The California poppy super blooms explode from the rain across the southern part of the state. After months of destruction caused by unprecedented rainfall, the showers have brought flowers. I see this as two options. Mother Nature really has it in for us in deluging us with cold, wet weather for the entirety of 2023 and is finally taking a break. Or, she is trying to teach us the lesson to look at the bright side and after all of the flooding, mudslides and destruction the rain also brings one of the most brilliant super blooms we have seen in years.
After the rains, the small, delicate orange California poppy super blooms in an explosion of sweeping orange super bloom carpet spread. It’s amazing how the super blooms begin with just one tiny poppy, and as others bloom they create small clusters. It’s like how a blizzard is made of up of beautiful, delicate snowflakes. Imagine the power of humankind if we only worked together so well to become an unstoppable force.
When and Where To See The Poppies in 2023
For Los Angeles County, you want to catch the poppy super blooms in the middle of March to the middle of April (so hurry!). The central coast is on a similar timeline. For the Mojave area, target April and May. The snowpack in the Sierra foothills mean the ideal viewing will be mid-March through late April. Northern California Mount Diablo State Park.
California Poppy Super Blooms From Afar
Lake Elsinore is known for its incredible hillsides bursting in springs blooms. To protect the wildflowers this year, the main area of Walker Canyon is closed to the public. Why? Citing safety reasons from the bigger 2019 super bloom with tens of thousands of people. The poppies are even more delicate than people, and once picked, the petals will immediately fall apart in one’s hands. Walking on the dirt where poppies have and could bloom compacts the soil and makes it difficult for future blooms. Despite all of the messaging to stay on the trails, off the blooms, don’t pick the flowers, but people do not listen. This is why we can’t have nice things. The only way to view the immense poppy fields is by zip line.
Check out Skull Canyon Zip Line
– Advance reservations required
-The original zip line course is kid-friendly, 2 hours
– Three other zip line courses are available
Chino Hills State Park is another great option to see the poppies.
Temescal Valley and Lake Elsinore
Some of my legendary photos snapped from a moving car as a passenger of the California Poppy Blooms. Trees in the fall and poppies in the spring are my favorite roadside attractions.
California Poppies and Wild Flowers Up Close
The California State Parks website has updates on where and when to see the blooms from the Bay Area, throughout Southern California and the desert blooms.
I made my yearly pilgrimage to Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, but the wait to get into the reserve is averaging about 60 minutes just to enter and park ($10 per vehicle to park). Instead, I pulled off along one of the backroads and snapped my photos from the edge of the dirt road, not stepping into the blooms.
Poppies At Sunset
The best times to take photos of poppies is on sunny days where there is not a lot of wind. The blooms open up fully. The photos below were snapped at sunset, on a cloudy, windy day, but the colors are still brilliant. Snapped in Lancaster, California.
The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve 2019-2022
Last year, we went the last week of March to the reserve in Lancaster, California during mid-day. We hiked the paved trails, but in total there are 8 miles of paved and dirt trails to hike along the hillsides. Here are some photos from last years, including the 2019 super bloom. For more poppy bloom photos, check out my post from 2020.
How To Bring The Poppies Home
Can’t travel to see the poppies, or wish to capture that scent of sunshine and poppies? Check out our Poppy Collection at Shop WhereGalsWander.
For a limited time, buy any 3 items from the Poppy Collection, take 15% off these items.