KATE'S FAVORITE PLACES TO STOP & SMELL THE WILDFLOWERS
THINGS TO REMEMBER
BEFORE WE START
As much as we all love a beautiful selfie, WHY NOT try capturing the moment in your mind's eye, it will give you far more pleasure. Please respect that this is an amazing natural phenomenon and if millions of us trample on these fragile blooms, they will be gone. Always stay on the paths and follow all park rules and fingers crossed you get to see a super bloom!
Tumbleweeds rolling across the dusty landscape might be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the desert. But did you know that every spring the desert shows its flower power: Wildflowers in bright Yellows, Reds, and Blues push through, and large clusters fill the arid landscape with lush, colorful life. If you’re lucky you may get to see a super bloom, but conditions have to be just right - it all depends on the temperature and how heavy the winter rains were.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST PLACES?
In California: Some people call California the Golden State because of the Gold Rush in the old days – others because of all the golden colored poppies that cover the grounds in springtime. There are plenty of places to watch, from the Death Valley National Park and the Mojave Desert to the Anza-Borrego State Park and the Joshua Tree National Park.
In Arizona: The Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is a large botanical garden, East of Phoenix, that gives you the full blooming desert. In Phoenix, you will find the Desert Botanical Garden with the Desert Wildflower Loop Trail for a specially curated version of desert bloom. If you like it a little less manicured and more natural go for a guided hike in the Lost Dutchman State Park.
The Chihuahuan Desert: This is the largest desert in North America, it covers New Mexico, Texas, and a small portion of Southeastern Arizona. The most significant part is located in Mexico. Due to the climate, it has a vibrant plant life with at least 1,500 different species. These plants deliver an explosion of vibrant colors in springtime.
THE BEST TIME TO WATCH?
In most areas, wildflowers bloom from mid-February until April, sometimes May and in some places, the desert bloom can last into June.
Check the regional wildflower reports to find the best viewing times and spots but keep in mind that every year can be different.
Wildflower watching is something for early birds: Mid-morning most blooms present themselves open and fresh before the heat of the day takes its toll.
Don’t forget to bring plenty of water for your hike. Wear at a hat, your sunnies, and sunscreen at all times.