A few tips on where to find the best displays of desert wildflowers.
Check our wildflower reports and maps to find the best wildflower displays. One of the factors that makes desert wildflowers unique and beautiful is that they bring color to an otherwise barren desert landscape. The isolated fields of colorful blooms are only found in desert destinations where water run off and soil conditions have combined with warm temperatures to create the perfect environment for wildflowers to bloom.
A few comments by our readers indicated that they visited the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park or other desert parks, but didn’t see any wildflowers. The wildflowers tend to bloom in specific areas of the desert. To find and enjoy these colorful blooms, you will want to plan ahead and research the DesertUSA Wildflower Reports submitted by our readers and view the related maps. If you are near a Park Visitor’s Center, the rangers can provide park maps and show you where to find the best displays.
In Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, there are four or five good wildflower destinations that have a good showing.
Di Gorgio Road – North end of road near the entrance to Coyote Canyon is one of the better displays. Another visitor shared photos of yellow fields of flowers on Di Gorgio Rd. just out of the park boundaries. To view photos of the wildflowers at these locations and to see a map, click here.
Ocotillo Wells SVRA – The Discovery Center has information about where to view the flowers, and they will have maps too. The park has set up a parking area near Devil’s Slide, where they have good wildflower displays. Click here for more details about wildflowers in Ocotillo Wells SVRA.
S-22 – Park near miles 30 and 31 and view the purple fields of sand verbena. A variety of wildflowers are in bloom between 33 and 36 mile markers in the washes and canyons. You will also see some colorful blooms and a variety of widlfowers near Arroyo Salado Campground in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. To view photos of the wildflowers at these locations and to view a map, click here.
S-2 – June Wash has good displays of a variety of flowers. Other displays can be seen at Mountain Palm Springs Trail. Click here to see the locations of wildflower displays in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
In Joshua Tree National Park the only wildflower displays are on Cottonwood Springs Rd. off of I-10. You will see purple and yellow flowers along both sides of the road leading into the south entrance to the park.
To view current photos of the wildflower displays at the south entrance to Joshua Tree National Park, click here.
Southern Arizona wildflower reports indicate there are abundant displays of blooming desert wildflowers and are close to reaching their peak bloom. To view photos of the Southern Arizona wildflowers and to read the visitor reports with links to maps, click here.
The best locations to view the desert wildflowers in 2019 are …
Catalina State Park – The rangers at the park report that the wildflowers are in bloom there. Photos.
Picacho Peak near Tuscon, AZ – Pat reported on March 9th that there are patches of lupine, poppies and a variety of other wildflowers at Picacho Peak.
Saguaro National Park – The March 8th report by Andy indicates that the flowers are in peak bloom.
Organ Pipe National Park – Jackie reported on March 8th that the blooms in Organ Pipe NP are about to reach their peak bloom. Poppies are blooming by Arch Canyon and lupine along Ajo Loop Rd. Tom reported poppies and other flowers blooming in Grass Canyon.
Bartlett Lake – Robert reported abundant lupine and poppies on March 8th, 2019.
Peridot Mesa – Several reports have come in from Peridot Mesa indicating good displays of poppies. Reports are from March 4th & 9th, 2019.
South Mountain Park – Phoenix, AZ has a variety of wildflowers blooming along the Alta Trail.