Everything's Coming Up Wildflowers: Your Complete Guide to Orange County's Wild Blooms


It is wildflower season in Orange County! One of the most pleasant side effects of our winter rainy season is the explosion of wildflowers that is currently taking place in and around Orange County. While 2020 is not due for a super bloom, there are still plenty of wildflowers to enjoy if you know where to find them. Now is the time to hit the trails and appreciate Orange County area parks and wilderness areas at their absolute finest. 


Close-ups of California wild flowers




One of the best place places to see a diverse array of wildflowers is Irvine's Bommer Canyon.  Here hikers will discover lupine, goldfields, fiddlenecks, chia, thistle, storksbill, blue dicks, prickly pear, poppies, and more.

Beyond Bommer Canyon, expect to spot wildflowers in Hidden Canyon, Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Caspers Wilderness Park, and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Special guided wildflower-focused hikes will take place in various locations at the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks. Advanced signup is necessary.  


Ladybug on a southern California wildflower



East of Irvine, is Chino Hills State Park.  When the weather is ideal, carpets of poppies, lupine, and various other wildflowers are blanketing the vibrantly green hillsides, making it one of the prime wildflower viewing locations in the entire state.  The drive from Irvine to the State Park along the 241 Toll Road is incredibly scenic with wildflowers to gaze at along the way. 


A hillside of poppies in southern California



Wildflowers in the hills of southern California



Wildflowers bloom in southern California



One other location not to be missed is Walker Canyon, located about an hour from Irvine off I15 near Lake Elsinore. This location has caused traffic jams during super bloom years because gawkers gazing at the fields of poppies that can be spotted from the freeway. A short walk uphill from the parking area off of the Lake Blvd exit will allow you to be up close and personal with California's official state flower.


Poppies blanket the hills in southern California


Wildflowers & Pollinators: A Walking Tour of the Native Seed Farm

Join Farm Stewards for a walking tour of the Native Seed Farm. With this winter’s rains, the flowers should be amazing! The nature walk will highlight native plants used in our restoration efforts and which will look great in your home garden. Want to attract butterflies, hummingbirds or native bees? Bees, beetles, moths, butterflies, bats, and birds are just a few of the beneficial creatures that help create a beautiful habitat right in your own backyard!

Visit Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks for the most recent schedule.

 All photos by Sharlene Earnshaw