California

Where to see California’s wildflower super blooms — from the Carrizo Plain to Joshua Tree

Take a walk among the wildflowers of Shell Creek Road

Join Daniel Sinton, director of operations for Avenales Ranch, as he talks about the super bloom of wildflowers on his property along Shell Creek Road in northern San Luis Obispo County, California.
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Join Daniel Sinton, director of operations for Avenales Ranch, as he talks about the super bloom of wildflowers on his property along Shell Creek Road in northern San Luis Obispo County, California.

Carpets of colorful wildflowers are blossoming across California, making for a spring full of super blooms.

From San Diego County to the Central Coast, flower-watchers have been enjoying this season’s bloom, which has been particularly good, thanks to the winter’s above-average rainfall.

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In the best years, a multi-colored “Persian Carpet” of flowers sprouts at the Avenales Ranch property near the intersection of Shell Creek Road and Highway 58, including California poppies, baby blue eyes and tidy tips and goldfields. David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

For weeks, pastel portraits have been decorating Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Lake Elsinore, where visitors have traveled to capture their perfect pictures among the blossoms.

Wildflowers are on their way to peak bloom at the Carrizo Plain National Monument in eastern San Luis Obispo County, according to the Wild Flower Hotline, which provides weekly updates throughout the spring for spots across Southern California.

The hotline is run by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants.

Goldfields, hillside daisies, tidy tips and and phacelia have brought shades of yellow and purple to the monument.

Avenales Ranch near the intersection of Shell Creek Road and Highway 58 is carpeted with color. An early baby blue eye bloom has been joined by goldfields and California poppies, with lupines just about to pop.

Statewide wildflower blooms

Here’s a look at some of the prime wildflower-viewing spots on the Central Coast and throughout Southern California:

Figueroa Mountain: This Santa Barbara County spot in the Los Padres National Forest is filled with buttercups, blue dicks, miniature and sky lupines and California poppies, according to the Wild Flower Hotline.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve: Located near Lancaster in Los Angeles County, Antelope Valley’s famous California poppies are in peak bloom, supplemented by goldfields and lupine, according to the Wild Flower Hotline.

Joshua Tree National Park: Yellow and purple wildflowers are drawing visitors to this national park between San Bernardino and Riverside counties, according to the Los Angeles Times. The park’s namesake tree is also in bloom.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Wildflowers have been putting on a show at the park east of San Diego throughout the spring, and the bloom is now starting to wind down, according to the Wild Flower Hotline.

Desert dandelion, desert sunflower, desert bluebells, phacelia, ocotillos and chuparosa are all still visible in the park, according to the Wild Flower Hotline.

Walker Canyon: Located near Lake Elsinore just south of Los Angeles, the canyon’s rolling hills are filled with wildflowers — especially California poppies — although they’re starting to fade a bit from their initial glory.

Visitors have been flocking to the area to take photos in the orange fields all season, even leading to “Disneyland-size crowds” at one point.

For more information on the state’s super blooms, visit the Theodore Payne Foundation’s website at theodorepayne.org/learn/wildflower-hotline or call the Carrizo Plain National Monument Visitor Center from Thursday to Sunday at 805-475-2035.

On Twitter and Instragram, follow the hashtag #TracktheBloom for the latest wildflower bloom updates and photos.

Numerous areas in Southern California are expecting a super bloom of wildflowers. This video captures poppies and Ceanothus flowers at Walker Canyon near Corona in Feb. 2017 and in Ocotillo Wells, San Diego County in Feb. 2019.

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Lindsey Holden writes about housing, immigration and everything in between for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. She also covers northern San Luis Obispo County city governments and school districts. Lindsey joined The Tribune in 2016 after working for the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. She’s a native Californian raised in the Midwest and is a proud graduate of two Chicago schools: DePaul University and Northwestern University.

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