depends on the weather.

Also, the poppies love the sun, but they’re not a fan of cold winds! 

They open up in warm, sunny weather, giving you the best view mid-morning before the winds pick up.

Here’s how to stay updated:

2. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County

Discover a variety of desert blooms in one of the first places in California to see wildflowers each spring.

Best time to visit: March to May

Want to see a desert turn into a flower paradise?

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is where it’s at during spring.

Imagine walking through fields dotted with colorful desert flowers, lupines, and maybe even catching a cactus or two in bloom.

This place literally blooms to life, showing off flowers that seem to pop up from nowhere.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park wildflowers (1)

But, here’s a tip.

Just like in Antelope Valley, the flowers play by their own rules, thanks to the weather.

The best show normally happens from March to May, but in 2024 some flowers have started to bloom in February!

You’ll want to catch it when the temperature is just right (warm and sunny) because that’s when the flowers are in their full glory.

So warmer days with less wind and more sun are the best days to see the flowers.

Here’s how to stay updated:

3. Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Luis Obispo County

Marvel at the stunning wildflower displays across what’s sometimes referred to as California’s own Serengeti.

Best Time to Visit: Late March to early May

Normally this place isn’t very colorful at all, but if the conditions are right then everything changes in spring.

carrizo plain superbloom (1)

In spring, Carrizo Plain National Monument bursts into a riot of colors, with vast fields of wildflowers like California poppies, lupines, and goldfields.

This rare event, influenced by winter rains, transforms the landscape into a mesmerizing display of natural beauty, attracting visitors to the superbloom.

Here’s how to stay updated:

4. Joshua Tree National Park

Enjoy the unique beauty of desert wildflowers, Joshua trees, and rock formations.

Best Time to Visit: Year-round?! πŸ€”

At Joshua Tree National Park, spring can bring an extraordinary bloom that transforms the desert landscape.

joshua tree national park wildflowers (1)

The park’s iconic Joshua trees, along with a variety of cacti and annual wildflowers, begin to bloom, offering a stunning contrast against the rugged desert backdrop.

Joshua Tree can actually have wildflowers blooming from January all the way through to fall in different areas of the park.

This is partly because of the difference in elevation where different flowers bloom at different times.

The bloom’s intensity and timing depend on winter rainfall, making each year’s display unique.

Lower elevations start the season, with higher elevations following as temperatures warm.

For those venturing into the park, walking trails such as those at Cottonwood Spring and the areas around Barker Dam provide excellent opportunities to see the wildflowers up close.

Remember to respect the park’s guidelines: enjoy the flowers where they stand without picking them, ensuring they remain for future visitors and the ecosystem.

Here’s how to stay updated:

5. Solstice Canyon, Malibu

Walk an easy SoCal trail through this coastal canyon, enjoying wildflowers along with historical ruins.

🚨 At the time of writing (Early March 2024) Solstice Canyon is currently closed due to landslides and wet weather. Closure order here.

Best Time to Visit: March to May

The landscape comes alive with wildflowers and cooler temperatures make for comfortable hiking conditions.

Solstice canyon

Solstice Canyon, in Malibu, is a picturesque spot perfect for experiencing Southern California’s natural beauty.

With trails ranging from easy to challenging, it’s a perfect spot for hikers, bird watchers, and history enthusiasts.

The area is famous for its lush landscapes, seasonal waterfall, and the ruins of historic buildings, offering a unique blend of nature and history.

Here’s how to get more info:

Other Places to See Wildflowers

Here are a few more places where you have a chance to see wildflowers in California if you don’t live close to any of the places in the main list:

General Wildflower Bloom Status Updates

For general updates to wildflower blooms, the following links are pretty useful in helping you time your visit to perfection.

If you’re really into seeing fields of colorful flowers then you should DEFINITELY check out the Carlsbad Flower Fields in San Diego County.

It’s a fantastic day out, but make sure you go before they close for the season.

Related Reading: Where 55 Acres Of California Explodes In A Rainbow Of Blooming Flowers πŸ’

Sophie Davis

Born and raised in the Bay area of California, Sophie is a California native. She joined our team in 2023 to create travel guides on California.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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