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Best Show of Spring: Where and When to See California Super Bloom

California's nickname - the Golden State - is traditionally associated with the influx of people during the "gold rush" who came in search of treasures. But there are those who insist that the name refers to the flowering of California poppies, the delicate yellow-orange flowers that cover the state every spring. Writes about it AFAR.

California poppies. Photo: Shutterstock

The peak season for any area can vary slightly from year to year depending on rainfall and temperature, so it is worth checking the links for the most up-to-date information. While drought can stifle flowering, heavy rainfall in the state over the past few years has resulted in impressive super blooms in both 2017 and 2019.

Will something like this happen in 2021? For this to happen, a certain set of conditions is required: it all starts with significant rains in September or October, which wash away chemicals from the seeds that suppress flowering. But for the flowers to take root, you need a consistent series of rains, at least once a month.

The winter was too dry for this to happen again (The US Drought Monitor shows conditions ranging from "abnormally dry" to "moderately dry" over much of California this year). But that doesn't mean there won't be wildflowers across the state in 2021. Here's where and when to find wildflowers in parks this spring - and beyond - whether super blooming or not.

Blooming wildflowers in the California desert

Death Valley National Park

Peak season: February-July

Without a doubt, the holy grail of California's wildflowers is the Mojave Desert Super Bloom, most famous in Death Valley - an event that only happens every 10-15 years (the last two were in 2016 and 2005).

Desert wildflowers in the lower elevations, including the valley floor in Death Valley, will bloom until mid-April. At higher altitudes, visitors usually see flowers in June and July. It is a desert gold flower that looks like a golden daisy - large yellow fields of flowers. Others include white and purple flowers.

Death Valley National Park didn't get enough rain at the start of the season to trigger super blooms in 2020, and it looks like the same is true for 2021. The park has already renewed its Web siteto say they don't expect super blooms this year, but visitors can still see many wildflowers throughout the park.

Anza-Borrego State Park Dessert

Peak season: mid-February to mid-May.

The largest state park in California, located northeast of San Diego in the Colorado Desert, comes alive in the wildflower season with marigolds, lilies, verbena, sunflowers, hollyhocks, asters and blooming cacti.

On March 2, 2021, the park released an update stating that there was not enough rain this year to trigger a super bloom. But you can still see annual wildflowers throughout the park - try exploring the canyon trails.

On the subject: 'Neon' waves: a fantastically beautiful natural phenomenon off the coast of Southern California

California Poppy Sanctuary in Antelope Valley

Peak season: mid-March to late April / May.

In this nature reserve north of Los Angeles, hills covered with poppies can be seen from mid-March and sometimes until early May. On March 2, 2021, the reserve announced that the season of "endless flowers" this year is unlikely, but "there is always a chance, so the fate of this annual poppy bloom is not yet closed." While poppies are eye-catching here, look out for other wildflowers such as bluebells, California aster, and blue lupine.

Blooming wildflowers of the Central Coast

Channel Islands National Park

Peak season: mid-February to mid-May.

The five islands that make up this park, off the coast of Santa Barbara, boast a variety of wildflowers, and each one is unique. On the islands of Anacapa, Santa Barbara and San Miguel, yellow coreopsis blooms from January to March. The rare oil-yellow Indian brush with soft leaves is endemic to these islands, but nowadays only found on Santa Rosa Island. San Miguel is also home to lupine and poppy, while Anacapa is home to the bright red Indian brush and island purple bindweed. Santa Barbara Island is dotted with lavender chicory and pale yellow platistemons.

Indian brush in California. Photo: Shutterstock

Recreation area in the Figueroa mountains

Peak season: mid-February to mid-May.

At the end of March, the slopes of this mountain and the nearby Gravyaya Mountain begin to overgrow with wild hyacinths, buttercups, chocolate lilies, popcorn flowers and poppies. It's incredibly beautiful!

Pinnacles National Park

Peak season: mid-March to late April / May.

In this relatively small national park south of San Jose, wildflowers usually appear in March, with their brightest in May, when more than three-quarters of the park's flowers bloom. These are Californian poppies, lupins, orchids, roses, meadow cores, bush poppies, forget-me-nots.

Northern California wildflowers bloom

Mount Diablo State Park

Peak season: mid-March to late April / May.

In the park east of San Francisco, flowering usually begins in early March and sometimes lasts until May. Choose from a variety of hiking trails to see blooming lupine, blue skullcap, California poppies, lilies, and forest spring violets. Throughout the season, volunteers update the document on Google drive data on flowers seen on the mountain.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York

Mount North Table Ecological Reserve

Peak season: mid-March to late April / May.

This mountain near Oroville is a favorite vacation spot for wildflower lovers from late March to mid-May, where you can wander among lupines, foothill tritelia, sierra primroses, cornflowers, clovers and, of course, poppies.

Lake Tahoe

Peak season: late April to June / July.

Once the snow melts in the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe, the valleys and slopes come alive with a myriad of colors, from white phlox and Mariposa lily to yellow buttercup, plantain, blue lupine, bright red sarcodes and lace phacelia.

Lupins by Lake Tahoe. Photo: Shutterstock

Eastern sierra

Peak season: late May to June / July.

Spring bloom in Northern California begins in late May in Mono County, peaking in late June and July. The Tioga Pass in Yosemite, Bridgeport Valley, McGee Creek and Parker Bench, among other areas, are home to flowers of all shades of the color spectrum, including orange tiger lilies, yellow wies, golden mustard, scarlet gilia, blue lupine, purple wild iris and pink desert peach, just to name a few.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Peak season: late May to June / July.

Snow melting times on Mount Lassen will vary from year to year depending on the temperature and the amount of snow, but it may continue in the summer, so in lower areas there will be no bloom until late May - early July. On higher elevations, wildflowers can appear by August and September. At the start of the season, look out for mountain wies, sarcodes, lace phacelia, western yellowtail, corn lily, and lupine.

Read also on ForumDaily:

15 most beautiful places in America to visit in spring

11 California's incredible sights

The best natural attractions in the United States that are worth seeing

Miscellaneous In the U.S. California bloom flowers
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