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: Mar 1, 2019  //  Originally Created: Mar 21, 2016

When & Where to See Flower Fields in Southern California

Trailhead Coordinates: 33.732593, -117.393808, map

What: California Poppy and Others
Season: Feb to April
Hours: 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

17495 Soda Lake Rd, Santa Margarita, 93453, map

What: Goldfields, California Poppy, etc but differs year-to-year based on conditions
Season: Feb to May
Hours: 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 (Guide to When and Where to See California Wildflowers in Socal) // localadventurer.com
Carrizo Plain National Monument (Guide to When and Where to See California Wildflowers in Socal) // localadventurer.com

photo: Ken-ichi Ueda (top), farmboyted (bottom)

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, 2016
Hours: 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

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

15101 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, 93536, map

What: Various Poppies (Primarily California Poppy)
Season: Late February to May, Check site for Bloom Status
Hours: 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

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 wildflowers
Season: Feb to Apr
Hours: 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.

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

Coordinates: 34.73486, -119.98585, map

What: California Poppy and Sky Lupine
Season: Feb to April
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

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

Coordinates: 34.79264, -118.846951, map

What: California Poppy, California Tickseeds, Bentham Lupine, Bluehead Gilias, and Lacy Phacelias
Season: Feb to May
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

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

Coordinates: 35.250187, -120.895203, map

What: California Poppy
Season: Feb to April
Hours: 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)

18751 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 92651, map

What: Hyacinth, Morning Glories, Popcorn Flowers, and Southern Suncups
Season: Feb to Apr
Hours: 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)

Coordinates: 35.46434, -120.33701, map

What: Goldfields, Coastal Tidy Tip, Baby Blue Eyes, and California Poppy
Season: Feb to April
Hours: 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) // localadventurer.com
photo: Mikaku

Coordinates: 33.938204, -115.965612, map

What: Mojave Poppy, Canterbury Bells, Desert Dandelion, and more
Season: March – April, Changes Yearly
Hours: 24/7 Year Round
Address: 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.

11 Amazing Things to Do in Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree Super Bloom + 11 Best Places to See California Wildflowers

12460 Keys Creek Rd, Valley Center 92082, map

What: Lavender
Season: May and Jun, Changes Yearly
Hours: Wed through Sun 10am-3pm, July through April by reservation only

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

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

Beautiful California Wildflowers and Flower Fields You Must Visit This Spring

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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Beautiful California Wildflowers and Flower Fields You Must Visit This Spring

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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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Hi! I live in LA and I’m trying to find somewhere to see sunflowers in bloom- it’s about to be peak season but every single flower field I’ve found online is only till April or May at the latest. Any leads or tips would be much appreciated!

    1. Great question! I don’t know of any right now but I’ll ask around and be sure to let you know if I have any leads.

    2. Kelsey, did you ever find a sunflower field near LA?

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