Anza Borrego State Park Wildflower Road Trip March 2017

Anza Borrego State Park Wildflower Bloom

So after all these years (12+)… I finally made it back out to see the peak bloom of wildflowers at the Anza Borrego desert!

This year was supposed to be a ‘super bloom’ due to all of the rain that we’ve been recent receiving in California.

Anza Borrego State Park Wildflower Superbloom March 2017. A spectacular showing of desert wildflowers this year thanks to all the rain in Southern California! |

The last time I went was when I was in college, sometime in the early 2000’s.

I was keeping track of the wildflower reports 2 to 3 weeks leading up to the weekend we went. The website I use is Desert USA, which also has reports for many other deserts and parks, not just the Anza Borrego.

They have a little wildflower peak meter on the website that tells you on a 1 to 10 scale, what the status of the years bloom is. 10 being peak and it finally hit 10 that weekend. So off we went!

Anza Borrego State Park Wildflower Road Trip March 2017

The Drive In and Out

Was pretty uneventful. The roads into Anza are quite windy and that’s why it takes a bit longer than it should. A roughly 90 mile drive took about a 3 1/2 hours total.

On our way in, there was very little traffic since we left pretty early (6am) and we drove through Temecula.

Once we got there, there was a little congestion in the town of Anza, but once we got past the main road in, not much.

However, by the time we were leaving, traffic had grown considerably and there was a line of cars going all the way up the mountain.

I’m sure they waited for at least a couple hours to get down as it wasn’t really moving. Eek!

Anza Borrego State Park Wildflower Road Trip March 2017

The Desert Wildflowers

The fields of flowers were pretty extensive. Much more so than I imagined.

We used the map on the Desert USA to determine where to drive and look for the flowers.

It was very accurate and peoples reports also tell you where to look in addition to the map.

Our route was basically a big square around the area and we made sure to hit up each of the main blooms.

The total time that we went around looking at flowers was around one and a half hours. So not that long.

You could definitely spend a lot more time in the fields or exploring if you are really into it, or are looking for specific kinds.

We just wanted to take in the scenery so our wildflower viewing ended pretty quickly.

By 11am or so, we were done and ready to make our way back home.

We ended up stopping at Palomar mountain (since it was on the way back) to go for a hike and break up our drive back.

The weather was perfect and the place was completely deserted.

We had a leisurely walk through the forest with no one around.

Before we left, we also checked out the observatory and that was about it for our day trip!

Anza Borrego State Park Wildflower Road Trip March 2017

Overall Impressions

I would say for a desert it was quite refreshing to see bright colors against a normally brown and dry background.

The last time I went, the blooms were not at peak so this time way way better from what I remember.

To be honest, I might have had too high of expectations for the desert wildflowers and wasn’t overall wowed.

I’m glad I went, but don’t think I’ll be going back anytime soon, if at all.

I think I was spoiled up in the mountains at Glacier National Park last year, where the wildflowers were the most colorful, vibrant, and most dense that I’ve ever seen.

What about you? Have you had a chance to see wildflowers in the desert and or mountains?


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11 thoughts on “Anza Borrego State Park Wildflower Road Trip March 2017

  • March 31, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    When we lived in Oregon, I enjoyed the wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge. There weren’t any guides to them; we just saw them as we walked.

    • March 31, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      ohh ive seen pictures of the yellow hillsides. is that where you went? im planning to stop by later this summer if the timings right, i’ll make sure to seek them out

      • March 31, 2017 at 5:03 pm

        All along the Oregon side of the Gorge out near Hood River there are lovely hikes. Enjoy.

  • March 31, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Great images and description. We haven’t experienced the desert yet but your description creates a desire to do it.

    • March 30, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      Small world!! Did you visit blooms that i didnt?! I thought we got the main ones but looking at the site today it looks like cacti started to show too

      • March 31, 2017 at 11:10 am

        Hi Pat, nope, we pretty much saw the same as you. We did a square around the area and also saw the metal statues. I think we kind of gave up walking much due to the heat 🙂

        • March 31, 2017 at 4:49 pm

          ah gotcha, i dont think could have stayed out much longer either!


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