The 12 Best Places to See Wildflowers near Los Angeles

Wildflowers near Los Angeles are seasonal. But it’s such a delightful sight.

Last updated: May 14, 2024

Wildflowers near Los Angeles - Roads and Destinations
The 12 best places to see wildflowers in and near Los Angeles

The Best Places to Enjoy Wildflower Bloom in and near Los Angeles

No rain, no rainbow. When it comes to Southern California, you can rephrase this adage. No rain, no wildflowers, especially near Los Angeles! With seasonal California super bloom, this saying becomes a reality almost every spring. Thanks to the heavy rains that can last for a few weeks, California’s hills and mountains experience unprecedented bloom.

Spreading for miles on end, the wildflowers don’t escape the Greater Los Angeles Area. The region that usually bears little to no sign of lush vegetation transforms into a vibrant floral “sea”. The super bloom in California looks incredible and so are the vivid wildflowers near Los Angeles.

What is California Super Bloom?

A super bloom is a term used to describe an explosive wildflower bloom unusual for a particular area. Typically, California faces this phenomenon once every ten years. Yet with current climate change, California’s super bloom occurred twice during the past few years. It happened in 2017, followed by a very dry year and practically no wildflowers in the whole state.

Wildflowers near Los Angeles -- Roads and Destinations
Lake Elsinore | Wildflowers in Southern California
Wildflowers near Los Angeles -- Roads and Destinations
Flower fields near Los Angeles

2019 and 2024 again brought a lot of rain and consequently an explosion of flowers that transformed California tremendously. The Golden State’s deserted lands turned into green pastures and colorful flower fields. Poppies, primroses, and lilies covered the normally barren-looking California’s terrain.

The wildflowers festooned the vast area near Los Angeles as well. The rolling hills around Lake Elsinore morphed into orange seas while yellows coreopsis adorned beaches in Malibu. Sadly, Southern California doesn’t witness this explosive bloom every year. This, however, shouldn’t stop you from trying to see the vibrant wildflowers near Los Angeles in spring.

When is the Best Time to See Wildflowers in and near Los Angeles?

The wildflowers near Los Angeles start blooming as early as the end of February and can last until May. Normally, California’s deserts experience the earliest bloom. City’s parks and beaches join their ranks a few weeks later, blanketing their hillsides with orange, yellow, and purple tints. The flowering season, however, varies from year to year depending on winter precipitation and weather conditions in early spring.


1. Lake Elsinore

Location: A city in Riverside County, California

Distance: The wildflowers near Lake Elsinore are found about one-hour drive from Los Angeles.

Located 1-1.5 hours from the capital of Hollywood, Lake Elsinore is one of the most popular places to see the wildflowers near Los Angeles. Technically, you don’t even need to drive all the way to the city. Gorgeous orange poppies envelope California’s hills for miles and miles before reaching the official destination. Occasionally intermixed with purple hues of lupines, the orange “fires” put on a show that you can’t miss.

The most popular place to see the wildflowers in this region of the Greater Los Angeles Area is Walker Canyon. A trail running though the hills covered with the astounding California poppies, however, can get overcrowded. So if possible, avoid weekends at all costs.

Season: The wildflowers bloom here from March through April.

2. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

Location: 15101 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, CA 93536

Distance: The Reserve packed with orange wildflowers sits approximately 1 hour 20 minutes from Los Angeles.

Similar to Lake Elsinore, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve has earned the reputation as one of the best places to see the wildflowers near Los Angeles. Furthermore, the place offers the most consistent bloom of California poppies. While the rest of the Greater Los Angeles Area might wish for the wildflowers, the Antelope Valley keeps on adding more orange “waves” to its flowery idyll.

Yet even this California poppies’ heavyweight experiences dry seasons. In those rainless years, no wildflowers adorn the hills near Lancaster and Los Angeles whatsoever.

Season: The wildflowers usually bloom from March through May, creating plenty of opportunities to enjoy the bright spring colors near Los Angeles.

