After an unusually rainy season in Los Angeles, we are finally starting to see the silver lining of the absurd weather conditions as beautiful flowers decorate the hills of Southern California. This phenomenon, known as a super bloom, typically occurs once every 10 years. However, this year marks a rarity with the second super bloom in the past five years. This once-in-a-lifetime sight only occurs when the perfect combination of weather and rainfall creates ideal conditions for the dormant seeds to blossom into a vibrant display of color.
If you’re looking to experience this beautiful sight firsthand, there are several places within driving distance of LA that are definitely worth the visit.
Santa Monica Mountains
If you’re looking to get a taste of the super bloom without the long drive, then you’re in luck. Vibrant orange California poppies, delicate purple lupines, white mariposa lilies, and bright yellow daisies are just a few of the many flowers creating a rainbow of colors atop the Agoura Hills at Paramount Ranch. You’ll find the park entrance on Cornell Road north of Mulholland Drive. While this landscape was previously scorched in the Woolsey Fire in November 2018, the rain has done its job of healing the barren land, bringing it back to life with even more color and beauty than before. A walk away from the Paramount Ranch parking lot, you can find the Overlook Trail lined with purple Parry’s phacelia, yellow monkey flowers and white morning glories.
Saddleback Butte State Park
An hour-and-a-half drive away from campus lies Saddleback Butte State Park, where the views will not disappoint. The hills of this usually arid landscape are currently ablaze with vibrant wildflowers carpeting the desert floor in various shades of yellow, orange, purple and blue. With miles of hiking trails, visitors can access these breathtaking views at a variety of elevations, even passing through entire fields of flowers on some of the more strenuous hikes. Here, parking costs up to $6, and campsites are offered on a first come, first serve basis for $20 a night, cash only.
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
If you’ve seen any of the jaw-dropping photos of never-ending fields of poppies, you were most likely looking at Antelope Valley. As one of the most popular sites to admire California’s super bloom, Antelope Valley offers more than 1,700 acres of poppy fields and eight miles of stunning trails. Located at 15101 Lancaster Road, this location is a two-hour drive away from campus, a long but well-worth-it journey for the views. You can always check the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve live webcam before making the trek. Once you get there, parking is $10 per vehicle or free if you choose to park outside the reserve.
No matter which location you choose, you are guaranteed to be awed by the miraculous colors brought by this year’s super bloom.