3 BEST PLACES TO EXPERIENCE CALIFORNIA’S WILDFLOWER BLOOM MAGIC
“This kind of huge bloom happens maybe once a decade,” says Jim Dice, research manager at the Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center who hasn’t seen so spectacular a bloom since 2005.
After the wettest winter Los Angeles and its neighboring areas have seen in about 10 years, the valleys are exploding in vibrant colors of wild flowers bloom. As far as the eye can see, all kinds of indigenous plants are now blooming all across the region. According to NPR, this rare natural phenomena is happening because of a combination of two things: warm temperatures and exceptionally rainy season that ended a 5 year drought.
But it’s California’s state flower -poppy, that is stealing the show. After decades of surviving the harsh desert environment, even the most dormant seeds are sprouting to life, providing the most striking visuals of all the springtime blooms.
For the past two weekend we have been scouting the best places in California to see this incredible nature show of flower bloom and here’s the list of my favorites.
The Antelope Valley
Antelope Valley is located in northern Los Angeles County, California and the southeast portion of Kern County, California, and constitutes the western tip of the Mojave Desert. It is definitely one of the most densely poppy populated areas of Los Angeles and exhibits the most stunning display of poppies I have seen to date. Before we even got to the part we were met by hypnotizing views of the poppy covered mountains and couldn’t help but stop to take it in. Once in a lifetime kind of experience.
I highly recommend visiting it early in the morning, because of high traffic. There was a huge line with at least an hour wait to get in this last weekend at the Poppy Reserve. So plan accordingly.
Lake Elsinore is a city in western Riverside County, California. Established in 1888, it stands on the shore of Lake Elsinore, a natural freshwater lake about 3,000 acres in size. The lake seems to provide a perfect environment for wild mustard and these long stems of tall, blue flowers, the name of which I do now know. Feel free to let me know if you recognize them.
Just a short drive from Lake Elsinore, in Walker Canyon, you will find another beautiful display of poppies. Walker Canyon is located in the Temescal Mountains, in Riverside County, California. The hills are lit in the most magnificent way during the golden hours of sunset and combined with poppies provide a perfect canvas for anyone with a professional camera. Shooting here was a dream!
Pets are allowed here so it’s a huge plus!
The crowds were smaller here, but we did see a rattle snake crossing a hiking path, so be careful where you sit down to take your selfie.
Tenaja Falls, Oretga Falls, the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, the San Bernardino National Forest and Anza Borrego Desert State Park are also on the list of places that experience all kinds of wildflower magic this time of year, so make sure to visit.
5 Useful Tips before you go exploring
Since this natural phenomena of bloom is causing a huge influx in population during the weekend (doubled in some local towns), I highly suggest following these 5 useful tips from the San Diego Sheriff’s department.
1.Try visiting the parks during the week when there are fewer crowds but if you plan on visiting during a weekend, expect traffic delays up to several hours on roads leading in and out wildflower viewing areas.
2. Do not stop your vehicle in the middle of the road. Find a legal spot to park on the side of the road or in a parking lot and be sure to respect private property.
3. If you damage or park on private property you could receive a ticket or worse, have your vehicle towed.
4. When visiting any one of the public parks, be sure to pick up any trash and dispose of it properly.
5. Always go wildflower viewing with plenty of water, food or snacks and make sure your cellphone is fully charged.
And as always, please remember to respect nature and move with care. Don’t forget that while you’re a guest in these magnificent areas, you are also intruding on wild life, that for the most part of the year is not exposed to humans. Don’t trample flower beds and move carefully, so you don’t step on or disturb local animals.
Slip Dress- VINTAGE, Bag- HANDMADE IN BALI,
Shoes- COLE HAAN