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Discover the Best Places to See Wildflowers around Los Angeles: A Comprehensive 2024 Guide

The Wild Flowers season has started! Will there be a super bloom this year??


Does it matter! Flowers look gorgeous, super bloom or not!


Some of the areas you can consider exploring, starting late March 2024: Anza Borrego, Carrizo Plain National Monument, Death Valley, Joshua Tree / Coachella Valley, and Southern California. In this article, we will focus mostly on areas around Los Angeles.


Late March through May is the best time to see wildflowers in and around Los Angeles. Some years are considered to be 'superbloom' years - this is when the landscape is transformed into a sea of color. The flowers continue to bloom until the weather turns warmer.


Photo by Carlos Gonzalez on Unsplash
Diamond Lake, March 12, 2023. Photo by Carlos Gonzalez on Unsplash

Some suggestions:

  • Please be careful when you go to any of these parks. Snakes are out, so stay on the path

  • Observe No Stopping Zones, watch your speed and for people on the road

  • Be prepared for crowds and 30-45 minute wait lines

  • Bring cash and credit card as some places have entrance fees and parking fees

  • Dogs are not allowed in most spots and you won't be allowed to leave them in your car

  • Download apps such as iNaturalist to identify plant species


Here are a few of the best spots in and around Los Angeles to enjoy these flowers.


 


Antelope Valley CA Poppy Reserve, Photo by Pamela Heckel on Unsplash
Antelope Valley CA Poppy Reserve, Photo by Pamela Heckel on Unsplash

15101 Lancaster Rd Lancaster, CA 93536

75 miles north of Los Angeles is one of the most popular spots to see wildflowers in Los Angeles. This is a 1235-acre nature reserve, home to over 10 million poppies, as well as other wildflowers, such as lupines, owl's clover, and fiddlenecks. The Antelope Trail North Loop and Kitanemuk Vista Point offer the best views of the wildflowers currently blooming. Selfies must be taken ON OFFICIAL TRAILS; no photos in the poppies inside the park. For more information on the current status of the bloom, visit the Poppy Cam, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Early April is the best to go - and expect to see poppies, fiddlenecks and red stem filaree. They expect the blooms to be better in 2024 vs. 2023, unless the weather turns hot!


 

AROUND MALIBU & IN THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS

This year, plan well before going to Malibu as there are multiple landslides at this point of writing this article, and many of the roads may be closed.


Wildflowers in Malibu, Picture by Damian Tejada Betitez on Pexels
Wildflowers in Malibu, Picture by Damian Tejada Betitez on Pexels

Malibu Creek State Park is a 8,800-acre park located in Malibu, California. The park entrance is 0.2 miles south of Mulholland Drive (or 4 miles north of Pacific Coast Highway) on Las Virgenes / Malibu Canyon Road. The nearly 9,000 acres that make up the park also encompass ranches once belonging to Bob Hope and Ronald Reagan.


The park has several hiking trails and the park is home to a variety of wildflowers. Go to the northwest corner of the park to see fiddle necks, lupine, and poppies. The creek runs through the middle of the park. Explore the oak woodlands south of Mulholland Drive in the northwest area of the park, along the road to the lake, and along Las Virgenes Creek in the northern Liberty Canyon area.




Malibu Bluffs Open Space

The Malibu Bluffs Open Space is a nature preserve, another place to see the flowers. When it rains a lot, some of the trails in this area get damaged, so check HERE before you go. There have been multiple landslides in this area in 2024, so you need to check their webpages before you plan.


Point Mugu State Park

9000 West Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

This park is located along the coast of Los Angeles and is home to a variety of wildflowers, such as California poppies, lupines, and morning glories. This area is at the western end of the Santa Monica mountains, with a ton of native plants. There are different trails here, from difficult to easy. Enter this park along Pacific Coast Highway and through Rancho Sierra Vista in Newberry Park, at the far west end of the Santa Monica Mountains in Ventura County. Pick up a map at the visitor center at the entrance.

Malibu, CA. Photo by Bethany Beck on Unsplash
Malibu, CA. Photo by Bethany Beck on Unsplash

Topanga State Park

This park is located in the Santa Monica Mountains and is home to a variety of wildflowers, including lupines, poppies, and sunflowers. From Topanga Canyon Boulevard, turn east on Entrada, turning left at each intersection where this is a choice until you arrive at Trippet Ranch, the park headquarters. In the more than 11,000 acres of chaparral, oak woodland and grassland, there are 36 miles of trails. The one which is recommended for the lushest displays of wildflowers is the 31/2 mile Musch Ranch Trail loop. An active group of docents conducts public walks during the spring flowering, and there is an informative brochure accompanying a well-marked nature trail.

Santa Monica Mountains in Ventura County, photo by Pamela Heckel
Santa Monica Mountains in Ventura County, photo by Pamela Heckel

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). This 1500 square mile national recreation area is home to a variety of wildflowers. Here, Solstice Canyon Trail is a great, moderate hike. It is canyon-shaded, there is a waterfall and a variety of wildflowers to check out. Park entrance is just off Pacific Coast Highway on Corral Canyon Road.


