This article has been updated.
Southern California just finished one of its wettest winters in decades, leaving conditions ripe for one of the state’s famed super blooms — in which entire fields of poppies and buttercups emerge from the soil in unison. The abundance of rain in and around LA brought out so much of the state’s natural beauty that it even made the act of sitting in traffic just a little more bearable. It’s hard to be the same level of stressed out and annoyed when snow-capped mountains tower in the distance and the sides of the highways — usually reserved for beer bottles and Doritos wrappers — teem with wild mustard.
These perks don’t even compare with actually seeing the main attraction: the wildflowers. A super bloom, according to National Geographic, is an “an explosion of wildflowers that exceeds typical spring blooms” — leaving remote locations and state parks across California with an ocean of brilliant blooming flowers. We’ve been tracking these blooms for six weeks now and they’re just about finished across the state. If you plan to visit one of these sites before the season draws to a close, now is the time.
Note: For the best super bloom viewing experience, always try and visit locations near the bottom of the list as those are the parks with the newest blooms. Expect the flower shows to appear less brilliant as temperatures continue to warm. We will do our best to remove locations where the flowers have already died off from this list.
FADING — Lake Elsinore
According to the LA Times, the bloom was in full swing at Lake Elsinore’s Walker Canyon in early March. By this point, it’s almost over.
For the best views, exit Lake St. off of Interstate 15 and drive along Walker Canyon road. The crowds at Lake Elsinore are large so expect traffic delays.