Anza-Borrego DSP Area Wildflowers

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Introduction Package

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2018 Anza Borrego Desert - Wildflower Reports

Aug 24, 2018 DesertUSA reports: The southern part of the park got some rain. The Ocotillos are very green now.

Aug 19, 2018 DesertUSA reports: More rain last week, palm canyon had flash flood, and there was some rain in the mountains. Most of the desert is still very dry. Here are a few pictures.



Aug 4, 2018 DesertUSA reports: Major flash flooding in Fish Creek through Split Mountain, near Ocotillo Wells in July and Borrogo Springs also got some rain.

May 25, 2018 DesertUSA reports: Century plants are in bloom in Mine canyon.

May 17, 2018 DesertUSA reports: Century plants are in bloom in many areas.

May 5, 2018 DesertUSA reports: Several desert willow trees are in bloom in the wash on the way to Font's Point. Century plants are in bloom in many areas.


April 27, 2018 DesertUSA reports: It will be heating up in the lower desert. Most of the wildflowers are gone, though some are still blooming at the higher elevations and along the Pacific Coast Trail.


April 20, 2018 DesertUSA reports: Wildflowers are well past their peak in the lower desert, though there are still some wildflowers along Montezuma Valley Road.

April 13, 2018 DesertUSA reports: The low desert is hot and dried out – most wildflowers are gone. Hiking into the upper canyons you should find some wildflowers. Some are in bloom along Montezuma Valley Road at the higher levels.

April 2, 2018 Anza-Borrego Desert State Park reports: What a nice Easter surprise! The first buds on our Desert Agave flowering stalk are opening!

April 1, 2018  Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports: The Ocotillo forests from Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (on Highway 78), west to the turn to Borrego Springs Road, are awash in a sea of red right now. 

There are also some pretty Ocotillo specimens blooming along Borrego Springs Road after the Texas Dip to the Air Ranch.

Mar 30, 2018 DesertUSA reports: A few barrel cactus are in bloom in the lower end of Grape Vine Canyon and we found this fish hook cactus in bloom in Mine Canyon. The first few miles of Coyote Canyon have a few wildflowers - you'll see them if you get out of the car and walk through the area along the road. There are not many, so it's like a treasure hunt.


Mar 26, 2018 Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports: The bloom is just coming on, it being a dryer and cooler winter. Not much in the way of annuals (yet?), but nice blooms on cacti, ocotillo, and shrubs. And the Palo Verde trees are just starting.


Mar 23, 2018 DesertUSA reports: A few cactus are starting to bloom in Mine Canyon off of Rt 78.


Mar 20, 2018 Mary reports: I agree that finding flowers is a hunt this year at Anza Borrego.  On a quick look at Little Surprise Canyon and Palm Canyon all I saw were a few blooms on Chuparosa. The Cactus Loop Trail had a few Barrel Cactus budding but no annuals. The Visitor Center Trail had Chuparosa, Barrel and Beaver Tail Cactus starting to bloom.

The wonder in the park is the first mile of the Coyote Canyon dirt road that Desert USA mentioned earlier in March. Thousands of little green shoots are coming up. Walk carefully to avoid stepping on the fragile plants. A few of the plant are coming into bloom. Verbena, Cryptantha and Dune Evening Primrose are the most common wildflowers in this area. There were scattered Desert Gold and Lupine also coming into bloom. I saw a total of 15 species blooming including Spanish Needle, Dune Sunflower, Spectacle Pod, California Primrose, Chicory and Desert Lily. Further up the road towards Desert Garden there are Barrel Cactus, Beavertail Cactus and Ocotillo blooming as well as some Desert Dandelions.

The Saturday morning rain created a two hour rainbow over the mountains but only a few sprinkles on the desert. It looks to be a race to see whether the seedlings become the victims of a few hot days or if a rainstorm makes it to the desert to allow them to grow.



Mar 16, 2018 DesertUSA reports: The rain is not getting to this part of the desert and there are few wildflowers. It's a real wildflower hunt this year. Not many cactus are in bloom at this time.

Mar 9, 2018 DesertUSA reports: We have a micro bloom on the first mile past where the pavement on Di Giorgio Road ends and the dirt road of Coyote Canyon starts. You'll have to get out of your car and walk to the small washes to see the wildflowers. Please walk in the washes so you don't step on the wildflowers. See photos below. There are still some wildflowers blooming between the 2nd and 3rd crossing on 4X4 Coyote Canyon Road. The cactus are not blooming yet in the areas we checked, but in Mine Wash off of RT 78 there are some with buds (see map on Feb 9 report). Rain is possible this weekend.

Fishhook Cactus in Mine Canyon


Mar 2, 2018 DesertUSA reports: Not much rain reached the park this week; some rain may get to the area over the weekend. The wildflower outlook is not good at this time, though the cactus should start to bloom soon.

Feb 23, 2018 DesertUSA reports: Rain is in the forecast for late next week. We checked the area in Mine Canyon off of Rt 78 – there wasn't much there, just some ocotillo in bloom. Next we went to Coyote Canyon Road. On the first 200 yards off of the pavement on Di Giorgio Road there's some germination and we found a desert lily well on its way to blooming. If it rains next week this could be a good area for wildflowers in a few weeks.

Based on Angee's report of 2/2/18 we proceeded down to the second crossing on Coyote Canyon Road. Note you'll need a high clearance vehicle with 4 wheel drive for this. There are some rocks in the road but it's in good condition. There's no water in the first crossing but the second crossing has some shallow water in it. I never had to use 4 wheel drive on the trip but it's good to have it available in case you pull off in the sand. We parked by the gate in the picture and in the next 100 yards past the gate we found many wildflowers (pictures below).


Feb 21, 2018 Angee reports: ​Photos were taken 2/19/18 between the first and second crossing in Coyote Canyon in Anza Borrego Desert State Park in California. Ocotillo were blooming all over the park. 


Feb 16, 2018 DUSA reports: Still waiting for rain for the wildflowers, the cactus should start to bloom in a few weeks.


Feb 9, 2018 DUSA reports: No rain yet, we found a few wildflowers in the Grapevine Canyon area near Rt 78 and in Plum Canyon see map below. Lots of Chuparosa in bloom in Plum Canyon and some Ocotillos. Here are some pictures from the area. Not looking good at this time, we need rain to get the wildflowers going.

Desert Lavender and Bee



Sugar Sumac

Cactus in the dry desert

Feb 2, 2018 DUSA reports: No more rain yet, A few wildflowers can found in the upper elevations of the park, along Grapevine Canyon and near the 2nd crossing in Coyote Canyon.


Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers: Species in bloom - has a good chart of the blooms for this season.

Jan 9, 2018 DUSA reports: The rain is falling in the Anza Borrego desert today. There are still some wildflowers blooming in Coyote Canyon and other places that got rain in Sep 2017. The rain today should help start this years wildflower bloom.



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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 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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