While most of the U.S. is still in winter, the West Coast is starting to bloom with brilliant displays of color. Traveling to the West Coast for a wildflower walk is the best way to shake off those winter woes.
Explore These 10 Beautiful Wildflower Walks On The West Coast
1. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – San Diego, California
At the beginning of March, while most of the country is still in winter, over 200 flowering plant species begin to bloom in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Located just east of San Diego, this year’s bloom is predicted to be one of the best in two decades. Walk the 1.5-mile Borrego Palm Canyon Trail to find yourself in a flurry of color among the yellow brittlebush, desert lavender, and fire-red ocotillo. Or take the 3-mile hike into Hellhole Canyon to see flowering barrel cactus, lupine, and phacelia. Midday tends to be the busiest and hottest time, so plan your walk accordingly.
2. Carrizo Plain National Monument – Santa Margarita, California
Mid-March to mid-April, the Carrizo Plain is an amazing place to see not only some of the most beautiful wildflowers, but wildlife as well. In early spring, tule elk and pronghorns can be seen roaming free. The Carrizo Plain is the single largest remaining grassland in California. It boasts rare and endangered flower species such as the California jewelflower, kern mallow, and San Joaquin wooly-threads.
3. Antelope Valley California Poppy State Reserve – Lancaster, California
Every spring, the hills of the Antelope Valley bursts into color with endless seas of California poppies. Every year thousands of visitors come to see the magnificent sight. Eight miles of trails weave throughout the reserve. Most visitors prefer to the 2.5-mile South and North Loop, with a quick stop to Tehachapi Vista Point.
4. Hite Cove Trail – Yosemite National Park, California
Beginning near Savage’s Trading Post on Highway 140, the trail is 3.6 miles long and offers a myriad of colors to behold. There are over 60 different varieties of wildflowers to see along this trail, including: oldfields, brodiaea, shooting stars, fiesta flowers, fairy lanterns, baby blue eyes, and Indian pinks. Keep in mind that it is illegal to pick the wildflowers, just take photos.
5. Point Reyes National Seashore – Point Reyes Station, California
Late-April to mid-June, the Point Reyes National Seashore attracts thousands of flower lovers and tourists. The flower walk stretches 1.4miles across bluffs on the Chimney Rock Trail. You’ll be certain to see all kinds of flower, such as poppies, owl’s clover, tidy tips, checkerbloom, paintbrush, Douglas iris, and footsteps-of-spring.
6. Lassen Volcanic National Park – Mineral, California
Wildflower season comes late (mid-July) at high altitudes. At 10,457 feet, you are in the perfect spot to see a variety of wildflowers and scenery. Keep an eye out for Lassen Peak smelowskia, which only grows here and appears as white tufts peeking out from the rocky crevices (common name: alpine false candytuft).
7. Memaloose State Park – Mosier, Oregon
The 5.2-mile hike all Memaloose Hills Trail is stunning and an easy to follow trail, despite the minimal signage. Blooms are visible April through May. Keep in mind that the trail weaves in-between public and private land, so look for no trespassing signs.
8. Tryon Creek State Park – Portland, Oregon
Home to the annual Trillium Festival, the Tryon Creek State Park has an amazing display of trilliums come spring. There is a network of cycling, hiking and equestrian trails spanning the entire forest, which makes it easily accessible to all.
9. Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail – Lyle, Washington
With only one remaining cherry tree, the orchard has become a phenomenal wildflower walk instead. The first mile takes you up a rocky cliff before flattening out into a bluff with an amazing view of the Columbia River Gorge. From there it’s nothing but open air, flowers and breathtaking landscapes.
10. Lacamas Heritage Trail – Camas, Washington
This 312 acre area is covered with conifer groves, fetching waterfalls, fir-fringed Round Lake, and, in spring, tiers of rocky meadows painted in scores of camas lilies. This isn’t just for flower lovers either, there are plenty of challenging mountain bike trails and is perfect for bird watchers too.
This article was written by Alina Dix.