Phoenix Area and Northern AZ

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Note: Spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year in the desert, but it can also be a time for caution. Rattlesnakes lie dormant during the cold fall and winter months and awaken from hibernation in the warm months of March and April. Another reason to stay on the trails. More...

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2017 Phoenix Area and Northern AZ Reports

Aug 24, 2017 BLM reports: Southern Arizona can look pretty lackluster most summers -not this year. The monsoon season has brought vivid colors to the desert. Greenery is flourishing all around your public lands, poppies can be found near washes throughout the desert, and the barrel cacti are showing off there vibrant petals.

May 8, 2017 Will reports: These wild flowers are located on the Horton creek trail. There are several patches at the beginning of the trail. Tonto National Forest

May 2, 2017 Grand Canyon Association reports: South Rim cactus now blooming

April 14, 2017 Kenneth reports: Petrified Forest/Painted Desert National Park 

March 31, 2017 Cindy reports: (3-29) I drove up Highway 188 from Globe to the connection to the Apache Trail.Highway 188 had a good mix of flowers in full bloom starting a few miles north of Globe. In the spot pictured (a safety pull-off for trucks) I found two kinds of poppies, orange mallow, a few lupines, some hot pink penstemon, and lots of things I don't know the names for! There was no brittle brush in this area, and nothing white.Farther north it is mostly brittle brush - but lots and lots of it. There are also a few spots with flowers along the Apache trail with a few flowers, but not very many. (Not even much brittle brush.) As reported the a few days ago, there are still a lot of poppies along Highway 60 in Claypool.

March 31, 2017 John reports: BLM lands just north of New River, Arizona. Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March 30, 2017 Frank reports: North of Phoenix 20 mi I17 corridor awesome Brittle brush blooms. Also apparent Globe Mallow, Lupine, and Ocotillo coming into bloom.

March 29, 2017 Jeff reports: Taken on 3/19 just south of Wickenburg on S Vulture Mine Rd.

March 25, 2017 Cole reports: Pictures of Hells Canyon Wilderness and Castle Hot Springs. I forgot the date the pictures were taken. 3/22/2017

March 22, 2017 Paul reports: Goldpoppies are thick and robust as you drive highway 60 through Claypool between Miami and Globe, AZ - bordering the highway with breathtaking color in time to welcome visitors to Globe's annual Historic Home & Building tour April 8-9. Watch for patches of tall yellow wallflower as you drive highway 60, too - and if you're on the road at night roll down the windows -- don't miss the pungent, candy-sweet fragrance of Night-scented Stock flowering acres of hillsides near the Fry's plaza. Patches of bright red Penstemon barbatus can be seen along highway 60 - this photo shows a vivid one we found Monday at sunset while hiking foothills below the Pinal Mountains. We also enjoyed large patches of Fairy Duster in prime color, and the season's first Rabbit Thorn (Lyceum pallidum) blooming; plus sundrops and bluedicks. Late March and early April are primetime for an afternoon/evening wildflower in the foothills around Globe and Miami!

March 22, 2017 Pat reports: Today, along Pinal Pioneer Parkway, AZ 79, just South of Florence AZ I rook the following pictures of Globe Mallows - what was amazing is I stood in one place and was able to get 5 different colors of blooms. The mallows are on both sides of the highway for miles.

March 20, 2017 Warren reports: White Tank Mountain Regional Park. Waddell AZ Time to go is now.

March 20, 2017 Brian reports: Taken on March 8 a few minutes before sunset in the Superstition Wilderness a few hundred yards Northeast of the Lost Dutchman State Park gate. Crazy orange light - lasted about two or three minutes. Very few wildflowers. A poppy here and there, but certainly nothing much to break up the uncommonly green desert floor.

