The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) advises wildflower enthusiasts to plan ahead. California’s wildflower season is struggling after rainfall is at historic lows and blooms may not be as bountiful, so assessing the situation before you head out is even more crucial this year.
Wildflowers typically bloom in the southern portion of the state first, then move north as the weather warms. According to the National Weather Service, some areas in central and southern California have received less than 20 percent of their normal precipitation this year. The temperatures and dry conditions have resulted in drier soils and vegetation.
The Carrizo Plain National Monument is a popular, but remote, wildflower location in San Luis Obispo County. However, due to ongoing dry conditions, the landscape is currently covered in brown grasses and extremely sparse blooms. Those who typically visit for California’s wildflower season may have better luck at less traditional viewing spots such as the Red Hills or the Merced River recreation management areas in Tuolumne County or Mariposa County, respectively.
“Unfortunately, there is not a real show of wildflowers this season in Carrizo,” said Monument Manager Johna Hurl. “There are some small patches of goldfields visible and in higher elevations of the Temblor Mountains there are sparse incidences of hillside daisies.”
On social media, the BLM California offers wildflower watchers a realistic, on-the-ground look at current conditions at recreation sites throughout the state. The public can follow BLM California on its Facebook and Twitter accounts to view wildflowers virtually or find the best observation spots throughout the season.