The scattering of beautiful wildflowers that blanket the nation is arguably the best part of spring, but the super blooms usually seen amongst the wildflowers in southern California are unparalleled. In years with little rain, like 2022, super blooms are not likely. Still, the wide expanse of wildflowers is a beautiful sight to behold.
The best place to see SoCal wildflowers is at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve, where you can see a spread of pretty poppies – if you go at the right time. Their blooming season is short – Mid-March to mid-April. The season is even shorter in years without sufficient rainfall. The blooms open about mid-morning and close up in the afternoon with the setting of the sun.
Another California location for wildflowers is the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It’s season still ends in mid-April, but starts about a month earlier in mid-February. You can view these wildflowers in the canyons.
If you are unable to make it to Southern California for the short wildflower season, there are many alternatives in the west that bloom later in the season.
Mt. Rainier National Park – Washington
The best time to see meadows of wildflowers at this Washington state park is July to August, which is perfect for the vacationing family. The view is filled with wildflowers of many hues, reminiscent of Claude Monet’s Poppy Fields. You’ll also have the chance to see glaciers, waterfalls, and the mountain itself.
Glacier National Park – Montana into Canada
This million-acre national park will wow you with its glacier carved valleys, which you can explore with ease on any of over 700 established trails. Wildflowers are often seen in the valleys, and you are sure to see patches or fields of them throughout the large national park. It takes about 2 hours to drive from one side of the park to the other, so plan a few days at least if you want to explore it in its entirety.
Crested Butte – Colorado
Crested Butte is run by a non-profit organization that boasts “the heart of the Wildflower Capital of Colorado.” Like other destinations with wildflower fields, it is best to visit from June to July. If you can put your trip off until the end of the season, you can attend the 10-day Wildflower Festival with over 200 workshops encompassing a large variety of wildflower expertise.