Something magical is happening all over Southern California. Explosions of wildflowers are cropping up, thanks to the cool weather and above-average rainfall we received this winter. These blooms are as staggeringly beautiful as they are rare.
The hillsides of Lake Elsinore are currently blanketed in orange poppies, and although we can’t know exactly when and where the next wave of flowers will spring up, the Parks have made some educated guesses.
The best opportunities often come and go quickly; this superbloom season is no exception. The flowers began popping up in February and will likely continue through April. Go while they’re here! Whether you’re chasing the superbloom or a meteor shower, fleeting opportunities are easily captured with a Road Chief. One small adult can hitch it with ease. Ample storage space makes packing a breeze. Tow it with almost any crossover or SUV. Your very own mobile sanctuary allows you to travel wherever, in total luxury. You’ll never miss another spontaneous adventure opportunity.
Such outings are also the perfect excuse (not that you needed one) for a picnic. With the Road Chief’s European dual burners and ample kitchen space, you can easily prepare breakfast or lunch to go, and enjoy a meal amid the flower fields.
Below you’ll find a solid leaping off point for your adventures, but you may also consider calling the Wildflower Hotline prior to your visit for the most up-to-date report.
Millions of orange poppies can be found on the slopes of Walker Canyon. Please note that since poppies are the State flower, it is illegal to pick them. Be respectful, and don’t lay on or trample the flowers. As for camping, consider the peaceful Crane Lakeside Park. If you don’t mind a bit of a drive (about 45 minutes) look into this amazing Hipcamp site—a family-run clydesdale and Texas longhorn ranch.
Diamond Valley Lake
Only forty minutes from Lake Elsinore is Diamond Valley Lake, which features a seasonal wildflower trail. For a $10 entrance fee, you’ll see magnificent owl’s clover, the iconic California poppy, sunshine yellow brittlebush and more. The reservoir’s substantial trail system is available for all kinds of recreation, and the marina is a world class fishery. Best of all, you can camp at Bierbaum Pepper Farm and play with baby goats.
Anza-Borrego State Park
This may be one of the most stunning destination of the season. Sprawling Anza-Borrego State Park is a mosaic right now. At Coyote Creek you’ll find the purple stalks of sand verbena, brown-eyed evening primroses, brilliant lupine and more. To enhance the experience, we recommend taking the scenic route from San Diego. Check the CA State Park website for campsite reservations.
Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve
Antelope Valley is predicted to peak in mid-March to early April. Not just limited to poppies, the park comes alive with kaleidoscope colors, boasting everything from owl’s clover and lupine to cream cups and coreopsis. Note that there are rattlesnakes in the fields. Be sure to stay on the trails and leave Fido in the Road Chief with air conditioning because no dogs are allowed in the park. Fortunately, there are great campgrounds nearby like this free site at Lake Hughes. Or head over to Saddleback Butte, which sits on a granite mountain top above Antelope Valley and is likewise crowned with wildflowers.
Carrizo Plain National Monument
This hidden-gem Monument is so remote some say you can “hear the silence.” In 2017, it’s hillsides were painted with gold and purple flowers—so many that the swathes of color could be seen from outerspace. We don’t know whether the Plain will superbloom this year, but the hills are definitely seeing some color. Goldfields around Panorama Road and hillside daisies on the slopes and valley floors.
Carrizo Plain is in San Luis Obispo, which is worth a trip in and of itself. Check out this post to find out where to stay and how to spend a weekend in SLO. Just add wildflower viewing to the itinerary!
This spring is the perfect time to hitch up your Road Chief and explore the wildflower wonderlands of SoCal. If you’re not already an owner, consider dropping by our Golden State Showroom in Oxnard, CA, which is right next door to some of the wildflower locations, or our Silver State Showroom in Henderson, NV, which is just a few hours away.
Bowlus Road Chief