Some Desert Wildflowers (3 photos)

Shuwen and I were up and out early today, to see some of the wildflowers in Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The hype about a “super bloom” is really big right now, so I’d like to add a few remarks from my perspective, while the bloom (super or not) is going strong.

First, my three “keepers” from today. My remarks and advice is below the photos.

The most reliable spots for wildflowers actually do not seem to look too different from previous years – that would be Henderson Canyon Road, the entrance to Coyote Canyon (which is essentially the entire stretch of land along the south-western foot/slope of Coyote Mountain), and the area around the visitor center. It’s really all the other areas around the Borrego valley that have wildflowers right now – when they usually don’t, or at least not that many.

And yes, we too made the mistake of sticking to these known “good” locations for wildflowers. Even though we weren’t there nearly early enough (the sun was up higher already than we had hoped, and there were a lot of people too) it was nice seeing all the flowers of course – but what we should have done instead would have been to just drive around, and stop anywhere where the surroundings look nice. By the time we figured that out the sun was way too high and it was also too warm for our taste. So advice #1: just spread out, and avoid the hot spots. There’s nice patches of flowers almost everywhere right now.

Advice #2 would be: if you have to go on a weekend (like this one, or the next) then really really go as early as possible. We were on the way back home at 11.30 – and driving up on Montezuma Grade Road we saw that the traffic going down was backed up all the way to Culp Valley. Probably even further up later, because we saw many many more people coming in on S22 & S2, from Highway 76 and 79. For those poor folks, that meant going downhill at least 8 miles at ~5 mph, in ~85°F… I don’t know about you, but personally, no flower bloom in the world would make me want to endure that…

Hope to help!

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7 Responses

  1. Alex, I was up at 3:00 AM on Friday, to get to Borrego Springs at 5:00 and be in place where I wanted to shoot by about half an hour before sunrise. No traffic at all at that hour! But by 9:00 it was already getting insane. Can’t imagine being part of the mid-morning to midday crowds the next couple weekends!

  2. It took us an hour to travel the last 6 miles into Borrego Springs on Saturday (3/11) around noon. And it looked just as backed up on our way out on Sunday around 10 AM. Good wildflower display around Arroyo Salado where we camped. Enjoy seeing your photographs from all over the San Diego area.

    1. Thanks William! So you were actually sitting in the traffic we saw when we drove back – sorry that you had to endure that. Camping and staying over night sounds like a really good idea though – I hope you had fun despite the crowds in the hot spots!

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