The last time California had a super bloom was in 2019, and it appeared that everyone went a little bit crazy over it. Of course, this was pre-pandemic, so it feels like a lifetime ago rather than just 4 years. These super bloom events are relatively rare and usually only happen once every ten years. However, experts are saying that spring 2023 could be another super bloom year in Southern California.
California state experienced an unusually high amount of rainfall in the summer of 2022 and also had devastating floods just this past month. High rainfall is a prerequisite for a super bloom the following spring.
However, Death Valley NPS state that they are expecting an “average to above average year” this year for wildflowers, at least in Death Valley. They are being cautious because conditions still need to be favorable, despite the high rainfall they’ve had.
There needs to be a warm springtime sun to gently warm the soil and no wind to make sure the soil doesn’t dry out too much. Clearly then, it’s a Goldilocks situation where conditions need to be just right. If the bloom does occur this year, it will be best to see it from mid-February to May, peaking in mid-March, depending on location and elevation.
Despite these blooms generally only occurring once every ten years, this isn’t always the case. We saw super blooms in 2019 and 2017, proving against that rule. The area North of San Diego, Lake Elsinore, was the epicenter of the 2019 blooms. However, Death Valley, Antelope Valley, and Joshua Tree National Park are all great places to see wildflowers.
If you’re in the California State area this springtime, it might be worth keeping an eye out for wildflowers. It really is worth taking your camera out for. But please don’t be silly like some people were last time. Don’t trample the flowers, stick to footpaths, and please make more interesting photos than the rest of the Instagram crowd!