March 17, 2017 Barb Reports: A huge ara of sand verbena on the 347 S. on the west side North of Gila River headed toward Maricopa, AZ

March 17, 2017 Debbie reports: East on 62 to Parker. Here is what we saw yesterday afternoon on Route 62 about eight miles west of Parker, AZ - entire hillsides in bloom - the motherload:

March 16, 2017 Erin reports: Sara Park, lake Havasu 3/14

March 14, 2017 Bruce reports: Rte 74 on the way to Wickenburg, west of the Lake Pleasant turnoff. Lots of lupines and poppies, Globe Mallow w/ very bright orange blooms.

March 14, 2017 Bob reports: Daisy Mountain Anthem Az. March 11

March 14, 2017 Wesley reports: Stopped at several sites on the way to Los Angeles this weekend (3/11, 3/12), and the desert was green from Phoenix to Palm Springs.

For those wondering about Western Arizona, I have the following updates:

First, the Eagletail Mountains are fairly dry; there are some decent sized patches of bladderpod mustard for photography at a distance of 10 miles or so, but many of these have unavoidable wires or structures in the shot; no owl clover was visible.

Saddle Mountain is better; very little owl clover, but fields of bladderpod mustard are to the west and a few scattered poppies and poppy patches are visible from Courthouse Road.

Gibraltar Mountains off Shea Road has some nice patches of mainly yellow cups and a little scorpionweed-one fairly large patch of yellow cups about 10 miles in; the beavertail are out and blooming nicely.

The Lightning Bolt Trail (but less so the Buckskin Trail) have scorpionweed, yellow cups and good beavertail blooms at Buckskin Mountain State Part--worth a visit if you are in the area. Between Parker and the park itself the roadsides and the desert have good blooms of the same.

March 13, 2017 Laura reports: Bartlett Lake area March 11

March 13, 2017 Son reports: 3/12 in Black Mountains between Oatman and Golden Valley.

March 13, 2017 x-x reports: These were taken south of Oatman, Az. March 11th ,2017. Have never seen as many poppies in this area!

March 13, 2017 Jim reports: photos Sun Mar 12 in the hills west of Quartzite, AZ, Map We’re hoping to get out there in a couple weeks for a long weekend, so I will share whatever I find.

March 13, 2017 Penny reports: ​​​​South Mountain Park/Preserve, main entrance March 11, 2017.

March 13, 2017 Sharon reports: Taken March 12, 2017 along Trail 101 of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve near North Mountain. Have a feeling this is the "peak" here in the Phoenix area There are Poppies, Lupine, Triangle Leaf Bursage, Globe Mallow, Creosote, Desert Senna, Brittle Bush, Desert Hyacinth, Phacelia, Fiddle Neck, Gilia. Only a few Barrel Cactus have a couple of flowers on them. Have seen some with buds. There are buds on the Buckhorn Cholla. Have not seen buds on Hedge Hog Cactus yet.

March 11, 2017 William reports: These photos were taken March 10 at White Tank Mountain Regional Park. The area has more blooms than seen in many years. We saw lots of brittlebush, lupine, mallow and poppies. Some areas are yet to bloom so things will be looking good for a few weeks. Flowers bring lots of local traffic, especially on weekends.

March 10, 2017 Bernadette reports: Photos taken March 8, 2017 on the Chuckwalla trail at Skyline Regional park in Buckeye, AZ

March 10, 2017 Dick reports: (Peridot Mesa (PM)): We visited PM on the afternoon of 8 March and the early am on 9 March. We have never seen such a mass of Poppies in such a small area. I photographed other small flowers, which I do not know the name of.

The turnoff to the entrance to PM is from Route 70, just east of Mile Post 268 on the north side of the road. The access road is dirt and somewhat rough. There were a number of passenger cars parked along the dirt road. Attachment 1 Looking west from the dirt road, in the pm on 8 March Attachment 2 Mystery Flower, am on 9 March A further note, the poppies do not open up until after 9am

March 9, 2017 Mary reports: I found a lot of Ghost Flowers on the Parker strip, North of Parker, on March 8th, 2017


March 9, 2017 Paul reports: Spur Cross (Maricopa Trail), Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, Cave Creek, AZ, March 7, 2017.

