Wildflowers in California
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Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 14:08:30 MST Print View

I'm looking for suggestions for a long weekend trip (3 to 5 days) this spring that is known for having spectacular wildflower viewing. Preferably something within driving distance (no longer than 5 hours) from San Francisco. Any ideas?

Richard Gless
(rgless) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 16:59:53 MST Print View

Henry Coe has great wildflowers in the spring. With 3-5 days you could tour most of the park.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 17:05:40 MST Print View

Spring wildflowers peak at wildly different times depending on where you are. Are you looking for alpine flowers? Grassland flowers? Early April? Mid-June?

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 17:25:50 MST Print View

I was in Henry Coe for a weekend last year when the wildflowers were blooming, and you're right, they were great. I'll probably head there again this year, but just for a weekend.

I'd lean towards alpine flowers and not too concerned about timing. I'm just looking to pick a location and then try to be flexible enough to head there whenever the peak time happens to be.

Something like this would be nice. I was planning a separate trip to Wyoming this year, so maybe I'll try to time it to be in this spot at just the right time.

Edited by csteutterman on 01/03/2012 17:26:26 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 17:32:37 MST Print View

Lundy Pass, just north of Saddlebag Lake.

This year, if the snowpack is as light as what appears now, the best time will be about July 25.

--B.G.--

a b
(Ice-axe)
Wildflowers really close to SF on 01/03/2012 17:39:22 MST Print View

For a quick fix of local wild flowers I recommend Russian Ridge open space preserve.
Actually I have used this area for training for 18 years.
I like to hike from Skyline ridge Open space to Russian Ridge taking in Horseshoe lake, coastal mountain views, Alpine pond, Borel hill, Pacific ocean views, mount Diablo and even a "keyhole" view of the Sierra nevada on exceptionally clear days.
The wildflowers here are fantastic but like "Found" said the timing is dependent on the rain.
I have found that once the diablo range in the east turns green in late winter, the wild flowers of the Santa cruz mountains are just beginning to bud.
Most years as early as late february the miners lettuce is sprouted and quite tasty up at Skyline ridge.
Wildflowers follow usually from late March to May.
The San Mateo coastline along highway 1 during the month of May is spectacular for wild flowers.
.Miners lettuce April 8th 2010 Skyline Ridge OSP.
.Wildflowers and Deer April 14th 2010 Russian Ridge OSP.
.San Mateo coastline HWY 1 May.
.
My ultimate secret place for wildflowers is Rancheria Mountain in the Yosemite wilderness north of Hetchhetchy.
.Snow plant in May at 5,600 feet HetchHetchy.
.Shooting Stars in May above 5,000 ft HetchHetchy.
.Hetchhetchy in May

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Re: Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 17:43:34 MST Print View

That's an incredible display Chris. It strikes me that I'm perhaps I don't have the depth of knowledge needed to recommend remote Sierran wildflower blooms. Perhaps do some research over at highsierratopix.com
Edit..

Chris is that photo real?

Edited by Found on 01/03/2012 17:45:30 MST.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 17:54:31 MST Print View

Probably not real. I just did a google image search and posted the one that looked the best. Another search led me to this: http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/comments/grand_teton_and_wildflowers

And thanks for the other suggestions and extra thanks to Matt for taking the time to post those photos. I'll have to look into those spots.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 17:57:12 MST Print View

The first thing I thought was that the photo was not real for several reasons. It'd be interesting to hear from the real photogs on this site since I am a rank amateur.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 17:58:51 MST Print View

"Probably not real."

That view of the Tetons is a very standard photographer hangout, and there have never been more than a couple of flowers there anytime that I've been there.

--B.G.--

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 18:07:10 MST Print View

At images.google.com type in "grand tetons wildflowers". The first image up is this one. Now hold down the mouse click on the image, start to drag it slightly off and google pops up a box to drag the image to. That box will compare the image across the web and bring up websites with the same image. Check out the results.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Teton wildflowers? No way! on 01/03/2012 18:15:40 MST Print View

Those are all domestic garden flower varieties photoshopped in! Here's what the spring bloom in Jackson Hole really looks like:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/photogg19/4905192162/

There's a seasonal wildflower hotline for California that I've used when traveling there:
http://www.theodorepayne.org/hotline.html

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 18:15:50 MST Print View

I just checked my files, and this is obviously a composite photo, not exactly real.

The native vegetation is a lot of green stuff with a couple of tiny flowers.

Been there. Done that.

I can't figure out why this composite photo from Wyoming was used in discussion about wildflowers of California.

--B.G.--

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 18:17:25 MST Print View

I suspect some leg-pulling is involved! :-)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 18:19:42 MST Print View

There is a good place for wildflowers in California, but it is outside of the 5 hour driving range. Death Valley in mid-March, and that is plus or minus two weeks, depending on the winter rainfall. From there, you can skip on down to Joshua Tree, then Anza Borrego, and come back via the Poppy Preserve.

--B.G.--

stephan q
(khumbukat) - F
Spring Wildflowers on 01/03/2012 18:35:24 MST Print View

Howdy. Don't forget Hite Cove Trail. So profuse, it has it's own guidebook. On the South Fork of the Meced starting from Savages Trading Post on Hwy 140. Between Briceburg and El Portal. Yosemite Valley Visitor Center keeps tabs on "peak" bloom time. stephan.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 20:46:55 MST Print View

There is a good place for wildflowers in California, but it is outside of the 5 hour driving range. Death Valley in mid-March, and that is plus or minus two weeks, depending on the winter rainfall. From there, you can skip on down to Joshua Tree, then Anza Borrego, and come back via the Poppy Preserve.
-----------------------------

Some years this can unbelievable. But as Bob says, it is a short window and dependent upon winter rain (how much and when).

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Wildflowers in California on 01/03/2012 20:57:08 MST Print View

020
Emigrant Wilderness, July in the Sierras

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Wildflowers in CA on 01/04/2012 11:41:12 MST Print View

Check out Los Padres National Forest. The area around Figueroa Mountain (behind Santa Ynez, CA) is locally popular for wildflower displays around March/Arpil. There are lots of hiking trails in the area that connect to the adjacent San Rafael Wilderness area. Lots of lupine, poppies, etc. Los Padres National Forest maintains a wildflower hotline and website updates on the status/location of the blooms and what flowers are showing in what areas.

Figueroa Mtn

Not such a great location for backpacking, but the Carrizo Plain area in inland San Luis Obispo County also has epic wildflower displays. Whole hillsides covered in gold. There's a handful of primitive campsites in the area and miles of 4wd tracks to explore for wildflowers. Lots of other neat sights too: ancient Native American pictographs, salt flats, old ranching history and the San Andreas Fault. Very scenic with a lot of really great photo opps.

Big Sur has its moments too...

Big Sur

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Wildflowers in CA on 01/05/2012 13:18:56 MST Print View

Thank for the additional recommendations. And thanks Jay and Nicholas for the photos....just what I was looking for. Looks like there is no shortage of options. Would love to get down to death valley, but it is a bit far for this trip and hopefully in March I will finally be getting my money's worth out of my ski pass for this year.

And sorry about that tease of a photo. I should've know it was too good to be true.