Yuma and Tucson Area in Arizona

Where To Find The Wildflowers

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2019 Southern AZ Wildflowers Locations and Pictures‎

March 21, 2019 Holly reports: Photos taken at Catalina State Park....Tucson on 3/20/19.   First day of Spring!  

March 19, 2019 Bobbi reports: We went today out Rt 86 from Tucson to Ajo, we went west of Sell  beyond mile marker 101 towards Ajo for most of these pictures. (Google Map Link)

March 18, 2019 Anieleen reports: Taken at 4:14PM 3/17/19 at the Calloway trail in Picacho Peak State Park. I used my Samsung Note 8 in the Live Focus mode. The park was simply breathtaking.

March 16, 2019 Dan reports:  Picacho Peak St Park. Poppies blanket the hillside behind the visitors center.  Lupine and mallow mixed in. 

March 15, 2019 Rosa reports: March 14, 2019 Picacho Peak

March 13, 2019 Marion reports: Monday March 11, we drove Hwy 86 from Ajo to Tucson. Encountered splendid wildflower concentrations and patches between about mile markers 75 and 110. Wherever we found a pullout, we walked the fencelines and looked for interesting compositions.

March 13, 2019 Marion reports: On March 9 we hiked Arch Canyon on the Ajo Mountain Road in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. For the best wildflowers in the monument, the rangers recommended for the best flowers, that we hike Arch Canyon trail, which is accessed by the 21-mile Ajo Mountain Road. the road is rough (you don't need high clearance vehicles though) due to the rains in February, and we were delighted by the assortment of wildflowers. Trail crews are working on fixing eroded areas by installing new stone steps, so be patient. (Google Map Link)

March 11, 2019 Richard reports:  Lots of different types of flowers blooming at Picacho Peak state park. Photo taken 3/1/19 (Map)

March 9, 2019 Catalina State Park reports: Come out and enjoy the wildflowers at Catalina State Park. Thank you Catalina State Park volunteer Jim Themelis for the picture. (Map)

March 9, 2019 Pat reports: March 5, Picacho Peak area near Tucson is filled with Poppies, with good patches of Lupines (a few in pink), and individual plants in flower, of Fiddlenecks, Scorpionweed, Cranesbill, and a few flowers on the Chaparral. (Map)

March 8, 2019 Andy reports: Saguaro NP West. Esperero Sendero to Wasson Peak was going off. Many flowers in bloom. Carpets of Poppies.


March 8, 2019 Jackie reports: Southern Arizona: Organ Pipe NM; El Pinacate (Mexico); AZ rt. 85 & 86.

Trip to Organ Pipe NM and El Pinacate. If you are able to cross in Mexico (passport required), this is a great way to see the bloom in the Pinta Sands without requiring 4WD to navigate El Camino del Diablo.

I was able to get quite close to Bradley’s mapped position by following Mexico’s highway 2 along the border. (See map) The bloom is in a very narrow strip between desolate orange dunes, but there’s a solid half mile that’s completely covered in purple verbena. There were sphinx moths and Pinacate beetles everywhere, though the moths proved to be very camera shy. I wish I’d spent more time wandering around.

Desert gold is the main story on highway 2 between Sonoyta and the Pinacate preserve. The blooms are mostly restricted to the disturbed soils at the edge of the highway, but they spread out into the volcanic fields and up the cinder cones just east of Los Vidrios. The yellow flowers are quite striking amid the black lava rocks.

Crossing into Mexico is easy—you can buy one day of Mexican Insurance at the gas station in Lukeville for about $30. Getting back into the US is much more difficult. Passports are absolutely necessary. Be prepared to have your car searched by both the Mexican and US guards on the way back into the US.

Back inside Organ Pipe, the flowers are just about at peak. The most spectacular were the poppies at Arch Canyon and the lupines along the Ajo Loop road.

Even the areas lower down that appear dry and dead from a distance are hiding flowers. I hiked up the hill just to the north of the campground to get some pictures of the organ pipe grove, and I couldn’t put my food down with out stepping on desert stars.

There are several large fields of glove mallow between the park boundary and Why. Lots of different flowers lining the edge of Rt. 86 between Sells and Why—lupines, brittlebush, globe mallows, phacelias, desert marigold. Unfortunately the area at the base of Kitt Peak is brown and dead—I think that spot was just too cold this winter.

Note: MX Highway 2 is definitely easier and faster than Camino del Diablo, it is in pretty rough shape in places. Some of the pot holes are more like cauldrons, and could seriously damage a car if you hit them wrong. 

March 6, 2019 Shazieh reports: Sunday March 3rd early afternoon at Picacho Peak State Park. (Map)



March 4, 2019 Leslie reports: Picacho Peak March 3 (Map)

March 2, 2019 Wesley reports: Spent Friday March 1 driving from Tucson to Yuma and back through Phoenix, and have the following updates:

Bladderpod patches are in their formative stages, coming together at Sonoran Desert National Monument in Vekol Valley, mixing nicely with globemallow and forming larger carpets in isolated places. The area could use a bit more rain and perhaps a few more days of warmer temperatures. One nice field is about 5 miles in on the east side of the road, about 100 yards out. Creosote crowding challenges photography on the west side of the road, but some nice images can be made anyway.

Mohawk Dunes was very sparse. I had to look a while to find less than 10 flowers.

There is a nice patch of verbena and desert gold on the north side of I-8 in Dome Valley. I couldn't figure a way to get to them, but there is a parking area that comes close. Try exiting at Ligurta and following the power lines a few miles east.

There are bladderpod patches along US95 going north towards Quartzsite, a few nicer fields about halfway, and a few along Palm Canyon Road. Scorpionweed is the main story along the Kofa Queen Canyon access road, with a few early Ocotillos and what look like Blackfoot daisies (not sure) growing in between. The road is rough, bring a high clearance vehicle, but you don't need 4 wheel drive to get to the scorpionweed patches.

The light was too low for photography on the way between Quartzsite and Phoenix, but Avenue 75 has a very large bladderpod carpet just to the west of the exit off I-10 with the Eagletail Mountains in the background, and other large carpets exist between mileposts 87 and 89 on both sides of I-10, near the rest areas in the Harquahala Valley, and about 2 miles west of Tonopah. From a distance, Saddle Mountain looked surrounded by bladderpod, with flower carpets climbing up the hillsides.

Kofa Queen Canyon


March 1, 2019 Tom reports: in Grass Canyon at Organ Pipe Cactus NM.  A hike, but good show of poppies and others.  Otherwise, not much blooming yet. Photos 02/28/2019

March 1, 2019 Pat reports: Tucson area, Pima County. Lupines are located just west of the pass on Twin Peaks Road, next to White Horse Ranch. Poppies appear in small patches alongside the road just east of Gates Pass. Bladderpod patches are in many locations, including north of El Camino del Cerro and Sunset on Silverbell, El Camino del Cerro, and Ironwood Hill roads, also on the west side of Sandario south of Mile Wide Road. Bladderpod patches are still sparse between Robles Junction/Three Points and the road to Kitt Peak on Highway 86. No poppies west of the road to Kitt Peak as in the past. They apparently took all that out when they widened the road.


More on Page 2


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.

Wildflower Field Guide page.

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.

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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