Best Places To See Spring Wildflowers in SoCal With Kids!


Spring is almost here and wildflowers are starting to bloom everywhere (hopefully). There are several locations known for spectacular annual displays of spring wildflowers in Southern California, which are all listed here.

Point Mugu State Park

9000 Pacific Coast Hwy.

Malibu, CA 90265

(310) 457-8143

Point Mugu State Park features five miles of ocean shoreline, with rocky bluffs, sandy beaches, sand dunes, rugged hills and uplands, two major river canyons and wide grassy valleys dotted with sycamores, oaks and a few native walnuts.

There are more than 70 miles of hiking trails. The park includes the jagged pinnacles of the Boney Mountains State Wilderness Area. The wildflower display along the Backbone Trail is absolutely breathtaking in Spring. (Note that the La Jolla Canyon Trail is still mostly washed away and does not make it all the way to the waterfall anymore!)


Palos Verdes Peninsula

916 Silver Spur Rd, #207

Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

Email: info@pvplc.org

(310) 541-7613

On the Palos Verdes Peninsula, wildflowers bloom year-round, but like most Southern California locations, March and April are peak months. You may see fiddlenecks on the east side of the Chandler Preserve, where monarch butterflies hang out, as well as deerweed, poppies and more. Lupines can be seen at White Point Nature Preserve, while hiking the Mariposa, Flying Mane and Basalt trails in Palos Verdes Nature Preserve will lead you to red paintbrush. You should also find blooms of California bush sunflower, mariposa lilies and wild hyacinth across the peninsula. You should always call before you go for the status of the wildflowers.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy also welcomes families to family-oriented nature walks led by volunteer naturalists, historians, and geologists. The Walk Leaders will help you discover another side of the Palos Verdes Peninsula with unique stories about the birds, wildlife, and plants of this rare open space. For up-to-date information on a walk, call (310) 541-7613. RSVP here for a Nature Walk.

FIND THE BEST SUMMER CAMPS FOR YOUR KIDS AT NO TIME!


Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

1500 N. College Ave

Claremont, CA 91711

909-625-8767 ext. 200

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is the largest botanic garden dedicated to California native plants. This privately-funded Claremont is a living museum and vibrant center of learning. Plants bloom as they do in the wild at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. The best time to see the wildflowers here are between March 24th through April 29th.

On the weekends between March 24 through April 29 (Saturdays,10 a.m. and Sundays, 1 p.m.) there are also guided walking tours with Garden nature interpreters featuring beautiful California wildflowers and seasonal highlights. Tours are approximately 60-90 minutes. Free with standard Garden admission. Tours depart from the admissions kiosk.

Admission: Adults: $9, Children ages 3-12: $4, Children under 3: Free.


Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve

15101 Lancaster Road

Lancaster, CA 93536

661-946-6092

Each spring, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve comes alive with the seasonal surprises of the Mojave Desert Grassland habitat. The duration and intensity of colors and scents vary from year to year. The wildflower season generally lasts from as early as mid-February through May, with a variety of wildflowers creating a mosaic of color that changes daily.

Eight miles of trails through the gentle rolling hills, including a paved section for wheelchair access, make the park a wonderful place to hike and explore any season. Get away from the city and relax in the quietude of the countryside, with the birds singing and hawks gliding silently overhead. Benches located along the trails make good places to sit quietly and watch for wildlife, such as meadow larks, lizards, and gopher snakes. If you're lucky, you may spot a coyote or bobcat. Numerous burrows around the trails may shelter mice, gophers, kangaroo rats, beetles, scorpions, or others.


Hungry Valley SVRA

Gold Hill Road near N Peace Valley Road

Gorman, CA 93243

661-248-7007

The wildflowers of Tejon Pass are world renown for their color and abundance. In spring, California Poppies, Goldfields, Lupine, Tidy Tips and other flowers turn the grassy hillsides brilliant shades of orange, yellow and purple. During wildflower season, Hungry Valley SVRA has a self-guided tour route that begins at the Visitor Center and is marked by distinctive blue and white flower signs. (Download the PDF version of the wildflower tour map.) Call to check the status of the wildflowers before you go.


Chino Hills State Park

4721 Sapphire Rd.

Chino Hills, CA 91709

951-780-6222

Every season brings an unusually colorful variety of plants and flowers, offering home to plenty of nesting birds. Coyotes, deer, bobcats and other mammals are also often seen in the woodlands, scrub and grasslands. Call before you go to check the status of wildflowers.


Saddleback Butte State Park

East Avenue J and 170th Street East

Lancaster, CA 93535

(661) 946-6092

The best time to catch the wildflower is in the springtime (February through May) when wildflowers are apt to put on a beautiful display of color. Saddleback Butte State Park is also home to many once-abundant desert species such as coyotes and kit foxes, desert tortoises, jack rabbits, cottontail rabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, many kinds of snakes and lizards, and the occasional badger or skunk.

Bird life includes many migratory species, and a few permanent residents-golden eagles, hawks, ravens, and owls, and some smaller birds such as rock and cactus wrens, thrashers, blackbirds, horned larks, ladderbacked woodpeckers, sparrows, finches, and loggerhead shrikes.

The Little Butte Trail is about 2.5 miles to the peak and can be picked up from below the day-use area. The trails begin on a mild slope through moderately loose sand among creosote bushes and Joshua trees to the base of the butte where they merge.


Carlsbad Ranch

5704 Paseo Del Norte

Carlsbad, CA, 92008

(760) 431 0352

Every Spring, Mother Nature transforms the rolling hills of North San Diego County into one of the most spectacular and coordinated displays of natural color and beauty anywhere in the world. The nearly 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that make up the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch are in bloom for approximately six to eight weeks each year - from early March through early May.

Besides walking amid the ranunculuses, you can take a guided wagon tour, wander in a sweet pea maze, and visit Santa's Playground. There are also three acres of roses, orchids, sweet pea blossoms, petunias and an ocean-view. Click here to see the full list of activities.

Adult admissions are $16-$18 and kids are $8-10. You can purchase your passes here.

We recommend that you call before you make your plans to check the status of the blooms at each park.



Cover Photo: Chuck Graham