From spring to fall, the USA’s varied landscape comes to life in a burst of colorful wildflowers.
There are an estimated 32,000 varieties of wildflowers that grow across the USA with peak bloom season usually between late April and early August. While not the only U.S. destinations to see wildflowers, these five states provide flower-filled adventures on and off the beaten path. Just remember: Most wildflower ecosystems are sensitive, so avoid picking flowers and, instead, bring your camera for lasting memories.
Wildflowers Bloom in the California Desert
California is famed for its Pacific Ocean coastline, but this diverse state erupts into a kaleidoscope of colorful blooms from March through mid-May. Begin your floral odyssey in the desert landscapes of Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park during peak bloom season of March and April. Discover perennials such as the alluring purple desert lupine, Fremont’s phacelia, indigo bush and the Mojave aster. To witness the silver-leaved nightshade or the jumping cholla, drive to the California and Arizona border in the Sonoran Desert at Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
Only 120 kilometers inland from San Luis Obispo, the grasslands at Carrizo Plain National Monument come to life in April, featuring California poppies, owl’s clover and the unique jewel flower with its blooms that resemble gemstones. For a wildflower road trip, head to Lakes Basin and travel Interstate 70 north through Plumas National Forest and Feather River Canyon between mid-June and July. Snap photos of wild orchids, snow plant and smooth yellow violet.