TIP: The hills near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve burst into colors as early as March. You can stop and smell the wildflowers right here. But keep in mind the land in this part of Southern California is mostly private and it gets pretty busy in early spring. You can read our story about why we never go to the Antelope Valley Reserve now and learn more about proper places and tips on how to watch the wildflowers in this area.

Wildflowers near Los Angeles -- Roads and Destinations
Wildflowers near Los Angeles, Southern California: Antelope Valley

3. El Matador Beach

Location: 32350 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

Distance: The beach is located about 55 minutes from Los Angeles via I-10 W and CA-1 N.

The excessive fall and winter rainfalls result in the vibrant spring colors near the ocean, bringing the wildflowers to the immediate surroundings of Los Angeles. When the flowering season starts, the area near Malibu morphs into peculiar gardens that burst into yellow, orange, and lilac colors.

One of the best places to witness the California super bloom is El Matador Beach. While natural caves and massive rocks of the place attract throughout the year, the wildflowers highlight your visit to the beach in spring. Yellow coreopsis cover towering cliffs surrounding the beach and add extra charm to one of the most photographed places in Los Angeles.

Season: The wildflowers in Malibu bloom from March until mid-April.

Wildflowers around El Matador Beach -- Roads and Destinations
Seasonal bloom at El Matador Beach in the Greater Los Angeles Area

4. Point Dume State Beach and Natural Preserve

Location: Malibu, CA 90265

Distance: Enjoy the floral decor about 50 minutes away from Los Angeles.

Point Dume State Beach enhances your experiences with the wildflowers in the Los Angeles area in early spring. On top of stunning vistas and easy hikes, the beach displays a wide range of wildflowers. A myriad of giant coreopsis, bush sunflowers, and California poppies adorn the bluffs and headlands of the area. Sand verbena, morning glories, and evening primrose festoon numerous trails that crawl up the hill.

Season: Malibu experiences the flower bloom from early March through mid-April.

Wildflowers near Los Angeles -- Roads and Destinations
Point Dume, Malibu

5. Wildflowers at Paramount Ranch Near Los Angeles

Location: 2903 Cornell Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Distance: The place is nestled 40 minutes from Los Angeles

Paramount Ranch entices with its film legacy, a place where many Hollywood westerns were shot. Sadly, after massive fires in 2018, the ranch burned down. Its restoration got underway only in the summer of 2020. The disaster, however, didn’t stop people from visiting the area. In fact, it only shifted the perspectives, making the wildflowers the center of attention.

After heavy winter rainfalls, the hills behind the ranch rejuvenate, adding the lush greenery and vibrant bloom to their attractions. Thousands of yellow flowers blanket a small field near a parking lot, transforming it into a dense floral veil.

Yet despite these irresistible displays, Paramount Ranch remains one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to enjoying the wildflowers near Los Angeles.

Season: The wildflowers are in bloom from March through April.

Wildflowers near Los Angeles -- Roads and Destinations
Wildflowers at Paramount Ranch

6. O’Melveny Park

Location: 17300 Sesnon Blvd, Granada Hills, CA 91344

Distance: The park is located 35 minutes from Los Angeles.

We’ve been going to O’Melveny Park in the San Fernando Valley for years. It’s a big (in fact, the second biggest park in the Los Angeles region) and relatively unpopular hiking area. You can find plenty of picnic spots, hiking trails, and small meadows to sit and relax. Beautiful, convenient, and just about 30 minutes away from downtown LA. 

Our appreciation of O’Melveny Park grew even more after a spontaneous visit last March. Covered with millions of tiny yellow flowers, the place was glowing. Its usually brownish hillsides transformed into a vibrant flowery painting. We saw enough wildflower fields near Los Angeles, but this one became one of our favorites.

Apart from the vibrant hues, the park never sees as many visitors as popular Griffith Park. You hardly share its ample trails with other hikers while admiring seasonal wildflowers in this section of Los Angeles. Weekends are, certainly, busier. Many locals flock to the area and make use of the picnic tables, lush meadows, and steep, yet friendly hills. 

