For many years rain in California was so scarce that the sound of it was almost foreign, and on those rare occasions when we did have a rainy day my kids would look out in confused wonder. Photos of rivers and lakes with noticeable signs of recession were circulating on the internet, having a green lawn was basically a crime, and running out of drinking water seemed a very real possibility.
Then, in 2017, we had a huge amount of rainfall, which went a long way toward alleviating the drought, and rain falling from the sky no longer seemed to cause widespread panic and confusion among native Angelenos. Another positive side effect of all that rainfall was something known as a super bloom.
What is a Super Bloom?
A super bloom is an explosion of wildflowers that exceeds the normal for a given year. A number of conditions must come together to create this phenomenon, with heavy rainfall playing a large part.
As I mentioned California had been experiencing extreme drought conditions, and prior to the super bloom in 2017 it had been more than a decade since anyone had seen a bloom season quite that spectacular.
Where Can I see the Super Bloom in 2019
We’ve had a lot of rain in California again this winter, which means that many places are experiencing or will experience a super bloom within the next few weeks and months. There are a number of places known for their flower viewing accessibility, however it’s a good idea to check the flower forecasts before heading out.
Did you know that the poppy is the official flower of California?
While there are many different species of flowers blooming some areas have greater concentrations of specific flowers.
Walker Canyon, located 85 miles south east of LA, just outside of Lake Elsinore, is a great and very accessible place to view this year’s poppy super bloom. The trail is considered moderate, but we saw plenty of families, on-leash dogs, and people of all fitness levels. Strollers and wheelchairs can be pushed on the lower main path, however some of the trails further in are quite steep.
In 2017 we visited the flower fields in Anza Borrego: Exploring California from Sand to Sea
Tips & Advice:
This should go without saying, but please be respectful when visiting the flowers. Stay on marked pathways, take anything you bring in back out again, and pick up after your pets.
- The poppies are closed in the early morning and will close up again at dusk, or in extreme cold.
- Lots of people want to see these beautiful blooms, so I suggest going early, and be prepared for extreme traffic, or If possible visit on a weekday for less congestion.
- There are parking lots, but we chose to park along the road and walk.
- Bring water. There were two food trucks selling water and snacks at the trailhead, however there is no guarantee they will be there everyday.
- Wear proper shoes and attire. The trail is wide and flat, but it is steep.
- Don’t walk on the flowers! I know it looks like we are sitting and standing in the flowers, but this is an illusion we created using camera angles. We are actually sitting on bare dirt between patches of flowers. Wear something you don’t mind getting dirty.
- Sitting or standing on the flowers, or even on areas that once had flowers could damage the flowers and leave bare areas for years to come.
- Most people stop almost immediately upon arrival to take photos, so If you don’t like crowds, and believe me there will be crowds, keep walking, it will thin out.
- We lost count after seeing 100+ dogs, but thankfully there was no poopie on the trail. Thank you friendly dog owners!
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awesome pics. I am going this Sat really early to try to avoid the hordes of people.
Thank you! Yes, there will definitely be hordes!
Are We Adults Yet
Beautiful photos! I love the way you captured everything.
Thank you so much!
Amazing post. I did not know poppy is the official flower of California. The super bloom looks stunning, beautiful capture.
I had never heard of this until 2017, and am amazed that this year it has appeared again, and so much more vibrantly! I’d give anything to be home to see this for myself! #FarawayFiles
It was a beautiful sight. I think severe drought conditions are what prevented us from knowing about this prior to 2017. I’m not sure my roof would agree, but thankfully we’re getting plenty of rain these days!
WOW! I have loved your pics on IG so great to read this post. What an amazing display. I can imagine how busy it must get. #Farawayfiles
Thank you! It was very busy, but well worth braving the crowds.
I love that your suggestion to check the “flower forecast” – they have something similar in The Netherlands to let people know which tulip fields are in bloom where. I would love to see the poppies in California – so happy that they have started reappearing – so very beautiful. Thanks for sharing – cheers from here!
I’m wanting to see the tulip fields… maybe we should do a house swap sometime?
Lydia C. Lee
That’s so pretty. I’ve never really thought of California with wild flowers. How little you know, until you know!~ #Farawayfiles
It’s so pretty! How funny! We have so many, especially in Southern California.
Lauren (Where the Wild Kids Wander)
This is gorgeous! I didn’t know this was a thing. Love all the photos and the colors of the flowers!!
Thank you! It’s pretty special isn’t it?
Beautiful photos of all the flowers. I do miss those fields of California poppies.
Thank you, yes the flower fields are something to behold. We were excited to see them again.
I love a bit of flower tourism – I’d love to see this super bloom#farawayfiles
Me too! It’s definitely worth seeing!
This looks incredible, I’ve never heard of a super bloom before but it appears the title is well deserved. I love the shot of the rusty old car amongst the flowers, very nice. Is there public transport out to Walker Canyon or do you need to have a car?
Yes, my son was determined to see that car up close. Thankfully there was a trail leading down into the canyon. I don’t believe there is public transportation, or if there is it would take hours.
Oh my gosh, that is just stunning. I would absolutely love to see it (and take around a million photos! :D) #farawayfiles
It was beautiful! My family had a contest to guess how many photos I would take. 😂
Beautiful photos and such fantastic colours. No, I didn’t know that the poppy was the official flower of California, well I’ve learnt something new. #farawayfiles
Wow, just wow. How lucky are you to see this! I did know that the Californian Poppy was the State flower but I had no idea it grew in such profusion. #FarawayFiles
It rarely does grow this often, which is why thousands are flicking to the hills. Thanks to our rainfall this winter we’re experiencing something that happens once a decade!
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