A vivid super bloom has splashed the hillsides of Southern California with color, thanks to a winter of record-setting rainfall. Large crowds trying to get a glimpse of the wildflowers have caused traffic jams. People seeking unique photos have damaged and trampled wildflowers, despite efforts by park rangers to keep sightseers on trails and walkways. And local officials have had to grapple with how to handle a never-ending stream of visitors.
If you’re anxious to catch a glimpse of the beauty? Don’t worry. There’s no need to rush. Wildflowers should continue to bloom over the next several weeks.
Here are some of the best places to experience the super bloom, and some tips on how to enjoy the wildflowers without destroying them.
The Walker Canyon poppy fields in Lake Elsinore, Calif. are filled with poppies, causing traffic and congestion in the area. (Left: Google Earth. Right: Sentinel-2 Satellite)
Super bloom etiquette
The Theodore Payne Foundation and others warn not to harm the wildflowers. Do not pick them. Stay on the trail with your pets securely leashed (and even consider leaving them at home). Be respectful and pick up after yourself so everyone can enjoy California's blooms now and in the future.
Where are the blooms?
Don't feel like hiking? Check out these alternatives.
Can't get enough?
Here are some resources and information about this spring's wildflowers.