If you love flower fields, you may have heard about the vast bright orange poppy fields in Southern California that spring up during Superbloom years. They’re so popular that they create major traffic jams near popular areas in the Los Angeles area! Before they became so popular, Ken and I drove hundreds of miles from San Francisco to see these amazing flower fields for themselves. What we saw at Antelope Valley was like a scene out of a fantasy film… vast endless fields of orange poppies as far as the eyes can see… it was shocking and it was spectacular! Despite all the pictures we had seen beforehand, there is nothing like experiencing the Superbloom in person. It was truly a beautiful and amazing sight and we simply could not believe it was real! In this post, I’ll share information about these poppy fields and some photos we took there.
All photos taken by me and my husband Ken.
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The Superbloom in California
According to Wikipedia, “A superbloom is a rare desert botanical phenomenon in which an unusually high proportion of wildflowers whose seeds have lain dormant in desert soil germinate and blossom at roughly the same time. The phenomenon is associated with an unusually wet rainy season.”
A Superbloom of Spring wildflowers in California happens rarely, only after a particularly wet winter, and usually in the desert areas near San Diego and Walker Canyon / Lake Elsinore. Some years, however, the Superbloom spreads north, to the remote Carrizo Plain, and to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve and surrounding areas. During recent Superbloom years starting in 2017, these areas were literally covered with bright orange, yellow, white and purple wildflowers as in a flower-covered world!
For current wildflower conditions and outlook for the Southern California parks, check out the California State Parks Wildflower Bloom page. There’s even a webcam for the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve!
The Superbloom typically doesn’t reach this level in Northern California, but if you live in or visit the San Francisco Bay Area in the Spring, check out the poppy fields at Mt Diablo State Park in the East Bay! There are poppies and other wildflowers there nearly every year, along with spectacular mountain-top views!
Our Trip to See the Poppies at Antelope Valley
Since we don’t get to experience the Superbloom in the S.F. Bay Area where we live, I knew we had to drive to Southern California to see this phenomenon for ourselves! After a stay in Bakersfield following our successful trip to see Superbloom wildflowers in the Carrizo Plains, Ken and I set out for the nearby Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve early the next morning to continue our California Superbloom road trip.
Our destination was the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in the city of Lancaster, located approximately 1.5 hrs north of Los Angeles. As we approached the reserve, we saw that a field next to the reserve had dense clusters of bright golden orange poppies with a number of other people there also, so we decided to stop and wander for a bit and take some pictures. The next thing we knew, a couple of hours had passed already, and it had been almost four hours since we started our trip! What happened?? I guess time flies when you’re entranced with endless fields of gorgeous poppies!!
As it turns out, we spent so much time at the smaller poppy fields on the way to, and just outside of the reserve, that we never made it inside the actual reserve by the time we got hungry for lunch and had to continue our trip to Los Angeles!
But even if we didn’t get to go inside the actual reserve, we were very happy that we still got to see the spectacular Superbloom poppies of the area. Some people that we met at the field actually told us that the poppies we saw there were even more dense than those inside the reserve, so I’m happy to know that we didn’t miss out!
My New YouTube Channel!
I recently started a new YouTube channel! If you love nature, flowers and gardens as much as I do, make sure to give me a follow there! 💛 I’ve included one of my videos below. 😊🌸🌿
Step Inside a Fairytale Rose Garden!
This secret rose garden is full of blooming roses, rose terraces, rose walls, rose pillars, and even a rose-covered gazebo straight out of a fairytale! 🌸
It’s my first video for YouTube – I hope you like it! 🙂
California Spring Travel
If you’re looking for more California Spring travel ideas, check out my posts on the Most Beautiful Spots in Big Sur, the Purple Ice Plants of the Monterey Peninsula, the spectacular Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch, and the Poppy Fields of Mt Diablo State Park! All of my California travel posts are available here!
Thank you for stopping by my blog! I hope you found this post useful, and I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hi, I’m Pansy!
Hello, thanks for stopping by! I’m Pansy, California-based travel blogger, photographer and lover of ALL the pretty flowers! You may notice that most of my travels, photography & DIY center around flowers and nature! 🌸🌼🌿
I recently started a YouTube channel where I feature walks through beautiful gardens, parks & flower fields! Make sure to follow me there if you love flowers & gardens! 😊