How to see the California superbloom - The Points Guy (2023)

California made headlines this winter after receiving record amounts of rain and snow in some areas.

Luckily, there is a bright side to all the dreary weather: A vibrant spring superbloom is making its way across the state.

Travelers are flocking to California to admire the wide expanses of wildflowers covering the ground.

April is the peak viewing month. However, you can witness the spectacle all the way through June or July in certain areas. Depending on which area you visit, you can expect to see California poppies, variations of lilies, red larkspur, desert dandelions, red maids and plenty of other flowers.

Here's how to see the superbloom for yourself and how to save money while doing so.

How to see the California superbloom - The Points Guy (1)

(Video) California hills burst with color in rare wildflower ‘superbloom’

How to get there

Driving is the ideal (and pretty much the only) way to reach the blooming areas across the state. Most California residents can find a good viewing spot within a few hours of their homes.

The best spots in Southern California include Chino Hills State Park, Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, Red Rock Canyon State Park and Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. If you're in Northern California, check out Mount Tamalpais State Park, China Camp State Park and Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

For the full list of prime viewing locations, visit the California Department of Parks and Recreation website.

How to see the California superbloom - The Points Guy (2)

Rules about visiting hours, animals and drone usage vary across parks. However, one rule applies to all locations: Don't pick the wildflowers or disturb the natural surroundings.

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(Video) 2023 Wildflower Trip Guide

If you live in Los Angeles, Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is one of the most convenient options, reachable in about an hour and a half. Visitors can lounge among the flowers or enjoy the views while strolling the reserve's 8 miles of trails.

Parking is plentiful at Antelope Valley, and it costs $10 per vehicle (with discounts available for visitors older than 62 and those with registered disability passes). The reserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Travelers flying to California to see the wildflowers should rent a car rather than rely on ride-hailing services. The best viewing areas are relatively far from major cities, and you don't want to get stranded at a park with no way back. Also, cruising by flowering fields is more fun when you're free to stop and snap photos wherever you want. Your best bet is to pick up and drop off your rental car at whatever airport you fly into.

The state's major airports — Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Diego International Airport (SAN) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) — will likely offer the cheapest and most convenient flight options for out-of-state visitors. However, it's worth checking fares to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), Sacramento International Airport (SMF), Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) and John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County if you want to see the blooms near those specific regions.

Where to stay

Travelers who want to stay as close to the blooming flowers as possible should look for hotels in the small cities and towns near their desired area. For example, visitors to Antelope Valley can stay in nearby Lancaster, where there are a few points-friendly hotels. About 15 miles east of the poppy reserve, this city also has solid dining options and stores.

Those heading to Chino Hills State Park can stay in nearby Chino Hills or Yorba Linda. Or better yet, choose a hotel in Anaheim (about 15 miles southwest of the state park) and spend a few days at Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm after you get your fill of flowers.


If you don't mind driving an hour or more to see the superbloom each day — or if you want to spend a few extra vacation days exploring fantastic museums and restaurants — a true city stay might be better for you. Since there are countless hotels in LA, you'll have your pick of hotel brands and can even enjoy some luxury options. Most Northern California viewing spots are less than two hours from San Francisco, also making for a manageable daytrip from a city hotel.

How to see the California superbloom - The Points Guy (3)

If you want to truly get away from it all, try camping at a state park. Camping is permitted at Red Rock Canyon State Park — a prime wildflower viewing area. Campsites can hold up to eight people and cost $25 per night. They offer space for one vehicle and include fire rings, potable water and tables. Get there early because sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can't reserve them in advance.

Note: You can use your camping receipt for entry at any other California state parks the following day, so be sure to maximize the pass and enjoy as much of the Golden State's nature as possible. Some other Southern California state parks worth visiting include Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park, Saddleback Butte State Park and Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach.

Earn and redeem points along the way

There are plenty of ways to maximize your points earnings during your spring getaway. First and foremost, be sure to stay at a points-friendly hotel. Rates are quite low in the small cities near the wildflowers. For example, Hilton Honors members can stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Lancaster next weekend for just $119 per night and earn points on the stay.

As mentioned above, you'll likely get the best points-redemption rates if you stay in a major city because there are so many options. You can easily shop around to find a property that's part of your favorite loyalty program and fits your budget. Check out this helpful guide to points properties in San Francisco in case you need help deciding on accommodations in that area.

Out-of-towners who need to rent cars can earn points on rentals and gain elite status with car rental companies simply by booking with the right credit cards. For example, if you hold The Platinum Card® from American Express, you'll receive complimentary car rental elite status with Avis, Hertz and National. Depending on the company, elite status can get you guaranteed upgrades, bonus points on purchases and higher earning rates. Even if you don't hold a credit card with rental car perks, you can still earn points by signing up for the rewards program of whatever company you rent from.

