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Where El Niño Goes, the Wildflowers Follow

DestinationCouopns.com Blog Archives

April 4, 2016

Thanks to a strong El Niño and heavy autumn rains, the high desert is experiencing its biggest explosion of flowers since 2005. Although the most famous Super Bloom takes place in Death Valley, and should last through the month - California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona are also bursting in color this April. This once-in-a-decade explosion of color should not be missed - so hit the road Jack!

The golden poppy, California's state flower is spread throughout the Mojave Desert region but Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve (California) is spectacular as it's transformed in the springtime from a dry and barren land into a sea of flowers. With miles of trails winding through the gentle rolling hills, this is a wonderful place for families to hike and explore. Death Valley (California) is a carpet of gold as the Desert Golden and 20 other species of wildflowers are in bloom. In Valley of Fire State Park, Lake Mead and El Dorado Canyon (Nevada), just a short drive from Las Vegas, the brilliant fuchsia Joshua Tree blossoms, Beavertails cactus, Brittlebush and Bear Paw poppies are bursting open to welcome spring.

Moving into Utah we have our most favorite parks that offer amazing bursts of color. Arches National Park contains over 2,000 natural sandstone arches within the park's 76,518 acres. A wide variety of hiker-only trails offer short 10 minute walks (suitable for all ages) to 4 hour hikes into some of the remote sections of the park. Along the way you will see spectacular desert wildflowers in bloom.

Zion National Park is well known for its prolific abundance of over 1,000 plant species. Flowers in the lower Zion Canyon are usually good in April one can expect Zion Penstemon, prickly poppy, desert marigold, serviceberry, and maybe the balsamroot and globe mallow and the eye-catching slickrock paintbrush. On Weeping Rock, Emerald Pools, and Riverside Walk trails, you may see flowers shooting star, golden columbine and scarlet lobelia clinging to the cliff walls of the “hanging gardens.”

The Details: Choose an area close to home and make it a day trip, or take a few days to discover the beauty of the desert. Our trip took us from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. We opted to rent a campervan so that we could stay inside the National Parks rather than outside in a hotel. We were really glad we did because the parks are so quiet and peaceful and night and the star-gazing is amazing.

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