Anza-Borrego State Park reports
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Wildflower Update April 14, 2017
Fields of annual wildflowers are no longer to be found at lower elevations, but blooming shrubs and cacti can still be found in Anza-Borrego.
The Visitor Center remains one of the best places to see many varieties of cacti in bloom, as well as shrubs (indigo bush!) and ocotillo, along with a few persisting annuals.
Good places to look for ocotillos in bloom are: Highway S-22 toward the Salton Sea, Borrego Springs Road south of Tilting T, the junction of Borrego Springs Road and Highway 78, Yaqui Pass Road, and Ocotillo Flats, near Desert Gardens in Coyote Canyon.
The Bill Kenyon Overlook Trail (at the top of Yaqui Pass) has brittlebush and other perennials in bloom, and a lovely overlook, which can be reached by hiking one mile from the Yaqui Pass Primitive Camp (a shorter trail leaves from pullout on Hwy S-3).
The road to the Mine Wash Village site has plenty of shrubs in bloom, as well as cacti and a few annuals. 4WD vehicles can continue up the road for more flowers.
Hikers should be able to find shrubs in bloom, along with cacti and perhaps some annuals, in canyons such as Palm Canyon, Hellhole Canyon, and especially Plum Canyon (off Highway 78; 2WD vehicles should stay right at the fork).
Hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail between Ranchita and Warner Springs will find poppies, lupine, and other annuals in bloom.
Culp Valley is a good place to look for mallow, yucca, and scarlet bugler (penstemon).
A few patches of sand verbena may still linger among the desert dandelions and pincushion blooming around the collection of metal sculptures near the junctions of Borrego Springs Road (north) and DiGiorgio Road with Henderson Canyon Road.
Primitive camps available to two-wheel-drive vehicles are Culp Valley (west of town) and Arroyo Salado (east of town), both on Highway S-22, and Blair Valley and Mountain Palm Springs on S-2. 4WD vehicles can access Yaqui Well camp, Fish
Visitors who have a day or more would do well to explore the southern half of the park, also. Flowers should be coming into bloom at higher elevations, and the primitive camps at Blair Valley and Mountain Palm Springs should be less crowded. Fill your gas tank before heading south, take plenty of water, and be prepared to pack out your trash. No ground fires. Be sure to drink plenty of water while you are here!
Creek, and Bow Willow ($15 fee). No ground fires permitted.
Dogs must remain leashed while in the park, and are not allowed on hiking trails.
Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflowers reports
04/12 Our goal for today, finding Pink velvet mallow, Horsfordia alata, so our slightly different route takes us just south of the voucher location.
On our way a big surprise, a couple of Desert lily, Hesperocallis undulata in good bloom, fields of Desert sand verbena, Abronia villosa villosa and Desert dandelion, Malacothrix glabrata.
A couple of locations with Miniature woolly star, Eriastrum diffusum in bloom. Now up to the voucher location, we made our way back north along the hillside and almost gave up when Carla found the first Horsfordia alata in good bloom YES.
We found a total of 3 Horsfordia alata, all in bloom, but there may be more up the huge boulder drainage.
Another good find were a couple of Eastern threadplant, Nemacladus orientalis, that we’ve been missing for a while.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 98.
Pictures: The Potrero loop
04/11We visited Rainbow canyon on 07/01 and counted 25 species in bloom.
April is the best time to visit Rainbow Canyon and it didn’t disappoint us.
We hiked Rainbow Canyon up to Blair Valley and did a bike shuttle.
In excellent bloom and in high numbers Intermediate larkspur, Delphinium parishii subglobosum and Fringed onion, Allium fimbriatum fimbriatum.
One of the dominant bloomers: Sigmoid threadplant, Nemacladus sigmoideus in high numbers. We counted 4 Nemacladus species in bloom.
In good numbers stumpy Long flowered Threadplant, Nemacladus longiflorus longiflorus.
It was going back in time a couple of weeks in this outstanding canyon.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 110.
Pictures: Rainbow canyon
4/10 A hike from Grapevine Canyon up to Barrel Spring.
This is a wonderful part of the PCT, hardly damaged by the fire and a nice collection of flowering plants.
One of the goals of the trip was to locate the Malacothamnus along the PCT. And we did find 4 plants still alive along the 50+ dead plants.
At the start a high number of Scarlet bugler, Penstemon centranthifolius and Giant four o’clock, Mirabilis multiflora pubescens in bloom.
Along the PCT many Bush poppy, Dendromecon rigida, and even more Blue dicks, Dichelostemma capitatum capitatum.
Species in bloom above 3000 feet: 118
Pictures: Pct Grapevine Canyon to Barrel Spring