I just got back from an extended weekend in Carrizo Plain to check out the wildflowers. The flowers aren’t quite up to the standards of the ‘superbloom’ you might keep hearing about, but after several years of drought it was great to see so much color! They look pretty good right now, and we even saw some significant differences in the same space in a 24 hour period.

Below are a few shots of flowers and the locations we found them. For more photos, check out the link in the ‘If You Go’ box on the right.

Our first stop was along Shell Creek Road. There were some blankets of goldfield and tidy tip, but nothing too spectacular. This has been a booming area on some of our previous visits, so we might have just been a bit early this year.

Shell Creek Road Wildflowers
Shell Creek Road Wildflowers

Inside the park, we found the best display of wildflowers along Simmler Road. The coreopsis is bright and healthy.

Carrizo Plain Coreopsis
Carrizo Plain Coreopsis

On Friday, we didn’t see much south of Simmler, but on Saturday we found a gorgeous landscape of goldfield on the west side of the road just north of the Caliente Ridge turnoff.

Goldfield and Caliente Ridge
Goldfield and Caliente Ridge

On the east side of Soda Lake across from the goldfield, a dense blanket of tidy tips, coreopsis, goldfield, and phaecalia made for a colorful landscape.

Multiple colors in Carrizo
Multiple colors in Carrizo

The east side of the park was a bit disappointing compared to previous years. The north facing slopes were lightly colored in yellow, but there wasn’t much variety or contrast.

Temblor Range color
Temblor Range color

On the south end of the park, a dense field of phaecelia is striking from a distance – it looks like a purple lake in the middle of the plain. Up close, it is fragrant (sweet and fruity) and gorgeous!

'Lake' of Phaecelia
‘Lake’ of Phaecelia

If you spend some time poking around washes and the canyons you’ll probably find other goodies too.

It’s hard to say if the flowers still have yet to peak or are past peak. Poppies were just starting to appear, and I didn’t see many grey or brown fading flowers. My guess is that there is still plenty to come, so rearrange your calendar and make plans to visit soon!

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