Best Places to See Wildflowers in California
After an abnormally wet winter season, the blooms in California are popping! Spring is here, and with it comes millions of stunning wildflowers. The most popular months for spring wildflower blooms are March, April, and May.
But before we give you all the best places to see wildflowers, we want to remind you that it’s our responsibility to keep these areas beautiful, clean, and ready for visitors in the years to come. When enjoying wildflower fields, leave no trace, respect viewing points, and don’t trample any flowers. Thank you for respecting these incredible landscapes!
Here are the best places to see wildflowers in California in 2023:
- Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve
If you’ve seen the classic orange poppy fields in California, they are likely from Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve. Located just over an hour from Los Angeles, these fields are incredibly popular and, therefore, can be incredibly crowded. If you want ample photo ops without the crowds, it pays off to arrive around sunrise, and the early morning light is perfect for photographing the region.
- Chino Hills State Park
If going to Chino Hills State Park for wildflower viewing, Bane Road tends to be the most scenic location for the blooms. Wildflowers here range in color and type, including Lupine, Schoolbells, Poppys, and more. Brilliant colors of purple, orange, and yellow dot the hillsides in every direction during the spring season. This area is only 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, so you should expect crowds during the high season. Camping is $30 at Chino Hills State Park, accommodating everything from slide-in truck campers to RVs.
- Mount Diablo State Park
Located in Northern California, Mount Diablo’s blooming season is long and colorful. Wildflowers bloom all year long, but mid-Janaury to mid-May is the best time to find an array of colors and flowers. Mount Diablo State Park offers fantastic views of the surrounding bay area and is extremely diverse in many types of plants. This includes a few rare species found nowhere else in the world. Mount Diablo has three designated family campgrounds. Juniper Campground is the most scenic, standing 3000 ft above the valley floor with scenic views. Each campground accommodates truck campers, tents, and RVs.
- Lake Tahoe
Six major wildflowers grow in Lake Tahoe’s range. This includes Lupine, Spreading Phlox, Mountain Fleabane, and Tiger Lilies. Numerous hikes in the region are perfect for spotting wildflowers. Big Meadow Trailhead offers a leisurely 1.5-mile hike that opens to a meadow covered in wildflowers in the early summer. The shoreline of Lake Tahoe is also an excellent place to view and take in floral and fauna.
- Carrizo Plain National Monument
Carrizo Plain National Monument has its peak blooming season in March or April, featuring vast fields filled with yellow and purple wildflowers. Located in south-central California between Bakersfield and San Luis Obispo, the area is perfect for a weekend getaway to view some of the brightest floral blooms in the state. The national monument does not provide any services, including water, food, or fuel, so plan accordingly. If you’re traveling in one of our pop-up truck campers, this is a perfect place to camp in one of the designated camping areas or surrounding BLM land.
- Sierra Nevada Mountains
The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is home to many wildflowers found in diverse regions. The higher the elevation, the later the bloom. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find wildflowers blooming in late July in high alpine areas. If you are looking to soak up some fantastic wildflowers away from crowds & roads, take a summer hike in the Sierra.
California Wildflowers in 2023
If you’re up for a road trip to see all the wildflowers, we’ve outlined the perfect California wildflower route to take in your truck camper from Four Wheel Campers.
If you want the most recent updates on where the best place to see wildflowers in California, the Flower Bloom webpage on the California Parks website is a great resource.
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