Joshua Tree NP - Wildflower Reports

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2017 Joshua Tree Wildflower Reports Page 2

April 7, 2017 DesertUSA reports: The park is still in bloom and all the campgrounds were full. We drove from the Joshua Tree City entrance to the Cottonwood Visitor center and found wildflowers and cactus in bloom in most areas. Here are the photos from the trip on 3/5/17.

April 6, 2017 Mary reports: For those who delight in the surprises of a desert in bloom, there is a lot to see in Joshua Tree National Park.  In four days, March 31 – April 3, I found flowers blooming in most parts of the park.  In the northwest corner of the park, there were fewer blooms, but gems such as Blue Dicks by the road in from the northwest entrance, Mojave Mound Cactus along Park Boulevard and Scale Bud on the Lucky Boy Trail.  

The biggest display of flowers in still in Wilson Canyon where some of the hillsides are covered with gold flowers including Brittle Bush, Yellow Cups and Poppies.  On the ground, there is Purple Mat, Wallace’s Eriophyllum and some of the biggest clusters of Desert Star that I have seen. The Sand Blazing Stars are having a good year scattered throughout the canyon and covering a hillside in one place. One of my favorites, Trailing Windmills, was growing on the edge of a wash.  All together, I counted more than 30 species blooming in Wilson Canyon. 

In the Pinto Basin, south of Fried Liver Wash, there are patches of Desert Gold.  In that area there are also still some beautiful Desert Liles blooming, Desert Five Spot, and another one of my favorites, Desert Calico. The Lupine fields of late February by the South Entrance are gone, but that area is still rich in diversity of flowers with Poppies; showy Brittle Bush; washes with scattered Bigelow Monkey Flowers, Purple Mat, and Woody Bottle Washers; and the Ocotillo at its peak. I found more than 70 species in bloom in the park, and would have found more if I just had another day

April 6, 2017 Nancy reports: Pictures April 2, 2017 - Joshua Tree

April 5, 2017 Gary reports: This was taken 4/3/17 at Cotton Creek in Joshua Tree NP

Parker dam, Joshua Tree 04/04/17

April 5, 2017 Ed reports: Northern section - blooming JT, cholla garden did not have a single bloom left, all petals had fallen off.

April 5, 2017 Katie reports: I started at Amboy Crater and was entertained by some interesting chuckwallas, sand verbena there, but things got better heading into Joshua Tree from Mojave Trails. Desert Blazing Star, Mojave Asters, Indigo bush, Inflated Blister Beetle, Ocotilla, beavertail cactus, hedgehog cactus and green cholla, spent hours there is much to see and much still to come!


April 3, 2017 Wan reports: Joshua Tree national park, a lot of hedgehog cacti are blooming in the cholla cactus garden. Use extreme caution when you look for them among cholla. Only a few jumping cholla showed yellow-greenish flowers, but more buds are coming. Mound cacti are showing off scarlet flowers in the Queens Valley region.

April 1, 2017 Dan reports: Yucca Valley along Hwy 62. 3/31/17

April 1, 2017 Marnie reports: I took these photos (3/30/2017) near the Desert Lily Sanctuary off Rice Road/Highway 177 East of Joshua Tree NP. There were a ton of lilies blooming, along with a large variety of yellow and purple flowers.

April 1, 2017 Frank reports: photos from Joshua Tree 3.29.17

March 31, 2017 Beena reports: On the road to cottonwoods from 29 Pslm springs...This road to Box Canyon is a wildflowers paradise. 3/30/17

Hidden valley and around the park

March 29, 2017 Jiping reports: Wide swaths of Brittlebush mark the South entrance to Joshua Tree. A short distance east orange Desert Mallow contrast with abundant purple Chia. Continuing east, one finds a wealth of stunning Desert Bluebells along the road. Photos 3/26/17