(Video) California experiencing ‘super bloom’ after intense rainfall l GMA

Unfortunately, California is infamous for high gas prices. Since you'll probably use a lot of gas driving across the state to find the best wildflower vistas, it's also worth signing up for fuel savings programs. This way, you can earn points when you fill up your tank and get money off future purchases.

How to see the California superbloom - The Points Guy (4)

Bottom line

There's no better way to kick off spring than witnessing this floral phenomenon. As far as wildflower superblooms go, this is one of the best California has seen in a while.

Whether you're traveling solely to see the flowers or you want to use the superbloom as a quick daytrip from a nearby city, there are plenty of convenient ways to catch the spectacle.

Related reading:

  • Key travel tips you need to know — whether you're a beginner or expert traveler
  • From downtown to the Westside and beyond: Los Angeles hotels you can book on points
  • These are the best rides at Disneyland
  • The best hotels near Universal Studios Hollywood
  • 8 of the best credit cards for general travel purchases
  • 13 must-have items the TPG team can't travel without

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


How long is the Superbloom? ›

The intense blooming season occurs in late winter to early spring, mid-February through mid-May.

Is there a Superbloom in Death Valley? ›

Wildflowers of Death Valley

The desert springs to life as wildflowers bloom in winter and spring each year. Some years are relatively subdued, while others produce stunning displays, such as the 2005 and 2016 super blooms represented in many of these photos.

What is the desert superbloom? ›

A superbloom is a rare desert botanical phenomenon in California in which an unusually high proportion of wildflowers whose seeds have lain dormant in desert soil germinate and blossom at roughly the same time.

Can you see superbloom for free? ›

To enjoy the whole experience of Superbloom in the moat and explore the iconic Tower of London, you will need the Superbloom +Tower of London ticket option.

When to see superbloom 2023? ›

Spring has sprung on the West Coast after a wet winter brought heavy rain and snow. April 14, 2023 -- Every spring, California's desert hills explode in vibrant blossoming wildflowers. Due to this winter's historic rainfall, the hills are covered in a "superbloom" of flowers, painting the landscape orange and yellow.

Is it worth going to superbloom? ›

It is a great place for pictures, and there are so many bees and other bugs enjoying the flowers. It's a great way to give back to nature, as well as bring some colour to the outside of the tower.

Will there be a California superbloom in 2023? ›

2023 Spring Season May Bring Spectacular Wildflower Blooms—and Crowds—to State Parks. With spectacular wildflower blooms expected this spring that may attract thousands of people into the outdoors, California State Parks is providing visitors with tips on how to explore the blooms safely and responsibly.

When can you see superbloom? ›

Typically, super bloom season occurs roughly from February through May (the same time wildflower season would normally happen), often peaking in mid-March. However, super bloom timing often varies by region: The Central Coast – mid-March to mid-April. Los Angeles County – mid-March to early April.

Will there be a superbloom in Death Valley in 2023? ›

Death Valley superbloom not expected in 2023, park officials say | Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Are the flowers out at superbloom? ›

Superbloom is being planted to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, which is officially being celebrated 2-5 June 2022. The flowers will be on show from July-September, with the display changing naturally through this period as different species of flower enter their prime.

What is the nearest tube to Superbloom? ›

4 | How to Get to the Superbloom

The nearest station to the Tower of London is Tower Hill.

Do you have to pay to see the flowers at the tower? ›

Tower of London Superbloom, Summer 2022

Entry to the moat is now free of charge, with no ticket required.

Where is the Superbloom in California? ›

University of California ecologists have counted 10 Superblooms in Southern California's Anza-Borrego Desert over four decades. Nine of the 10 blooms occurred after winters when precipitation was higher than average.

Where to see California superbloom 2023? ›

California wildflower blooms are known to receive an enormous amount of attention and attract over a million visitors to natural areas such as Lake Elsinore, the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, Death Valley National Park, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

Where can I see superbloom in Los Angeles? ›

Here are the top 5 places for you to explore the Superbloom:
  • Anza Borrego State Park.
  • Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Walker Canyon, Lake Elsinore.
  • Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
  • Wildwood Park, Thousand Oaks.

Where is the best place to see the California poppies? ›

While visiting the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, we also suggest you visit Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park, located seven miles west of the Poppy Reserve just past 205th Street West.

Do you need to book for superbloom? ›

They're always raven about it. NOTE: Superbloom is free to look at from the outside, but if you want to walk through (or slide into) the meadow, you'll need to book a ticket in advance.

Will the superbloom be permanent? ›

It will have a long term legacy, gradually becoming a new haven for wildlife in Central London. In March 2022, 29 flower species were planted in the historic Tower of London moat to create Superbloom.

