Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 3, 2019

Anza-Borrego Wildflowers 4/3/19

Anza Borrego State Park reports

While the “big show” is winding down, there are still places in the park to find wildflowers.

The Visitor Center and Hellhole Canyon areas are still in bloom, with very nice patches of desert dandelion, phacelia, and other annuals, as well as glorious brittlebush and chuparosa. Cacti in the Visitor Center Garden are exploding with different colors!

Start early if you want to hike in Borrego Palm Canyon, as the parking lot fills up very quickly! If you miss out in the morning, try later in the afternoon. The Alternate Trail starts from the trail up to the campfire center, and is loaded with amazing amounts of a wide variety of flowers. Feet will get wet on the Main Trail, due to high water at stream crossings. Keep your eyes and ears open for bighorn sheep on both trails!

A collection of metal statues lines Borrego Springs Road, which bends at its north end and becomes Henderson Canyon Road. Before heading east, this is a good place to get out and walk around a bit, enjoying the statues and the flowers.

Heading east on Henderson Canyon Road (site of 2017’s “SuperBloom”) will take you to a field yellow desert sunflowers, though they are starting to look dry. Lots of parking along the road.

The dirt road going into Lower Coyote Canyon is open to All-Wheel-Drive or 4WD vehicles only. The best flowers are located beyond Second Crossing, though ocotillos are blooming at Ocotillo Flats, across from Desert Gardens.

The “Ocotillo Forest” along Borrego Springs Road south of Christmas Circle is starting to bloom.

The Cactus Loop Trail, across the road from Tamarisk Grove campground, has hillsides coveredwith poppies, along with a variety of small “belly flowers” growing low. Try Yaqui Well Trail too, as well as the Narrows Earth Trail. The dirt road into Plum Canyon is lined with flowers. 2WD cars should stay to the right when the road forks. The entrance to Mine Wash has lots of yellow dandelions, and poppies on the hillside. 2WD vehicles should be OK as far as the vault toilet.

PLEASE NOTE: Highway 78 will be closed on Wednesday, April 3, between Highway S-2 and Borrego Springs Road, for road work.

For maps and directions, visit our website at updates on blooming areas, call our Wildflower Hotline: 760-767-4684.


Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports

Flower Reports 
For Borrego blooms in April, plan to take a walk or hike into the canyons or drive the dirt roads into these areas, mostly at higher elevations, as the wildflower bloom of annuals in the lower desert has mostly faded and is setting seed. April is a lovely month to visit, with still cool mornings and evenings, and not as busy as March.  

April is a good time to see blooms of the colorful cacti of Anza-Borrego, the flame-tipped Ocotillo, the tall stalks of the Agave, desert trees in bloom such as the yellow Palo Verde, and native shrubs such as the blue Indigo Bush. These plants are often found at the rocky entrances to the canyons and washes, and are dispersed, not concentrated together like the fields of wildflowers earlier in Spring.

While we are discontinuing our daily updated wildflower maps at this time, you can now use our maps to locate some of these canyon areas. You can also pick up a free printed version of the map at the ABDNHA Borrego Desert Nature Center.   

Recommended are the canyons and trails of Borrego Palm Canyon, Henderson Canyon, Hellhole Canyon, Little Surprise Canyon Yaqui Well Trail, Bill Kenyon Trail, Plum Canyon, Mine Wash, and the Culp Valley/Pena Spring area at higher elevations.  Also check ABDNHA’s botanical garden adjacent to the Nature Center for blooms.     Our $1.00 flower brochure, featuring the local cacti, trees, shrubs & annuals, will be back in print very soon, so ask about it at ABDNHA’s Borrego Desert Nature Center, 652 Palm Canyon Drive, Open Daily 9-5.  


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