- Take only photographs, NOT flowers.
- Trampled flowers can't reseed themselves
for next year. Take photographs OF flowers, not
- Walk on designated trails and paths.
Stepping on flowers (or posing, sitting, or
picnicking among them) damages existing blooms
and prevents the next generation from
Best Places to
In the springtime in California, especially after
rains, you'll find flowers blooming in deserts,
low-elevation grasslands, and table-mountain
landscapes including these favorite spots:
Chino Hills State Park,
Chino Hills: Hike the Bane Ridge Trail
or drive Bane Road to see California poppies,
arroyo lupine, and canterbury bells.
California Poppy Reserve, Lancaster:
Poppy plants have pushed up from the
earth, and a few poppies are starting to bloom.
Park staff usually expect a better-than-average
bloom will begin in March.
San Luis Obispo County:
On California's Central Coast, an easy
drive along wildflower-rich Shell Creek Road in
Santa Margarita delivers an eye-popping display of
orange poppies and sky-blue lupine. In Los Osos,
Montaña de Oro State Park lives up to its
name ("mountains of gold") with bluffs covered in
California poppies. Sixty miles east, the
grasslands of Carrizo Plain National Monument are
showing off goldfields, tidy tips, owl's clover,
and hillside daisies.
State Park, Borrego Springs: Spring
wildflowers show their colors on alluvial fans and
in washes. Sand verbena, desert lily, dune evening
primrose, and desert sunflowers are blooming with
enthusiasm at Coyote Canyon/DiGiorgio Road,
Henderson Canyon Road, and June Wash.
North Table Mountain
Ecological Reserve, Oroville: Flowers
usually start showing themselves on this elevated
basalt mesa around the first week of March. Formed
by ancient lava flows, Table Mountain stores
rainwater in its porous rock, which results in
blankets of flowers, fascinating vernal pools, and
Russian Ridge Preserve,
Redwood City: Flower lovers flock to
this ridgetop paradise to see orange poppies and
blue lupine painting the grasslands like a Monet
masterpiece. When these beauties fade, they're
replaced by mule's ears, brodiaea, and
farewell-to-spring, so you can usually find
blossoms well into May.
Preserve, Dixon: From March to May,
thousands of tiny wildflowers paint the landscape
in ribbons of yellow, purple, and white in one of
California's few remaining native bunchgrass
prairies. More than 400 species of plants thrive
here, along with vernal pools filled with fairy
shrimp and other rare invertebrates.