Unlike other parts of the United States where the wet winter weather causes a lot of trouble, California thrives in rain. Especially California’s lifeless and arid-looking desert, which is magically transformed by rain into a stunning super bloom of colorful wild flowers.
Unfortunately, the extraordinary California desert super bloom is something quite rare in this barren area. Most of the time, California doesn’t get enough rain, so desert blooms are usually small or inexistent.
But from time to time, after a rainy winter, even the driest desert like Death Valley looks like it has been painted with with color. There is yellow, purple, red, blue and even green in the brown desert.
Where to See the California Desert Super Bloom
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
The colorful array of wildflowers popping up in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park makes the area look more like a big garden than a desert. According to the park officials, it’s the biggest bloom they have seen in 20 years!
Anza Borego is a really beautiful state park to visit during other times of the year as well. A nice weekend getaway from Los Angeles!
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree is one of the best national parks to visit in March, when it gets its fare share of beauty. There are flowers everywhere: dune primrose, beavertail cactus, sand verbena, chuparosa, mariposa lily and wild Canterbury bells.
At Joshua Tree National Park the super bloom is fantastic! Even the Joshua tree itself is in bloom, a rare and spectacular event that doesn’t happen every year. What is even more interesting about this phenomenon is that it’s synchronized.
The bloom happens in the same year, at about the same time throughout the desert areas. The ocotillo and beavertail cactus are beginning to bloom too.
With such a display of beauty, there is no surprise that people are flocking to see the colors covering the hills and valleys of the California desert. Visitors are coming from as far as Europe, Africa and Asia.
The California super bloom is so rare and so special, that looky-loos seem to forget about the torrid temperatures in the desert and sometimes end up fainting from dehydration.
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When to See the California Super Bloom
Springtime is the best season to see the desert in California bloom. However, this is short lived event that starts late February and lasts till mid march.
But if you want to see a desert super bloom in California you should pray for rain! If we have heavy rains winter, the desert will be out-of-this-world beautiful and the bloom will most likely last till mid April.
The best time of the day to visit the desert is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, just before the sun sets. Evenings are particularly beautiful in the desert. When the evening breeze starts blowing, the temperature gets cooler and the sweet smell of wild flowers begins filling up the air.
During the day time temperatures in the desert may raise up to 92ºF, making it hard to appreciate the scenery.