March 27, 2017 Mark reports: We took a few photos 3/25/17 just past the east entrance of JTNP (The Twentynine Palms side) yesterday. These were taken on the west side of the road within a mile from the entrance. Off the road you will see wildflowers galore including Canterberry Bells, Gold Poppy, Chia, Desert Pincushion, Desert Dandelion, Apricot Mallow and many more. Also the Yucca (at or just past peak) and Beavertail Cactus (not quite at peak) are blooming. The hills on the west side of the road are covered in yellow. The show of flowers lasts about four miles in and then dies down. At the west end (Joshua Tree Side) the Desert Dandelions and the Desert Sand Verbena are just now popping out while the Joshua Trees are past bloom., although you will still see a few with flowers. To see the most flowers you have to get out of your car and walk away from the main road.​​​​​​​​​​​​

March 27, 2017 Reid reports: These are from Cholla cactus garden

March 27, 2017 Velvet reports: Joshua Tree National Park March 26, 2017

March 27, 2017 Anna reports: We visited Joshua Tree 3/24/17 , going via Mecca and Box Canyon Road. A lot of the lupins had finished in Box Canyon.However the upper part was worth it and the Palo Verde trees were wonderful. Some lovely flowers on the road - Brittle bush spectacular and some good blazing star. 5-spots were coming out on the way back.

The south entrance to Joshua Tree was a carpet of flowers. However, the park ranger said the flowers further on were sporadic. Well, there were patches without flowers but there ware magnificent places. Look for dirty patches of squashed caterpillars on the road. Plentiful flowers will be, or were near.

Lots of desert lilies especially near fried liver wash. Masses of desert mallow - some enormous bushes. We kept stopping. Some nice patches of purple mat and more Wallace’s eriophyllum with desert stars. Good Chuperosa and Jimson weed. Canterbury bells and other Phacelia. Innumerable daisies.

We only went as far as Skull rock. Not much from the ocotillo patch till above the cholla garden.

March 23, 2017 Robin reports: Here are a few photos I took at Joshua Tree NP yesterday (March 22) … off the I-10 near Cottonwood. We drove all the way through from Cottonwood to the West entrance. No heavy concentrations of wildflowers other than near Cottonwood.

Here are some photos I took (March 22) off Box Canyon Road.

March 22, 2017 Hannah reports: Here are some photos from the north side of Hwy 62, about 20 miles or so east of Twentynine Palms, taken (Wed March 22)

March 21, 2017 Jeff reports: As others have noted; lots of blooming along Hwy. 10 as you enter the park from the south, and then for the first mile or so heading into the park. Large quantities of beavertail cactus, chia, and chuparosa. The joshua trees themselves, and cholla, were also showing good quantities of blooms as you head further northwards. Some huge joshua blooms also.

March 20, 2017 Mac reports: Wildflowers are on southen end of the park at this time.

March 17, 2017 Marjie reports: On March 15 we marveled at the countless number of vibrant species on the park entrance road just north of the 10 freeway. We estimate the full display extended for about a mile. We drove further north to the Visitors' Center, where the staff reported the bloom in other park areas was "sparse."


March 17, 2017 Barb reports: We started at the entrance to Joshua tree on the south end and went north as far as the visitor’s center where we turned around to drive into Anza Borrego State Park.

South end of Joshua Tree Park

We headed south through Box Canyon which was rife with flowers including these Desert Stars.

March 15, 2017 Steve reports: took a drive from Jct of Hwy 62 and I-10 to Bajada Nature Trail at S. entrance to JTNP, then down box canyon to Mecca. Desert Dandelion starts in median and on N shoulder of I-10 just east of Hwy 62. Flowers between Date Palm and Bob Hope on N shoulder and hills to the north of I-10 especially good. Various flowers along I-10 were Desert Dandelion, Brittlebush, sand verbena, Apricot Mallow, and Lupines with some others. Nowhere along I-10 between Hwy 62 and South entrance to JTNP was out of sight of wildflowers.

