Where Are the Wildflowers?
It's looking like another Superbloom in the desert, as dry desert soils transform into carpets of sunflowers, poppies, and primrose. We're tracking when and where the blooms are best throughout the season, and we'll be bringing you updates on the flowers - starting today!
All along the north side of the Coachella Valley, the Indio Hills are covered in blooms right now! This area got a lot of rain from a late monsoon last year, and the desert sunflowers (Geraea canescens) are blooming from Desert Hot Springs to Indio. You can see the blooms at the Coachella Valley Preserve, on hikes ranging from easy to moderate on the the Willis Palms Loop, Pushwalla Trail, and Moon Country Trail. Fields of sunflowers and sand verbena (Abronia villosa) are visible from the road along Varner, Ramon, and Washington Street north of I-10.
Box Canyon would normally be a wildflower hotspot, but the same monsoon that brought us flowers destroyed most of the access road. Until it's rebuilt, flowers are visible all along the I-10 Freeway east of the Coachella Valley - sunflowers, lupine (Lupinus arizonicus), and ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens). 30 minutes out of Palm Desert, take the Cottonwood Road exit towards Joshua Tree National Park. The Bajada Nature Trail just inside the park boundary is alive with lupine and desert poppies (Eschscholzia spp).
No matter where you discover desert blooms, Wildflower Watchers should take care to avoid trespassing on private property and into sensitive wildlife habitat. Many wildflowers are tiny - in some cases less than an inch tall - so always stay on established trails and be careful to watch your step. Avoid stepping on one wildflower to get to another! Wildflower season is a remarkable time in the desert, but we could lose these displays if we don't respect them.
All season long, share your wildflower finds and best pictures with us on social media!
The Wildflower Festival is Coming!
The best place to celebrate the spring bloom is at the the 12th Annual Coachella Valley Wildflower Festival on Saturday, March 2nd!
This year the government shutdown, and uncertainty about another lapse in federal funding later this month, has forced us to change locations from the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains Visitor Center. We're moving the event to the Palm Desert Civic Center Park, and bringing the beautiful art, raffle prizes, Kids Zone, live music, and the beer and wine garden with us!
We will be offering wildflower walks throughout the month of March - sign up for a walk or for the Wildflower Bus Tour at the festival!
To learn more, call (760) 862-9984. For sponsorship opportunities and vendor participation, call (760) 568-9918.