The park is open from sunrise and sunset, allowing for plenty of opportunities to enjoy the area and outdoor activities it offers. There is no entrance fee. Dogs are also welcome, but make sure to have them on leash. 

Season: The best time to see the wildflowers near Los Angeles are mid-March through April. The bloom, however, varies depending on the weather.

Least crowded hiking places in Los Angeles | Roads and Destinations
Superbloom in O’Melveny Park

7. Wildflowers in Chino Hills State Park Near Los Angeles

Location: 4721 Sapphire Rd, Chino Hills, CA 91709

Distance: Find the wildflowers just 45 minutes from Los Angeles.

Head southeast of downtown Los Angeles and enjoy endless patches of the orange and blue wildflowers in Chino Hills State Park. Famous as a superb hiking destination throughout the year, the area looks especially alluring in spring. Mostly California poppies sprout up from the ground, setting the hills “on fire”. 

The floral abundance is irresistible. An influx of visitors at the time of the bloom certainly proves it, making the park another favorite place to see the wildflowers near the city. While the regular park’s guests carry on their hiking activities at any time of the year, the newest visitors stop at the area to delight in its flowery carpets. 

You don’t need to walk a long distance before feasting your eyes on the spring “magic”. The flowery blankets present themselves in their full glory less than a mile from a parking lot.

For longer hiking adventures, follow the 3.4-mile Bane Canyon Short Loop Trail or the 5.8-mile Bane Canyon Loop Trail and enjoy the vibrant wildflowers a short drive from Los Angeles. 

Season: This area brims with the wildflowers as early as at the end of February. March usually offers the peak bloom.

Wildflowers near Los Angeles -- Roads and Destinations
The best places to see wildflowers near Los Angeles

8. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Location: 652 Palm Canyon Dr, Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Distance: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is located just 2 hours 25 minutes from Los Angeles.

Even the desert gives in to the spring charm. At the end of February, the barren land of the park transforms into lavish orange and yellow “carpets” that spread for miles on end. Locals as well as visitors from Los Angeles rush to the area to feast their eyes on the gentle wildflowers. Desert hills and valleys filled with white, orange, yellow, and purple hues, blooming Parish’s poppies, lilies, and desert dandelions are definitely a sight to behold. 

Yet despite the bloom, the park remains first of all a desert that doesn’t let the flowery “veil” blanket its entire area. Wildflowers can normally be found near Di Giorgio Road and Coyote Canyon. The last bloom of the season lingers only in Borrego Springs, outside the park. 

Season: The wildflowers adorn Anza-Borrego Desert State Park from late February until April. The peak bloom normally happens in March. 

Wildflowers near Los Angeles -- Roads and Destinations
The most likeliest places to find wildflowers in Southern California

9. Flower Fields of Gorman Hills – Wildflowers in Southern California

Location: Near Lebec, northwestern Los Angeles County

Distance: The wildflowers in the Gorman Hills put on a show just 1 hour 10 minutes away from Los Angeles.

The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve indisputably experiences the largest influx of nature enthusiasts wishing to explore the wildflower fields near Los Angeles. But while the biggest entertainer takes care of the largest crowds, hillsides around Gorman Post Road fascinate every local and visitor driving down the highway.

In early spring, California poppy, Bentham lupine, bluehead gilia, and lacy phacelia adorn the area. The floral display that consists of yellow, orange, and blue hues sits along Interstate 5.

Unlike the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, the area is free to enjoy. Stop anywhere where it’s safe and appropriate and enjoy the spring colors.

Tip: Rattlesnakes are common in this area, especially in spring.

Season: The best time to admire the wildflower fields while driving along the highway in this part of Southern California is from March through April. 

Wildflowers near Los Angeles -- Roads and Destinations
California poppies in the southern part of the state

10. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Location: 18751 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Distance: The wildflowers reside in this Southern California park about 55 minutes from Los Angeles.

Nestled in the San Joaquin Hills, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park offers nearly 7,000 acres of hills, canyons, ridgelines, and natural lakes. In spring, the Southern California super bloom is at the center of attention.

Festooned by morning glories, popcorn flowers, and southern suncups, the area morphs into a colorful “ocean” from where you can steal occasional views of the great Pacific Ocean itself.