At Bajada Nature Trail – there is a huge (over 200 buds/flowers) beavertail cactus in the island between the road and the parking area – many people were taking pictures. Chuparosa also in good bloom, along with bladderpod, apricot mallow, desert dandelion (especially under the ironwoods just south of the JTNP sign), Phaecelia, both kinds of desert poppies (minutiflora and glyptosperma – often growing next to each other), lupine and brittlebush. Brittlebush at this elevation not quite in fullest bloom (500’ lower it is in fullest bloom).

Box canyon road is lined with brittlebush in full bloom. Lots of poppies, phaecelia, lupine, bladderpod, some apricot mallow with expecially large flowers, some sand verbena, gravel ghost, suncups, desert tobacco, Emory’s rock daisy, brown-eyes, desert wishbone bush, purple mat, bigelow mimulus and more. The upper part of Box Canyon appears to be in fullest flower right now; the lower part appears past best flower. Desertgold was in the lower part, but not the upper part, and it was in flower but many plants were wilting.

March 14, 2017 Howard reports: Taken just off the Cottonwood Springs road just inside the Joshua Tree NP border on March 13th. The better blooms were higher up in the bajada before you enter the canyon.

March 13, 2017 Jim reports: Box Canyon Rd South of I10 is full of flowers. If you're near the South Joshua Tree National Park entrance this is a great little side trip.

March 12, 2017 Rob reports: These were taken by wandering a bit past the Bajada Nature Trail. I found it very difficult to make real nice compositions.

March 12, 2017 bryguy reports: Went to Joshua this weekend. Joshua had a much bigger bloom with more diversity. The cactus just started to bloom and wildflowers were peaking. Next week or possibly two should still be great. Everything we saw was at the very south end of the park. There are a few things blooming in the park, but the big show was at the very south end.

March 9, 2017 Jennifer reports: East of Joshua Tree NP On Saturday March 4th we went off road on Palen Pass Road through Chuckwalla Valley between SR-177 and Palen Pass. It is a great day trip form 29 Palms. There were lots of Brittlebush with buds ready to bloom. We also saw a few cactus with buds that should bloom soon.

1. Brown-eyed Primrose Camissonia claviformis
2. Desert Chicory Rafinesquia neomexicana
3. Desert Sand Verbena Abronia villosa
4. Small Desert Star Monoptilon bellidiforme

1. Brown-eyed Primrose Camissonia claviformis
2. Desert Chicory Rafinesquia neomexicana
3. Desert Sand Verbena Abronia villosa
4. Small Desert Star Monoptilon bellidiforme

March 9, 2017 David reports: On March 7, the south end of Joshua Tree National Park at the entrance is about 5 out of 10 by my estimate. You can isolate some concentrated patches of flowers if you work at it. The brittle brush all have buds but look like they are about a week away. Maybe the other flowers will last that long and then everything will look better together. Here are a couple of photos:

March 6, 2017 Ross reports: Photos taken March 5 Cottonwood entrance to Joshua Tree and Cottonwood Canyon.

March 6, 2017 Teri reports: Photo 3/5/2017. This is a couple of miles north of the South exit.

March 6, 2017 Don reports: These pictures are in areas from the bajada to Cottonwood Canyon. Many Arizona Lupine, Bladderpod, Brown-eyed, Evening Primrose, Forget-me-nots, Notch-leaved Phacelia, and more.

March 6, 2017 Jack reports: Shot Friday 3/3/17. Best showing on West side of South entrance road from I-10, especially Mexican poppies mixed with Lupines.


Spring Blooming Periods

Lower Elevations: 1,000 – 3,000 feet

Yuccas—March and April
Annuals—February, March, and April
Cacti—March, April, and May

Higher Elevations: 3,000 – 5,000 feet

Joshua Trees and Yuccas—March and April
Annuals—March, April, and May
Cacti—April, May, and June

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When will the desert wildflowers bloom?
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