California

Still haven’t seen the super bloom? There’s still time — here’s where to view wildflowers

Fly over the wildflower super bloom on Shell Creek Road

Soar above the super bloom of wildflowers along Shell Creek Road near Highway 58 in northern San Luis Obispo County, California, as weekend visitors explore the trails that meander through the sea of colors.
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Soar above the super bloom of wildflowers along Shell Creek Road near Highway 58 in northern San Luis Obispo County, California, as weekend visitors explore the trails that meander through the sea of colors.

If you still haven’t made a trip to see California’s incredible wildflower bloom this year, it’s not too late.

Flowers of all different colors have covered the state’s hillsides and valleys since early March, leading to large crowds in some areas.

Although flowers in a few Southern California spots are fading, blooms in other areas are reaching their peak.

Fields of gold wildflowers are still drawing visitors to Carrizo Plain National Monument in San Luis Obispo County. And Figueroa Mountain in Santa Barbara County and Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve near Lancaster are also prime bloom-viewing locations.

Wherever you go to get your wildflower fix, here’s our roundup of Central Coast and Southern California wildflower coverage to help you plan your trip.

For more information on the best blooms around California, visit the Wild Flower Hotline (818-768-1802, ext. 7) run by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants. It’s updated every Friday.

A bounty of wildflowers brought on by recent rains can be seen foothills east of Fresno, CA, photographed near Minkler and at Piedra on March 21-22, 2019.

Where are the wildflowers and what do they look like?

We’ve mapped some of the best places to see wildflowers this season throughout the Central Coast and Southern California: Where to see California’s wildflower super blooms — from the Carrizo Plain to Joshua Tree

Did you know this year’s wildflowers are bright enough to be seen from space? We’ve been tracking blooms throughout California as they blossom and fade: See — from space — how California’s incredible wildflower blooms have changed

We created a roundup of some of our favorite social media wildflower photos — so you can skip past the endless shots of influencers and engaged couples: ‘Super whoa’: See the best photos of California’s wildflower super bloom

The Central Coast has some of the most vibrant blooms in the state. See how the wildflower-covered Carrizo Plain National Monument and Cuyama Valley hillsides appear from space: See how wildflowers in Carrizo Plain, Santa Barbara County have changed — from space

If you thought the Carrizo Plain super bloom was spectacular from the ground, take a look at it from the air in this drone video above the vast fields of yellow blooms.



How to avoid being a bad wildflower tourist?

Walker Canyon near Lake Elsinore in Southern California had one of the best wildflower displays this year — but that also drew hordes of visitors local residents and officials weren’t prepared to accommodate: Chaotic wildflower crowds create ‘public safety crisis’ in California town, mayor says

If you plan to veer off Soda Lake Road in your quest to find the perfect view of the Carrizo Plain wildflowers, make sure you bring a high-clearance vehicle or off-roading equipment: Sightseers headed to the Carrizo Plain super bloom are getting stuck in the mud instead

Also on the Carrizo Plain, learn from these ill-prepared visitors and avoid getting stuck in clay mud or trampling flowers: Wildflower tourists are behaving badly at the Carrizo Plain — and ruining the experience

Fed up with “poppy-palooza” in Walker Canyon, Lake Elsinore officials instated a paid shuttle service during the weekends to help control the crowds: Want to see the poppy super bloom at Lake Elsinore? Now you’ll have to pay

When are wildflowers are blooming? How do I get to the Carrizo Plain super bloom? What supplies do I need to bring? What are the road conditions? Your touring questions are answered in this video.



Where are the best wildflowers on the Central Coast?

Here’s our complete guide to visiting the Carrizo Plain in eastern San Luis Obispo County. Hint: You should definitely bring a full tank of gas, along with food and water: Heading to see wildflowers on the Carrizo Plain? Here’s where to go and what to bring

Avenales Ranch near the intersection of Shell Creek Road and Highway 58 in San Luis Obispo County is home to fields of beautiful wildflowers. This year, the display is especially colorful, drawing thousands of visitors to the area: ‘Pictures don’t really do it justice’: Shell Creek may be SLO County’s best wildflower spot

Three SLO Tribune staffers all visited the Carrizo Plain on the same weekend. Here, we provided our highlights and interesting tidbits from our trips: Wildflower super blooms took us to the best fields in California — and a secret Carrizo spot

Taking a trip to another region of the Central Coast? Here’s where to find the best wildflowers — from the Cuyama Valley to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: Where to see the best wildflowers in Santa Barbara County — at Figueroa Mountain and beyond

Join Daniel Sinton, director of operations for Avenales Ranch, as he talks about the super bloom of wildflowers on his property along Shell Creek Road in northern San Luis Obispo County, California.

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