March 8, 2017 Sean reports: Just wanted to share this night photo I took last night out in the Superstition Mountains just East of PHX. I'm no flower expert but I've seen all sorts of colored flowers out there. I think bloom peak will be in the next 5-10 days.

March 8, 2017 Will reports: These were taken at the Sonoran preserve valley verde trail. At the end of the trail there are hills of flowers.

March 7, 2017 Rick reports: Bartlett Lake on 3/6/17

March 7, 2017 Barbara reports: Bluebells are in a huge patch of poppies, scorpion weed and a few fairy duster at the corner of Ellsworth and McKellin Road, Mesa, AZ

Poppies in the fields off the Bush HWY just north of Saguaro Lake, AZ

March 7, 2017 Andy reports: Peridot Mesa is carpeted with poppies. Based on dead flowers and buds I'd estimate that this was very near the peak.

March 7, 2017 Tom reports: If you are looking for waves of poppies to photograph don't bother with Apache Trail yet. Only found one large patch and it was way down over the bank. Used my 55-200 but got nothing special. Most poppies were in groups of 3-5ish. Wind was blowing, so not much came out sharp. Lots of tiny flowers, just not many poppies.

March 7, 2017 Christal reports: Hello these were taken in East Mesa. Ellsworth and Mckellips 3/5/2017

March 7, 2017 Will reports: These were taken at Lost Dutchman state park in the treasure loop trail. Everything is green and there are patches of hillsides with flowers. Taken Sunday 3/5/17

March 6, 2017 Karen and Bill report: Poppies, lupines, Fiddlestick, and others on Daisy Mountain in New River 3/5/17

March 6, 2017 Carl from Oklahoma reports: These pics taken, Saturday, March 4, 2017, at Bartlett Lake. Several hillsides along the north frontage road had large carpets of poppies on display. Many poppies down by the road as well. There are many white poppies, easy to find most anywhere along the road. Also, there are many small lupines but no stands of them. Also many other flowering bushes and smaller flowers. The time to be there is now. Being from Oklahoma, I have no ides how long poppies last, but I bet this approaching weekend is as good as or better than the one just ending. Also, I saw many stands of poppies springing up on the Bush highway, near Saguaro Lake.

March 6, 2017 Will reports: Lake Bartlett Saturday March 4, 2017

March 6, 2017 Diana reports: Important note for those wishing to see the amazing flush of poppies going on now at Peridot Mesa. Bashas’ nearby no longer sells San Carlos Res. Recreation permits and apparently hasn’t since we got our last one there a couple years ago. You’ll see the recommendation for Bashas’ on lots of earlier wildflower sighting posts on the web.

You have to get them from either the Circle K on Hwy 60 in Globe or from the San Carlos Fish & Game office on the reservation—that office closes at noon on Saturdays and does not reopen till Monday morning. So, to save time and backtracking, stop at the Circle K in Globe on the way to Peridot Mesa.

March 6, 2017 Shazieh reports: We were at peridot Mesa in the San Carlos apache reservation 3/4/17 and the poppies were phenomenal. Entire hillsides and more covered and glimmering!

We approached from Globe after purchasing a permit at the circle k off 77 in globe. Then we back tracked and jumped on to 70 and drove about 11 miles after which to the left you can see hillsides covered. There is a white cattle gate in a H shape (two H posts) you take a left through there on the dirt road and explore away!

March 6, 2017 Thomas reports: Drone and Land Shots of Peridot Mesa Poppies taken 03/04/2017

March 6, 2017 Andrea reports: White Tanks Regional Park Wadell, AZ


More 2017 report on page 2


More Information

Wildflower Field Guide

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 and wildflowers photos.

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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Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...

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