Plan your trip with our Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Introduction Package
E-mail your digital photos and reports to Jim@desertusa.com. Use Wildflower Report as the subject of your e-mail. Let us know where you took the photo and the date.
How to get to the park - Map - You can also tour the 133 full-sized metal sculptures here that are inspired by creatures that roamed this same desert millions of years ago.
Need a place to stay? Get rates - More on the park: Park Information.
2019 Anza Borrego Desert - Wildflower Reports
Jan 18, 2019 DesertUSA reports: Visited the park on Wednesday, a foggy day with some sun breaking through, the park was still wet from the rain and very green, found a few areas that have started to produce some wildflowers, In another two to three weeks it could be a start of good wildflower show. I have made of map of the area where we stopped for pictures.
Pictures Area 1 on map
Pictures Area 2 on map Coachwhip Canyon
Pictures Area 3 on map Henderson Canyon RD
Pictures Area 4 on map Coyote Canyon
Pictures Area 5 on map S22 on the way to Ranchita
Jan 14, 2019 DesertUSA reports: Light rain fell last week and more rain is forecast for the next three days. There are some wildflowers in bloom in remote areas. This rain should improve things for more parts of the park. Some flash floods are possible. It looks like it will be good year for wildflowers at this point in time.
Here's what Anza Borrego DSP is predicting.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 2018-19 “Season” Bloom Analysis and Prediction
by Kate Harper
Desert Research Botanist
Rain Analysis Related to Blooming
We appear to be heading into a 2-pulse 2018-19 “Season”.
What has triggered the first pulse of blooming?
We had significant rain in spotty areas of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (the Park) on October 12, 2018. It was still hot in the Park, but it was cooling off from the peak summer heat. It appears that the temperature was still warm enough to trigger the germination of some monsoonal plants (summer storm triggering plants), and just cooled down enough to trigger the germination of some “spring” plants (calendar winter, but what we call in the desert spring).
So, right now, in mid-January 2019, we are having the beginning of a bloom! BUT, just in the spotty areas that received the thunderstorm rain on October 12, 2019. Unfortunately, none of the popular close-to-town flower field areas are included in this spotty early bloom.
What has triggered the second, more common pulse of blooming?
The Park received 0.39 inch of rain in a November 29-30, 2018 storm. This is not enough rain to trigger widespread germination, BUT it is enough rain to soften the dry surface of the soil and to make the soil receptive to additional rain without run off. And, so what do you want after such a preparatory rain? A storm of at least 1 inch. And, the Park got it! A storm event on December 5-6, 2018 delivered 1.05 inches of rain. Now we have enough rain to trigger widespread germination of “Spring” annuals.
Think of the desert in the “Spring” like you would think about planting a garden. After you have the seeds in, all experts suggest “give your garden a good soaking”. That is the December 5-6, 2018 storm that delivered 1.05 inches. Then, what do the garden experts tell you? They say, “Water at regular intervals.” And, voila! The skies have delivered just such a watering regime, so far: A semi-soaking on December 31, 2018 of 0.52 inch. A nice interval watering on January 6, 2019 of 0.11 inch. And, right on cue, another interval watering of 0.14 inch on January 12, 2019!
So, does this guarantee us a lovely “Spring” Bloom this year? Almost.
Only 2 kinds of events could derail a lovely “Spring” bloom this year: multiple days of below freezing temperatures or multiple days of super hot temperatures. Either of these could impact the plants. BUT, barring those events, we are ON for a lovely year to be in the flower-filled Borrego Desert!
Jan 6, 2019 DesertUSA reports: The park got some rain today.
Jan 1, 2019 DesertUSA reports: The rain in December will help the wildflowers. It has snowed in the upper area of the park, and there is more rain on the way.
Photo: Sicco Rood
2018 Anza Borrego Desert - Wildflower Reports
Dec. 26, 2018 DesertUSA reports: There are reports of some wildflowers in the Borrego Badlands in Big Wash. A 4X4 is needed to get to them, north of S22. There are some wildflowers in June Wash off of S2. It's still early and more rain is needed in the area.
Dec. 19, 2018 Steve reports: Desert lilies and chicory seen December 18 along S22 near mile marker 34-35. Anza Borrego DSP.
Dec. 14, 2018 DesertUSA reports: There are some wildflowers along RT 78 in the Ocotillo Wells area and also along S22 near the Arroyo Salado camping area. Henderson Canyon Road and Coyote Canyon are still brown and there's not much to see yet. Water is running near the Lower Willows, and though part of the Canyon is still closed, the first part of the road is in good condition. The Visitors Center is charging $10.00 for parking on the weekends and on holidays. Monday through Thursday parking is free. Coyote Canyon from the Lower Willows to the Middle Willows is closed due to flooding. No access beyond the first crossing is authorized. Plan your trip with our Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Introduction Package.
RT 78 area
Dec. 6, 2018 DesertUSA reports: Rain in many area of the Anza Borrego Desert State Park today. A few wildflowers are blooming along creeks, in 4wheel drive areas.
Dec. 3, 2018 DesertUSA reports: There are few wildflowers in bloom in remote places, most of the area remains brown. Rain is in the forecast for late next week. Some rain on 11/29/18, and there also was some rain in October in the Kanebrake area and there are reports of some green in the area. Fish Creek also got some rain. Coyote Canyon from Lower Willows to Middle Willows is closed due to flooding. No access beyond first crossing is authorized.
Wildflower field guide ebook
find the wildflowers by color - Kindle, iPads and Smart phones. $4.99
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 Jim@desertusa.com. 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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