Southern California Wildflower Guide

Wildflowers are out in Southern California and everyone is out to see the “super bloom” in a variety of different places. The winter rains came down heavily in the southland which brought out more flowers and lots of greenery. Hills that were once dry and barren are now lush and green which has left us with some beautiful scenery. So here I’ll share my Southern California wildflower guide so you can visit the blooms while they’re still out.

Anza-Borrego State Park
Borrego Springs, San Diego County

I recently took a trip to Anza-Borrego State Park in San Diego County to see the flowers before they’re gone again. Anza-Borrego doesn’t usually get this amount of wildflowers in the spring, this is something rare for the state park. In fact, this super bloom is so rare for the area that it’s brought people from all over the states and even across the world. If you visit the park on a weekend, be patient and prepare for traffic jams. I visited during the week and the crowds were still pretty heavy.

Be sure to stop at the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association for a free wildflower map. Also please support the ABDNHA if possible by purchasing an item (large or small) from the store. The people working the store are very helpful and recommended a loop for us to drive and see the flowers.

There’s plenty of trails for hiking and if you’re more about the hiking than the wildflowers check out the slots!

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The Ultimate Death Valley Road Trip Guide

Death Valley National Park is unlike any other California park. It’s very dry and is known for being the hottest and lowest place in the world. Its hottest recorded day was 134 degrees Fahrenheit. Yup, that wasn’t a typo! The lowest part of Death Valley is 282 feet below sea level, making it the lowest elevation in the United States. Each sight is very different from each other. From the sand dunes to the salt flats to the badlands of Zabriskie Point. It’s one of the places I would definitely keep visiting.

I went to Death Valley for the first time last year. It was during their “super bloom,” a rare bloom of wildflowers that doesn’t happen often in Death Valley, and I visited again recently. There, unfortunately, was not much of any kind of “bloom” this time around but I was able to make some stops I didn’t get to make during my first camping trip the year before which inspired me to put together my ultimate Death Valley road trip guide…

Camp Out

To make the most out of your visit I recommend camping. There are a few campgrounds at Death Valley; the larger ones are Furnace Creek and Stovepipe Wells. I stayed at Stovepipe Wells campground. It’s the third campground you’ll see if you’re coming in from Lone Pine. There are no advance reservations for the campground. You find your campsite, park and pay for your site and buy your pass (if you don’t have a national park pass) at the kiosk. There is a general store in the same lot and across the street is the Badwater Saloon and Toll Road Restaurant if you need somewhere to cool off and grab a bite of non-camping food. You can also utilize the pool and showers for an extra fee. You just pay at the Stovepipe Wells Village Hotel lobby. Oh yes, if you don’t like camping you can stay at the hotel or the Furnace Creek Resort.

Information on all Death Valley campgrounds can be found here.

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Hiking Mt. Whitney and Applying for Permits Through the Lottery

Hiking Mt. Whitney is on the adventure bucket list for many outdoor enthusiasts. With an elevation of 14,508 feet, Mt. Whitney is the tallest mountain in the 48 contiguous US states.

Mt. Whitney is a part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and its trail starts in the Inyo National Forest and enters Sequoia National Park. The summit is also the southern end of the John Muir Trail, “JMT.” Climbing to the summit and back can be done in a day trip or an overnight backpacking trip. Permits are needed for this hike from May 1st to November 1st each year. You can apply for a permit during the Mt. Whitney Lottery between February 1st and March 15th. Lottery results will be available on March 24th.

Mt Whitney in the distance (photo by Monique Tejada, @m00niquee)

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