Cottonwood Visitor’s Center
Joshua Tree National Park
California Desert Wildflowers
April 9th, 2012

If you enter the Joshua Tree National Park from the south entrance off of the I-10 heading towards the Cottonwood Visitor’s Center, there is a nice stretch of desert on the right side of the road that usually has good wildflower displays.

Apricot globe mallow next to the red chuparosa.

Every year I visit this area in April to see what is blooming.   I parked along the side of the road and walked through fields of chia towards the hills.  It is along the rocky slopes that you will find the beavertail cactus.  They were in bloom and I found a few that were a short climb up from the wash.

Beavertail cactus were blooming with more buds ready to open.

The ocotillo were blooming and the red tips stood out in the desert landscape.  An abundance  of red, orange and white spotted the wash in clusters.  The apricot globe mallow was in full bloom and when viewed next to a blooming chuparosa it was an explosion of color.  The silvery-white petals of the Sand Blazing Star glistened in the sunlight and made a nice contrast to the other blooming plants.

There were a few barrel cactus in full bloom and other native plants.  View the gallery below to see a variety of what you will encounter if you go.  The season is just peaking in this area, so I suggest that you go within the next 5 days to see the best wildflower displays.

Sand Blazing Star
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Lynn Bremner is the author of, a blog about desert road trips and tips. She started the blog after moving to Indio, CA where she now resides. Now a true desert dweller, Lynn has added in some of her own views on desert living. The heat does not keep her indoors in the summertime. She is out running, golfing or taking short day trips to some of the local points of interest. After years of traveling along the dusty, desert trails with her father, she has come to appreciate the beauty and solitude of the desert landscape. Her father’s passion for prospecting, desert lore and exploring the desert parks took their family to many interesting places, mostly in California, Nevada and Arizona. Lynn now writes about her desert road trips and intertwines a little bit of desert living into the mix.


  1. Thanks Lynn, I enjoy your travel logs very much, desert usa is an enjoyable site, view it often, very informative. thank you


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