Is California likely to see a wave of mesmerizing superblooms in 2023? ›

California Is Likely To See A Wave Of Mesmerizing Superblooms In 2023. After a year of severe drought, last fall California experienced a much-needed soaking. Unfortunately, in some cases, it has been quite extreme rainfall. On the brighter side, it brings with…

When was the last superbloom in California? ›

California's last superbloom was in 2019, with experts saying it was so large that it could be seen from space.

How long will a bloom last? ›

Flowers can stay fresh for about a week, but if you take care of them properly, your blooms will be perky for about 7-12 days. Following these easy tips will help your flowers stay healthy and colorful for up to a week longer.

Is there a slide at superbloom? ›

It's part of Superbloom, a wildflower meadow being grown at the Tower of London to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. The stainless steel slide has four lanes, with mats available for people to travel down it into the moat — though access to the moat will still be available via other (more conventional) routes.

Where to see superbloom 2023 Bay Area? ›

The California Department of Parks and Recreation is recommending several places across the state to see the superbloom, here are some locations in the Bay Area.
  • Mount Tamalpais State Park.
  • China Camp State Park.
  • Trione-Annadel State Park.
  • Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.
6 days ago

Will there be a superbloom in 2023 Anza Borrego? ›

Therefore, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park officials do not anticipate a superbloom in 2023. This is not to say, however, that there won't be any wildflowers to enjoy in the park. Rather the contrary, in fact, this park has an abundance of beautiful flowers every spring.

What time of year can you see California poppies? ›

“Generally it happens early in April, but it can take place any time between mid-March and early May.” For best viewing, time your visit for a sunny midmorning, if you can. “Midmorning is usually best because it has warmed up enough for poppies to open, but the afternoon winds haven't kicked in yet,” explains Rhyne.

When should I visit Valley of Flowers? ›

Though the Valley is beautiful in May, June and September. But for maximum number of flowers in July and August are most preferred months. Tourists should inquire about the weather and road conditions especially during the monsoons, before planning their trip to Valley of Flowers.

Are California poppies still in bloom? ›

The intense blooming season for the California Poppy usually falls within late winter to early spring, during the months of mid-February through mid-May. Blooming seasons are dependent on the amount of rainfall during the winter to early spring seasons.

Will bloom go ahead this year? ›

The much-loved outdoor festival, now in its sixteenth year, is set to take place from June 2nd-6th. This will be the first time since 2019 that Bloom will be held in person after two virtual events due to the pandemic.

When was the last superbloom in Death Valley? ›

The last time Death Valley had a superbloom was in 2016. Photo: Desert Gold (Geraea canescens) superbloom in 2016, NPS / Dianne Milliard, Death Valley National Park.

Will 2023 be a superbloom year? ›

In fact, National Geographic wrote that 2023 could be the “year of the superbloom,” and some superbloom sites have even closed to tourists in anticipation. Some Bay Area blooms have sprouted up on the Mt.

Will there be a superbloom 2023? ›

California Is Likely To See A Wave Of Mesmerizing Superblooms In 2023.

How often do super blooms occur? ›

Super blooms do not occur annually—they are a rare phenomenon that usually happen only once every 10 to 15 years. However, the last two super blooms in California blossomed to fruition in 2017 and 2019 (nature is nothing if not random at times).

What desert plant only blooms every 100 years? ›

Agave Americana Blooms Once Every Hundred Years

It's also known as a century plant because it only blooms once every 100 years (roughly) and then dies. But, because Raleigh gets more rain than the plant's usual home in the high elevations of Northern Mexico, the Century Plant is blooming after only thirty years.

What is the nearest tube to superbloom? ›

4 | How to Get to the Superbloom

The nearest station to the Tower of London is Tower Hill.

How long does a super bloom last in California? ›

Though the Super Bloom typically starts in February and can last as long as July, early spring is often the best time to view the floral phenomenon.

When was the last super bloom in California? ›

The last California superbloom took place in 2019 following a period of heavy rains. Now, after another wet winter, some experts say the state may be poised for a spring explosion of wildflowers, depending on temperature and rainfall over the next few weeks.

Where can I see super bloom in California? ›

Southern California
  • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
  • Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
  • Chino Hills State Park.
  • Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.
  • Eastern Kern County Onyx Ranch State Vehicular Recreation Area.
  • Red Rock Canyon State Park.
  • Tule Elk State Natural Reserve.
5 days ago


1. Super Bloom - Outside Beyond The Lens
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2. 2023 Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve Super Bloom - California
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3. California Super Bloom! It’s back!
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4. [4K] SUPER BLOOM Poppy Fields in Walker Canyon, Lake Elsinore California - Virtual Walk Tour
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5. Carrizo Plains National Monument California Superbloom Wildflowers
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6. California Superbloom - Chino Hills State Park
(Road To Something New)
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