Head to the desert (or cue your Instagram feed) for one of nature’s most dazzling spring displays

Anza Borrego Super Bloom
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Nearly two years ago, Southern California’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Parkcame alive with one of the most stunning natural events known to man: A super bloom (pictured above). At the time, the desert became a colorful scene thanks to millions of rare flower blooms. It both blanketed the desert floor and brought in tourists from around the country to see the spectacle. And now, thanks to some unique weather systems, Southern California may soon get to experience this magical event all over again.

As The San Diego Union-Tribune noted, December rains were abundant in the area. And since then, a steady stream of rain has come to the area, bringing with it the ideal amount of moisture to potentially trigger a bloom.

Already, the paper explained, eastern portions of the park are experiencing early blooms of desert sunflowers. The flowers popping up include bright purple sand verbena and white desert lilies.

Truly, this second bloom would be a gift. Typically, a super bloom is only triggered every five to ten years in the region. Prior to 2017, the last time the park experienced a bloom was in 2008. And, if this really happens, you may want to start planning your visit now as things can certainly get crowded.

“I think the morning is prime time,” Kathy Dice, Superintendent of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, who has lived and worked in Borrego Springs for 30 years, previously shared with Travel+Leisure about the best time to see the bloom. “What we’re known for really, we have a large variety, 100 different types of flowers. It’s very colorful.”

According to Dice, the best thing to do if you want to see a true abundance of flowers is to drive a few miles away from the main gate of the park. There, visitors will likely be rewarded with a thinned out crowd and even more flowers like Brown-Eyed Primrose, Little Gold Poppies, and fields packed with Desert Sunflowers.

And, if you can, stay flexible on your timing. As Dice noted, the length of bloom depends on the weather, and if a few hungry caterpillars decide to hatch early and eat all the blooms before you get there. 

Stay tuned to the park’s wildflower update page for more information on the prime times to visit.