//Beautiful California Wildflowers and Flower Fields You Must Visit This Spring

Beautiful California Wildflowers and Flower Fields You Must Visit This Spring

Every year I see people posting photos of spring blooms, I tell myself we’re going to go see them too. But every year, we plan too late, and they’ve already come and gone. I’m not much of a flower kind of girl (Jacob knows I will take food or booze over flowers any day), but there’s something I love about a whole field of flowers! If they were bugless, I could hang out in them all day. 

This year has been the perfect storm for the superbloom in southern California. Since I’m already obsessed with making daily lists for myself, I decided the best way to get myself to go is to come up with a list of places I want to go see them.

Timing is key with the superbloom, and the low desert is already seeing blooms right now (early March) and it’s predicted to last in the high desert until June. Don’t miss your chance to see them!

California Wildflowers - When and Where to See the Superbloom

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Last Updated: March 12, 2020

When & Where to See Flower Fields in Southern California

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1. Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore

Trailhead Coordinates: 33.732593, -117.393808, map

What: California Poppy and OthersSeason: Feb to AprilHours: Sunrise to Sunset

Where to Stay: Carter Estate Winery and Resort, Temecula (luxury, 23 mi away) or Best Western Plus Lake Elsinore (mid-range)

Walker Canyon California Wildflowers + Where to Find the Best Flower Fields in California // Local Adventurer #california #walkercanyon

2. Carrizo Plain National Monument

17495 Soda Lake Rd, Santa Margarita, 93453, map

What: Goldfields, California Poppy, etc but differs year-to-year based on conditionsSeason: Feb to MayHours: Sunrise to Sunset

Where to Stay: Best Western Plus Taft Inn (mid-range, 17 mi away) or Topper’s Motel (budget, 17 mi away). All luxury hotels are at least 40 miles away.

Carrizo Plain National Monument + When and Where to See California Wildflowers in Socal

3. The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, 92008, map

What: Tecolote Giant Ranunculus (also is known as a Persian Buttercup or Ranunculus Asiatic)Season: Changes Yearly. Mar 1st – May 8th, 2016Hours: 9AM to 6PM

We made an exception for the Flower Fields. These aren’t wildflowers, but it’s a sight you can’t miss.

Where to Stay: Four Seasons (luxury), Legoland Hotel (mid-range), or Most Popular Airbnbs in Carlsbad

More: Photo Guide of the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

Carlsbad Flower Fields (11 Beautiful Southern California Flower Fields You Must Visit this Spring) // localadventurer.com

4. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

15101 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, 93536, map

What: Various Poppies (Primarily California Poppy)Season: Late February to May, Check site for Bloom StatusHours: Sunrise to Sunset

Where to Stay: Beverly Hills Hotel, LA (luxury, 45 mi away) or Best Western Plus Desert Poppy Inn, Lancaster (mid-range, 13 mi away)

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve + 11 Best Places to See California Wildflowers in Southern California

5. Anza Borrego Desert State Park

652 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs, 92004, map

What: Parish’s Poppy, Hairy Desert-Sunflower, Desert Lily, Sand Verbena, Dune Evening Primrose, Indigo Bush, and other various wildflowersSeason: Feb to AprHours: Sunrise to Sunset

When we visited, the caterpillars were eating through a whole field of them each day. They disappeared so fast that we had to look for small patches in Borrego Springs outside the park.

Where to Stay: La Casa del Zorro Resort and Spa, Borrego Springs (mid-range) 

Anza Borrego Super Bloom + Best Places to Find California Wildflowers in Socal

6. Figueroa Mountain Poppy and Lupine Fields

Coordinates: 34.73486, -119.98585, map

What: California Poppy and Sky LupineSeason: Feb to AprilHours: Sunrise to Sunset

Where to Stay: Santa Ynez Inn (luxury, 18 mi away) or Hampton Inn & Suites Buellton (mid-range, 22 mi away)

7. Gorman Hills Flower Fields

Coordinates: 34.79264, -118.846951, map

What: California Poppy, California Tickseeds, Bentham Lupine, Bluehead Gilias, and Lacy PhaceliasSeason: Feb to MayHours: Sunrise to Sunset

Where to Stay: Hampton Inn (mid-range, 17 mi away)

Gorman Hills Flower Fields (Best Places to See California Wildflowers in Socal) // localadventurer.comPhoto: Anita Gould

8. Point Buchon

Coordinates: 35.250187, -120.895203, map

What: California PoppySeason: Feb to AprilHours: Sunrise to Sunset

Where to Stay: Allegretto Vineyard Resort Paso Robles (luxury, 30 mi away) or Landing at Morro Bay (mid-range, 7.5 mi away)

9. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

18751 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 92651, map

What: Hyacinth, Morning Glories, Popcorn Flowers, and Southern SuncupsSeason: Feb to AprHours: Sunrise to Sunset

