Where and when to find, super blooms still happening in California 2019

Girl sitting in poppy field

I was lucky enough to witness the rare Super Bloom of 2017. It was so incredible I never wanted to miss one again and felt everyone should experience this rare phenomenon at least once!

poppy fields girl sitting

It’s not too late to see the bigger, longer lasting Super Bloom of 2019!

What you will get from this post:

  • List of the best places to find super blooms
  • What makes a bloom “super”
  • Breathtaking super bloom photos
  • When to go
  • How long will the super bloom last
  • Are the poppy fields still in bloom?

WHAT MAKES A BLOOM “SUPER”

It happens when all conditions are just right. It requires a whole lot of rainfall in late fall and early winter, cool day time temperatures, and cool nights. This tends to happen once a decade. California has now had two in the past three years and I have witnessed both!

As for 2019, parts of Southern California haven’t seen this much rainfall in over a decade. This called for an even bigger “SUPER” bloom that will last even longer than 2017’s bloom.

WHERE AND WHEN TO VISIT PEAK SEASON FOR WILDFLOWERS AND BLOOMS

California’s landscapes range from coastal lines, rolling hills, flat plains, deserts, and mountains at all different altitudes landscapes. This gives you the chance to witness the Super Bloom anywhere from late winter to early summer! Which means it’s not too late!

Here is a list in order from “California Dream Big” of when and where you will see blooms at peak season:

DESERT REGION

Peak Season – early March to early April

READ MORE: My experience exploring Joshua Tree during Super Bloom

I’ve never seen a flower bloom on a cactus before and the desert was full of them! I couldn’t believe it! Check out all the different types of blooms and colors I witnessed during my time in Joshua Tree.

CENTRAL COAST

Peak Season – mid-March to mid-April

Areas such as Carrizo Plain National Monument, Montana de Oro State Park blooms masses of California poppies, sticky monkey flowers, wild radish, and mustard, all along its easy Bluff Trail.

Los Angeles County

Peak Season – mid-March to late April

The hills of Lancaster bursts into color. The famous Antelope Valley California Poppy State Reserve and surrounding areas have painted hills full of orange, yellow and purple. You most likely have seen photos all over the internet from here. I decided to take the perfect day trip from San Diego to witness this phenomenon for myself! It’s only a three hours’ drive and was absolutely worth it!

READ MORE: Everything You Must Know Before Visiting the Famous Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

Sierra Foothills

Peak season – mid-March through late April

North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve has poppies, brodiaea, Sierra primroses, fiesta flowers, fairy lanterns, baby blue eyes, and Indian pinks.

San Francisco Bay Area

Peak season – late April to mid-June

Point Reyes National Seashore and Russian Ridge Preserve.

HIGH SIERRA

Peak season: June and July

Several summer wildflower hikes in the High Sierra area.

SHASTA CASCADE

Peak season: Starts mid-July

Lassen Volcanic National Park is one place to explore.

With all that said, it is not too late to visit super blooms in several locations at different times throughout the year! Check here for more details.

 

MY EXPERIENCE DURING THE SUPER BLOOM

There is an endless about of places to explore during a super bloom. Here are some of my favorite places I visited.

Poppy Hills at Lake Elsinore

Lake Elsinore super bloom girl standing

The unpredictable super bloom brought thousands to Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore. It’s about one hour’s drive from San Diego. You most likely saw photos of this place all over social media. The small town could not keep up with traffic creating a public safety issue. This forced them to shut down the area and bring temporary shuttles full of people to the area mid-March.

I was dying to go see for myself but our trip was planned for early April. Not knowing what to expect we went anyways. I have to admit I was a little disappointed, we were late to the poppy party :P! Most of the color was gone as you see here on April 4th. It was still worth a stop. They have a well-maintained walking path for hiking. You can bring your dog as well. The rolling hills were beautiful.

This is what it looked like two weeks prior.

Lake Elsinore super bloom

Photo credit Savannah Everywhere

 

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

poppy field girl running

After missing Lake Elsinore’s peak bloom, I decided to make the perfect day trip to Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve from San Diego area hoping it was in full bloom. Sure enough, it WAS! Once I arrived it felt like a fairytale! See all the details and breathtaking photos here.

READ MORE: Everything You Must Know Before Visiting the Famous Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

CEDAR CREEK FALLS

cedar creek falls

I did this hike in early May and the wildflowers were incredible. The entire hike smelt amazing! There was so much color everywhere I looked. This trail is in the Backcountry hills 40-minutes east of San Diego. Considered a difficult hike however, I didn’t find it too difficult. Along this hike crossed three streams and arrived at an 80ft waterfall in a large pool of water at the end of the trail. Of course, I had to dive in! Check out the rolling hills filled with wildflowers during my Cedar Creek Falls hike.

READ MORE: Hike Cedar Creek Falls During Super Bloom

Joshua Tree National Park

green flower Cacti bloom joshua tree

All super blooms are different, which makes them so special. Depending on the area, amount of rainfall and type of fall/winter they have determines if it will be a super bloom or not. I was lucky enough to witness a desert bloom. There were blooming cacti everywhere ranging from all sorts of sizes and colors! I have never seen anything like it!

READ MORE: My experience exploring Joshua Tree during Super Bloom

Crystal Cove State Park

Chrystal cove state park super blooms

We hiked the 6-mile El Moro Canyon loop trail with some friends early April. She said she’s never seen this much color her entire life here! It was beautiful to see but apparently, they are EVIL! These tall black mustard flowers are invasive.

black mustard yellow flowers calfornia

They suck all the resources away from native plants forcing them out of the area. They can grow up to 10ft tall and during the summer months dry out and provide fuel for wildfires. You can read more about it here. As for the hike, it was beautiful!

CATALINA ISLAND

catalina island coast with boats and flowers

Took a one-hour ferry ride from Long Beach California to Catalina Island for the day in early April. It felt as if we arrived in Italy. This place is GORGEOUS! We rented a golf cart to explore the island. Since there was so much rainfall this year the cacti and wildflowers bloomed everywhere. I would love to come back and spend more time on this island, apparently, there are more than 165 miles of hiking trails!

THE FLOWER FIELDS in Carlsbad California

flower feilds carlsbad drone shot

Photo credit @jasonissertell

Not able to plan a spontaneous Super Bloom trip but still want to see fields of colorful flowers? How about 50 acres full? I highly recommend visiting The Flower Fields in Carlsbad. I didn’t make it during my visit but how gorgeous is this place, right?! They are in bloom for about six to eight weeks from early March through early May. You can find more details here.

If you missed out on the super poppy bloom but want to still see flowers, you have until mid-summer to chase wildflowers all over California! Use this guide to plan your trip!

I would love to hear about your experiences and more suggestions on where to find flowers in bloom! Comment below, Pin, share and subscribe to stay up to date on my latest adventures!

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Girl sitting in poppy field

 

 

 

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