The state of California is blessed with diverse landscapes and a Mediterranean climate that transforms into a flowery paradise during the flower super blooms. From the arid expanses of Death Valley to the coastal beauty of Carrizo Plain, California’s wildflower displays captivate the senses and draw in nature lovers, perfect for brightening up your Instagram feeds.
Every decade or so, the Golden State lives up to its title as a splash of vibrance colors most of the state, providing you with some alternative Spring Break locations. If you’ve always thought of the California desert as drab and boring, get ready to pack up this spring and head to these vivid locations to see the Southwest in a whole new light – or color, if you will! It’ll give you a newfound love for nature.
Here’s our Top 10 Places to See the California Flower Super Blooms
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Borrego Springs
- Lake Elsinore
- Coachella Valley Preserve
- Valley of the Giants
- Death Valley National Park
- Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
- Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
- Carrizo Plain National Monument
- Table Mountain
1. Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is an incredible place to visit at any time of the year, but what makes it extra special this year is that the entirety of the super bloom’s beauty can be enjoyed during a leisurely car ride. That’s right, no hiking required. It makes this the best spot on our list for those with mobility issues or small children who can’t hike for hours to see the beautiful sights.
You don’t have to worry if you’re looking for a trek either. Virtually every trail is dotted with beautiful flowers, allowing for an entire day to be spent at this gorgeous flower wonderland.
2. Borrego Springs
Head down to the peaceful town of Borrego Springs if you’re looking for some incredible desert blooms. There is something surreal about seeing a kaleidoscope of colorful yellow and purple flowers growing out of the sand. It almost doesn’t seem possible!
Getting to see this unique beauty in Borrego Springs will not only feed the beauty lover in you but the science lover as well. Here you can enjoy a collection of primrose, lily, and dandelion flowers in a variety of shades, growing out of the most unsuspecting places.
3. Lake Elsinore
The hills are alive with the smell of poppies! All around Lake Elsinore and throughout Walker Canyon, the hillsides are covered with delicate orange poppies that are so vibrant it appears as though the landscape is on fire. It’s an incredible sight.
While you’re there, please treat the area with respect. We know it will be hard not to frolic amongst the flowers, but state officials are urging visitors to stay on marked paths to avoid crushing the sensitive blooms. They’re beautiful bits of nature to be cherished.
4. Coachella Valley Preserve
This area is just calling to flower enthusiasts; even the road leading into Coachella Valley Preserve is lined with flowers. Travel along any of the many trails to spot desert sunflowers, sand verbena, brown-eyed primrose, and Schott’s Indigo bush to name a few.
If those aren’t enough, you’ll find a variety of annual and perennial plants and wildflowers in Indian Canyon which skirts the edges of the valley. Catch these wildflowers while you can!
5. Valley of the Giants
If you’re willing to travel a bit further south of Baja, California into Mexico, you’ll be rewarded with a 60-mile stretch of beauty straight out of a Western postcard. Bask in the allure of brilliant lavender wildflowers set against the towering saguaro cacti in the Valley of the Giants. Then, when this scene has begun to pale, head north to follow the wildflowers as they bloom throughout Southern California. You’ll be left breathless, in awe of nature.
6. Death Valley National Park
Amidst the extremes of Death Valley, a super bloom can turn the usually harsh landscape into a canvas of wildflowers in Death Valley National Park. When significant rainfall occurs, a variety of desert flowers, including the rare desert gold, burst into bloom, transforming the hottest place on Earth into a mesmerizing and unexpected floral spectacle.
The park’s expansive Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, contrasts with the vibrant blooms, creating a surreal and photogenic scene. Dante’s View and Zabriskie Point offer elevated perspectives for capturing the vastness of the blooming desert below. The eye-catching colors against the rugged desert backdrop makes for a truly surreal experience.
7. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve transforms into a breath-taking sea of orange poppies during the spring months. Blanketing the desert landscape, the poppies create a vivid and awe-inspiring display, drawing visitors from far and wide.
The poppies open their petals during the day, creating a dynamic landscape that shifts in color as the sunlight changes. The California Poppy Festival, held annually in nearby Lancaster, celebrates the beauty of the poppy bloom with various events and activities. The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, located in the Mojave Desert, is pure bliss for nature photographers seeking the perfect shot amidst the gorgeous blooms.
8. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, known for its expansive desert terrain, experiences stunning super blooms after periods of rainfall. Wildflowers, including desert lilies and primroses, carpet the arid landscape, creating a striking contrast to the usual dry scenery. The diverse flora, showcasing an array of colors, attracts visitors to the fleeting beauty of the desert in full bloom at Anza-Borrego State Park.
The Borrego Palm Canyon Trail, in particular, provides an opportunity to witness both blooming wildflowers and native fan palms. Visitors can also explore the park’s Visitor Center for information on current bloom conditions and recommended viewing locations.
9. Carrizo Plain National Monument
Carrizo Plain National Monument, situated in the Central Valley of California, can experience impressive super blooms, particularly after periods of sufficient rainfall. The valley floor becomes a canvas of wildflowers, featuring vibrant hues that extend as far as the eye can see. The expansive and remote nature of Carrizo Plain adds to the allure of witnessing this natural beauty in a tranquil setting.
Soda Lake, within the monument, can reflect the vibrant hues of the wildflowers, adding to the visual spectacle. The monument’s remoteness enhances the sense of tranquility, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of the blooming landscape.
10. Table Mountain
Table Mountain, located near Oroville, California, is famous for its annual wildflower bloom. The plateau erupts with a diverse array of flowers, including poppies, lupines, and goldfields, creating a palette of colors against the backdrop of volcanic rocks. The vernal display attracts hikers and nature lovers eager to witness the stunning beauty of Table Mountain’s springtime transformation.
The intricate patterns of volcanic rocks, such as basalt columns, create a striking contrast against the vibrant blooms. Hiking trails like the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve Loop offer opportunities to explore the diverse flora and appreciate the geological features of the area.
As these landscapes burst into an array of colors, each Californian destination presents a unique and unforgettable spectacle, showcasing the remarkable diversity and natural wonders that make the Golden State a premier destination for floral enthusiasts.
If you’re thinking of traveling during this period, why not take a look at our Spring Break airport hotel deals and coupons to see whether we can save you extra money.
And before you jet off for the Californian sun and desert landscapes, be sure to check out our airport hotel & parking packages.
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