The blooming wilderness fascinates. Countless locals and visitors forsake impeccable beaches in Laguna Beach for a chance to admire the orange and yellow shades while they last.

To make these spring adventures easier, the park offers 42 miles of trails that run between Irvine and Laguna Beach. The wildflowers abound along the 5-mile Little Sycamore Canyon to Stagecoach South Trails loop

Season: Similar to many other areas in Southern California, the wildflowers in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park bloom from mid-March through early May. The flowering season varies depending on the weather and precipitation. 

11. Joshua Tree National Park

Location: Southern California

Distance: Admire the desert wildflowers just 2 hours 20 minutes from Los Angeles.

While strange-looking trees entice all year round, Southern California wildflowers steal the show in spring. Located a little bit over two hours away from LA, Joshua Tree National Park exceeds all expectations when it comes to the early spring super bloom.

The Mojave and Colorado Deserts set themself “on fire”. Mojave poppies, Canterbury bells, and desert dandelions blanket the ground under the famous trees, temporarily transforming it into a fertile land. 

The vibrant orange and yellow patches of the wildflowers spread unevenly, however. In low elevation areas such as the Pinto Basin, the desert comes to life as early as the end of February. High elevations adopt the wildflowers no sooner than March, asking their guests from Los Angeles to postpone their visits.

The best places to find the bloom in Joshua Tree National Park are near Wilson Canyon and the Cottonwood Visitor Center area

Season: The wildflowers in the deserts of Southern California are usually in bloom from late February through April. 

Joshua Tree National Park -- Roads and Destinations
Bloom in Joshua Tree National Park. Photo by James Lee

12. Red Rock Canyon State Park

Location: 37749 Abbott Dr, Cantil, CA 93519

Distance: Wildflowers blanket the desolated valley surrounded by rocky formations just 1 hour 50 minutes away from Los Angeles. Reach the park via CA-14N.

Last year, well past the short window when the dazzling wildflowers adorn the hills and valleys in and near the Los Angeles area, we went on a day trip to hike at the bottom and along some safe ridges in Red Rock Canyon State Park. Located less than 2 hours away from the City of Angels, the state park boasts some of the most exclusive rock formations, sprinkled with small caves.

But blooming yellow goldfields generously covering the narrow valleys between the irregular pillars stopped us in our tracks. After a few wildflower-inspired day trips from Los Angeles earlier that month, we had a different itinerary in mind this time around. Yet the deserted hills of Southern California weren’t ready to strip off their seasonal floral decorations yet.

Coming across the still blooming wildflowers was unexpected to say the least. Needless to say, the place quickly made its way on our list of the best places to see wildflowers near Los Angeles.

Season: The wildflower season in Red Rock State Park normally lasts from mid-March to May. Considering its desolated location, not many people flock to the area to admire seasonal bloom, making it also one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to looking for wildflowers near Los Angeles.

California - Roads and Destinations
Wildflowers in Red Rock State Park, located less than 2 hours north of Los Angeles

Quick Tips for Visiting Wildflowers Near Los Angeles

  • Whether you long to admire the wildflowers within the city limits or at the parks near Los Angeles, show respect to the fields and do not pick the flowers.
  • Furthermore, don’t walk off the designated trails. This guideline also applies to avoiding sitting or lying in the wildflowers in an attempt to impress your social media followers with the stunning spring pictures. Instead, shoot at different angles to achieve the desired results.
  • The wildflowers in Los Angeles and elsewhere in Southern California don’t last long. Don’t wait long to enjoy them. Better yet, venture to the same fields a few times to see the wildflowers at different stages of their short lives. 
  • Get wildflower updates on park’s official sites or Desert USA. Social media can also be helpful. Make sure to rely on the newest posts, not latergrams.

For more tips and wildflower etiquette, please read Visit Flower Fields: Tips, Etiquette, and Photography

Wildflowers near Los Angeles - Roads and Destinations
The best places to see wildflowers in Los Angeles and nearby deserts in Southern California

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