wildflowers on a hill near temecula, californiaReader Alana wrote in recently, asking if I knew of any good weekend wildflower-heavy hikes in the L.A. area (a question lots of people seem to be interested in right now, which is great!). While I’m headed into the San Bernardinos for some snowshoeing this weekend, there are still some good resources for flower-peepers in L.A.

Both the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and the Theodore Payne Foundation offer frequent and and comprehensive updates and reports about the state of the wildflower bloom throughout the state (Theodore Payne is often better updated, and has the added bonus of having a Wildflower Hotline narrated by Hill Street Blues’ Joe Spano updated every Friday – call 818-768-3533).

According to the Santa Monica Mountains flower-spotters, which are just a bit out of date, looks like there could be some good activity at Rancho Sierra Vista / Satwiwa, Solstice Canyon, and Malibu Creek State Park.

The folks at Theodore Payne say Anza-Borrego is where it’s at right now, but for those who don’t want to make the drive, they also recommend Solstice Canyon, as well as Malibu’s Charmlee Wilderness Park, Placerita Canyon near Santa Clarita, and you should head to Caballero Canyon near the north end of Topanga State Park, where “a trek along the along the Bent Arrow Trail East (heading towards Gismo Peak) will reveal a beautiful flowering show, including Salvia columbariae (chia), Encelia californica (coast bush sunflower), Amsinckia menziesii (fiddleneck), Ceanothus spinosus (greenbark ceanothus), a variety of Ribes (currant) and Cryptantha species (popcorn flowers).”

Additionally, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve officially opens its interpretive visitors’ center on Saturday, and while they say the wildflower blooms are looking good, it’s still a bit too early for those distinctive carpets of orange the area is known for.

No matter where you head this weekend, have a great time, stay safe, and send me your best shots if you’d like to share your best views of California wildflowers.

image of Temecula wildflowers by dorkula.

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