 

Chino Hills State Park, San Bernardino County, LA

This park is located in the San Gabriel Mountains and is home to a variety of wildflowers, such as California poppies, lupines, and desert marigolds. You are likely to see flowers but the trails are often closed due to weather conditions. The best wildflower viewing experience takes place along Bane Road. To get a closer look, visitors can hike on Bane Ridge Trail. This year, the flowers that are blooming include This year, the flowers that are blooming include Canterbury and School Bells, Arroyo Lupine, Black Mustard, Wild Radish, and California Poppies. For more information on the current status of the bloom, follow them on: Facebook and Instagram.

Lake Elsinore in SoCal, photo by John Fowler on Unsplash
Lake Elsinore in SoCal, photo by John Fowler on Unsplash

Walker Canyon Trail

26901-26959 Walker Canyon Rd, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

This trail is located in Lake Elsinore, which is about an hour's drive from Los Angeles. When conditions are right, the hillsides are covered in vibrant orange poppies, making it one of the most popular spots to see wildflowers during a super bloom.


 


Diamond Valley Lake, photo by Sergey Shmidt on Unsplash
Diamond Valley Lake, photo by Sergey Shmidt on Unsplash

Some folks are suggesting to do the Diamond Valley Lake trail instead in Riverside County in Hemet, open Wednesday through Sunday. Dogs are not allowed. Watch out for the bugs! E-bike rentals are now available.

Give directions to 2615 Angler Ave, Hemet, CA 92545


 

SANTA BARBARA

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

This garden is located in Santa Barbara and has a variety of wildflowers. You will see splashes of color at the 'meadow' , featuring meadowfoam, farewell-to-spring, succulent lupines, and California poppies!


The Santa Ynez mountains will showcase a carpet of wildflowers every season. Check out the town of New Cuyama in northern Santa Barbara county, drive down Highway 166, or take the 2.5 mile Painted Rock Trail.


 


Carrizo Plain National Monument in Santa Margarita, Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Carrizo Plain National Monument in Santa Margarita, Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash


SANTA MARGARITA, west of Bakersfield

Carrizo Plain National Monument

This area is located about 100 miles - three hours north of Los Angeles and is another popular spot to see wildflowers during a super bloom. When conditions are right, the hillsides are covered in a variety of wildflowers, including poppies, lupines, and blue dicks. The plain is home to diverse communities of wildlife and plant species, is an area culturally important to Native Americans, and is traversed by the San Andreas fault. The area is super remote, so plan to bring water and food, and fill up your tank. No GPS signal. Peak blooms are often between April 21-28. Explore: CA-58, 7 mile Rd & Soda Lake Rd, Westbound 5 past Gorman, East Side of Carrizo, North of Hurricane Road. Updates here.


Anza Borrego, CA, photo by Jack Prichett on Unsplash
Anza Borrego, CA, photo by Jack Prichett on Unsplash

 

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

This park is located about two hours east of Los Angeles and is known for its wildflower displays during a super bloom. The park has a variety of wildflowers, including desert lilies, sand verbena, and primroses. The flowers are best in March - so go drive down to see a dazzling display of wildflowers, along Henderson Valley Road, north of Borrego Springs!


Around mid-April, you only see the succulents bloom as it starts to get hot. Visitors can see remaining sand verbena and desert sunflowers along the east side of Henderson Canyon Road in the northern end of the park. Additionally, some flowers continue to bloom near the Cactus Loop Trail at Tamarisk Grove and Coyote Canyon Entrance.


For more information on the current status of the bloom, follows them on Facebook and Instagram. This site is also great for Anza Borrego updates.



 


CARLSBAD, in San Diego county

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is a 50-acre flower farm located in Carlsbad, California. It is home to over 5 million flowers, including California poppies, ranunculus, and dahlias.




 


SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Wild Flower Hill, Sun Valley

10459 Tuxford Street in Sun Valley, CA

Wild Flower Hill is a 10-acre wildflower meadow located in the San Fernando Valley. Explore the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and check out their Wild Flower Hotline (818) 768-1802 ext. 7) which resumed their operations on March 8 and provides updates every Friday through June.


 

PASADENA

Eaton Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center

1750 N. Altadena Dr. Pasadena, CA 91107

The Eaton Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center is a 1,000-acre nature preserve located in Pasadena, California. Enjoy the San Gabriel mountains and the trails that lead through fields of wildflowers. Lots of water, dog-friendly, and four miles of fun!



 


PALOS VERDES / ROLLING HILLS ESTATE

Linden H. Chandler Preserve

The Linden H. Chandler Preserve is a nature preserve located in Palos Verdes Estates, California. The nearest cross streets are Palos Verdes Drive North and Dapplegray Lane in Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274. Parking is located next to the Rolling Hills Little League Field or at the end of Buckskin Lane. Trails traverse the preserve’s slopes and grasslands through coastal sage scrub and riparian habitats. The Preserve is home to a number of special native wildflowers, including the common fiddleneck, Western tansy mustard, and longleaf bush lupine. It now provides valuable native habitat capable of supporting native birds and insects, including habitat favored by the endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly. Dogs on leash, allowed.



 

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