California explodes into color from late February through to mid-May as wildflowers develop and bloom across the state. You might have seen a barrage of stunning flower field photographs plastered all over social media, but do you know the best places to see Southern California wildflowers blooming? 

This guide covers all the questions you might have, including information on every Southern California wildflower chaser’s favorite word – the super bloom, and where to find these floral wonderlands.

If you’re looking for Northern California wildflowers though, we’ve also got a guide to more than 30 spots to see them in spring and even into the summer months.

Southern California Wildflowers FAQ

Before we jump into the nitty gritty details of where to find wildflowers in Southern California, let’s start by answering some common questions.

8 Colorful spring destinations (in the US!)

Best places to see Southern California wildflowers blooming

These are the best spots to see Southern California wildflowers blooming across the region this year. But since it’s such a huge area that even though we’ve included as many as possible, we may have missed a few locations. Let us know if your favorite spot isn’t mentioned!

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

Written by McKenna Hurd from One More Step Travels.

Woman wearing a straw hat standing in field of orange California poppies

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is a well known Southern California wildflower destination. Picture: Christian Mikhael.

California’s state flower, the California poppy, can be found in beautiful abundance at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. This region, about 1.5 hours northeast of Los Angeles and just outside Lancaster, California, contains thousands of orange poppies that cover gently rolling fields during late winter and early spring.

There’s nothing quite like the sights and smells of the orange poppy field. This spot has become a favorite and not just for locals – people from all over the state come to enjoy the natural beauty of their state flower.

Although these poppies are carefully protected, they are still wildflowers, growing naturally and without much human interference. When visiting, respect the beauty of the flowers struggling to grow in the windy, hot desert.

Some tips for visiting:

  • Do NOT pick the flowers. It is against state law to pick California poppies that are planted or grown on public lands.
  • Stay on the trail. There are many hiking trails within the reserve, so it is possible to snap gorgeous photos of the poppies at different angles if you explore several areas along the path.
  • Don’t bring your dog or drone. Neither are allowed in the state natural reserve.
  • Prepare to pay a parking fee of $10 per vehicle.

When visiting the California Poppy Reserve, keep your eyes open for wildlife, too! Snakes (including rattlesnakes), gophers, and lizards have often been seen in the preserve. A visit here is a wonderful, easily accessible wildflower haven that any nature lover can enjoy.

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