Where to Stay: The Inn at Laguna Beach (luxury, 5 mi away) or Ayres Hotel Laguna Woods (mid-range, 2 mi away)

10. Shell Creek Road Meadows

Coordinates: 35.46434, -120.33701, map

What: Goldfields, Coastal Tidy Tip, Baby Blue Eyes, and California PoppySeason: Feb to AprilHours: Sunrise to Sunset

Where to Stay: Allegretto Vineyard Resort Paso Robles (luxury) or Avila La Fonda Hotel (mid-range)

Shell Creek Road Meadows, Southern California + Best Places to Find California Wildflowers

11. Joshua Tree National Park

Coordinates: 33.938204, -115.965612, map

What: Mojave Poppy, Canterbury Bells, Desert Dandelion, and moreSeason: March – April, Changes YearlyHours: 24/7 Year RoundAddress: 12460 Keys Creek Rd, Valley Center, CA 92082

We found the largest concentration of Mojave poppies in Wilson Canyon. The bluebells and lupines were found in Cottonwood Visitor Center area. It looks like the blooms are slowly going north now.

Where to Stay: Most Popular Airbnbs in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree Wildflowers in Wilson Canyon

Joshua Tree Super Bloom + 11 Best Places to See California Wildflowers

11. Keys Creek Lavender Farm

12460 Keys Creek Rd, Valley Center 92082, map

What: LavenderSeason: May and Jun, Changes YearlyHours: Wed through Sun 10am-3pm, July through April by reservation only

Southern California Wildflowers Map

BONUS: Death Valley (Not in SoCal, but did you hear about #SuperBloom?!)

271 Highway 190, Death Valley, 92328, map

What: Desert Star, Blazing Star, Desert Gold, Mimulus, Encelia, Poppies, Verbena, Evening Primrose, Phacelia, and more.Season: Feb to April (Lower Elevations), April to May (3000-5000 ft elevations), May to July (5000 to 11000 ft elevation.Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Superbloom at Death Valley National Park (Your Guide on the Best Places to Find California Wildflowers in Socal) // localadventurer.comPhoto: Beau Rogers

More Wildflower Hot Spots in California

Chino Hills State ParkCoachella Valley PreserveDiamond Valley LakeIdyllwild Nature CenterMontana de Oro State Park, San Luis Obispo CountyBig Morongo Canyon PreserveMalibu Creek State Park Mojave National PreserveMuir WoodsNorth Table Ecological Reserve (Feb – Apr)Palos Verdes Peninsula (Mar – Apr)Pinnacles National ParkPoint Mugu State ParkRed Rock Canyon State ParkValley of the Oaks (Mar – Apr)Hite Cove Trail, Northern California (Mar – May)

Essential Tips for Visiting and Photographing the Super Bloom

Photo Tip – There are ways to photograph yourself “in” the flowers without going off trail. Shoot with a long lens and at a low vantage point. That will bring the distance of the flowers and you closer together and will also hide the trails.When you see people post about the super bloom, go ASAP. We saw entire fields disappear in a couple days because they’re being eaten by caterpillars. Did you know they eat 200 times their weight in flowers and leaves?Please respect the flowers so that others can enjoy them too.See wildflower updates on Desert USA. Other sites haven’t been as accurate and left us disappointed. Make sure you pay attention to posting dates and visitation dates since they may differ. You can also see who’s posting recently on #superbloom. I usually look in the captions or ask when they visited, since a lot of them could be latergrams.

What to Pack for Your Visit

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Where to Stay in Southern California

San Diego Most Popular AirbnbsLos Angeles Most Popular AirbnbsPalm Springs Most Popular AirbnbsJoshua Tree Most Popular Airbnbs

DID YOU MISS THE Spring Bloom SEASON in California?

If you miss the flowers in SoCal head up to the PNW. The flowers bloom later there. Check out the best hikes to see Pacific Northwest Wildflowers.

I’ve always wondered by definition what qualifies as a wildflower (I mean… aside from the genetically modified ones… didn’t all flowers come from the wild?) Maybe you already know this, but in case you were wondering, I finally looked it up after all these years. ha! It’s simply a flower that grows without any care or nurturing. However, if you take that same flower and plant it in your garden, then it no longer is a wildflower if you intend to keep it alive longer than its natural lifespan (florists / botanists, does that sound about right?).

Do you have any favorite flowers? Have you been to any of these spots? Out of these places, where would you be most interested in visiting?

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11 Breathtaking Flower Fields in Southern California to Visit This Spring

Wildflowers Southern California

Flower Fields California

It's Ranunculus Season at the Carlsbad Flower Fields! // localadventurer.com

11 Beautiful Flower Fields You Must See in Southern California // localadventurer.com

It's a great season for the Super Bloom! Here are 11 California Flower Fields You Must See This Spring // Local Adventurer #superbloom #california #flowerfields #spring

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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in NYC.

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