Joshua Tree NP - Wildflower Reports

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2017 Joshua Tree Wildflower Reports

Jan 20, 2017 Joshua Tree NP reports: Most dirt roads are currently closed due to rain and flood damage. They will likely be closed through the weekend and until further notice.

Jan 13, 2017 Joshua Tree NP reports: Rain in park, several road closed due to rainfall. Keys Ranch ranger-led tours are cancelled thru the weekend due to rainfall and poor road conditions.

Jan 1, 2017 Raymond reports: Just returned from a trip to Joshua Tree NP. They've had lots of rain and many plants are starting to put out leaves. We didn't see many wildflowers yet, but between mile markers 28 and 29 on the Pinto Basin Road I stopped to look at many blooming Bladderpods and shot some not very good pictures of blooming Filaree (Erodium cicutarium) by the side of the road. There weren't many of the Filaree, but then again they are a little easy to miss at 45mph.





2016 Joshua Tree Wildflower Reports

Dec 23, 2016 DUSA Report: Scattered rains are predicted later in the week. Expect flooded areas, foggy conditions, and other hazards on the roads. Dirt roads within the park are closed due to flooding. This is the rain that we need to get the wildflowers started.

Photo by NPS/Hannah Schwalbe

Nov 23, 2016 DUSA Report: Not much rain at this time, the wildflowers will come out once we get some rain. The weather is nice at this time of year and the camping sites are full for the holiday weekend.

May 23, 2016 Pam Report: Driving from Joshua Tree town 5/18/16 into the National Park there were clearly no wildflowers along the road as there were just a month ago. I figured that this time of year the best chance to still see some wildflowers would likely be in wash areas. These pictures were taken near the Ohlson house (Wonderland Ranch) - I wandered into the adjacent wonderland of rocks wash and then others were taken at Wall Street Mill and the walk back to the parking area. There were still many buds on the prickly pears but most of the other blooms seemed to be having their last "hurrah."


May 13, 2016 Gregory Report: Pictures from our May 7 trip to Joshua Tree National Park, taken at a high elevation on the way to Keys View.


May 9, 2016 Pamela Report: 5/8/16 I went to the Wall Street Mill trail, where you see the Ohlson house (AKA Wonderland ranch) and then wandered into the wonderland of rocks where besides fabulous rock formations there were wildflowers here and there of all kinds. New Mexico Thistle seems to be particularly abundant this spring! I saw lots and lots of prickly pear cacti filled with blooms ready to burst. Within a week or two there should be heaps of blooms. (Lots of lizards too.)

May 9, 2016 Alex Report: JTNP, California riding a shining trail, just east of backcountry board at geology tour road.


May 7, 2016 Jimbo Report: As of 5/2/16 the Split Rock loop trail has more than a hundred small hedgehog cacti and desert liveforever in bloom. During the course of the 2 mile trail we also saw a few dozen pincusion blooming. I'd expect the cacti to continue to bloom for at least another week. However, wildflowers were sparse. About the only place that we saw a decent bloom was in the Lost Horse Valley. A half-mile stretch along the road to Key's View was spectacular.

We saw at least a dozen difference types of wildflowers en masse. It was about half-way between the turnoff to Key's view from Park Blvd and the dirt road turn-off to Lost Horse Mine. It extended a half mile in either direction from the road. So, it was quite a large area. If this area lasts another week it'll be unusual. However, Joshua Tree has been received some rain during the course of the last month. The day we were there it was acually drizzling! If you want to see these wildflowers, I wouldn't dawdle. We drove from the west entrance station to the south entrance and other than the Lost Horse Valley, things looked like they were pretty much done for the year.


May 3, 2016 Irina and Gregory Report: April 30 was chilly, windy, and a little wet. In other words, decent desert conditions for wildflowers. We took these pictures mostly in Smoke Tree Wash, one of my favorite parts of the park, largely because less crowded than most of the park now is. Here, my flowers don't get trampled as often and have a chance at life.


April 29, 2016 Pam Reports: 3/28/16 I went to the Lost Horse Area which is the only road turn-off between Boy Scout Trail and Hidden Valley. The turn off to this area is an unmarked gravel road with a stop sign and a restroom right at the turn. It then turns into a smooth dirt road with several pull out areas and we hiked from the fourth turn-out and took the "climbing access trail" for Lost Horse Wall. (There are trail markers.) It was a treasure trove of wildflowers in some respects - especially popcorn flowers and more New Mexico thistle than I've ever seen on one hike! If you hike far enough (about a mile) the trail actually meets up with the Hidden Valley loop trail.


More 2016 report on page 2


Spring Blooming Periods

Lower Elevations: 1,000 – 3,000 feet

Yuccas—March and April
Annuals—February, March, and April
Cacti—March, April, and May

Higher Elevations: 3,000 – 5,000 feet

Joshua Trees and Yuccas—March and April
Annuals—March, April, and May
Cacti—April, May, and June

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When will the desert wildflowers bloom?
We start our report in January, plan your visit to coincide with the peak of the bloom - keep up to date with DesertUSA's Wildflower Reports. Be sure to bookmark this page for weekly updates.

We'd like to see your pictures too. E-mail your digital photos and reports to Use Wildflower Report as the subject of your e-mail. Let us know where you took the photo and the date. We will post them on our wildflower reports. Thanks for your support and photos.

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Photos tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.

Wildflower Field Guide page.

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