Post has been updated to include reports from Anza-Borrego Wildflowers
Updates from Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association and Anza-Borrego State Park for 3/17/17. Much is repeated from previous reports but included so you can see what is current as of today.
Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association reports
The bloom is excellent right now in numerous locations around the Borrego Valley and adjoining washes, having expanded over the last few days, and is now more extensive than last weekend. The end of DiGiorgio Road and Coyote Canyon are now in full bloom, dune evening primrose, verbena, Arizona lupine, and bright yellow desert dandelions. There are plenty of flowers right around the end of the asphalt in that location, and there is good parking there too, but flowers are at their best a couple of miles in. This is an area that will be congested, particularly on weekends, as lots of people head to Anza-Borrego to see the flowers, so try to get here early. Further to the east, the area north and south of Henderson Canyon Road is in full bloom as well, dominated by a large field of desert sunflowers, with sand verbena and dune evening primrose along the edges. That area offers lots of roadside parking and the fields of desert sunflower are going strong.
Most of the washes and side canyons that border the Borrego Valley are now in bloom. The mouth of Henderson Canyon, at the northern end of Borrego Valley Road, is a good spot to park and walk through the fields of scattered white, purple, yellow, and blue flowers. Fred Melgert reports that Hawk Canyon, off of Highway 78 on the way to Ocotillo Wells, is in bloom, with Arizona Lupine, Desert Sand Verbena, and Bigelow’s monkey flower.
Ocotillo Wells SVRA says “If you are looking for a drive-by flower gazing opportunity, look no further than Pole Line Road. Sheltered draws on the west side of the road between Wide Open Spaces and Gas Domes Trail still support crowds of desert lily, some nearly two feet tall.”
This will be a “rolling bloom”; different areas, different species, different elevations, as things come into bloom; cacti, shrubs, ocotillo are not in bloom yet. The “Ocotillo forest” area along Borrego Springs road, south of Tilting T, will be spectacular when it comes into bloom, easily viewed from the roadside and that will likely happen in the next week. The entire area is very green with the nearby dune covered in yellow desert dandelions. It’s also important to know that the best flower viewing is in the morning. Many flowers close up during the heat of the day.
There was very heavy traffic coming into Borrego Springs over last weekend, particularly on S22 coming through Ranchita and down Montezuma Grade. We expect the coming weekend to be similar. Visiting on weekdays is a good idea if possible.
Anza-Borrego State Park reports on 3/17/17
A heat wave through the weekend means visitors should wear sun protection and drink lots of water!
As expected, plentiful rains in December, January AND February have encouraged the development of a spectacular showing of annual plants in the flower fields north of town, along trails in western canyons, and even in the badlands. Roadsides in town are a great place to see fields of Desert Dandelions. A good route to follow is: