That’s how I’d summarize the month of March. I just love it when we have a super bloom in Southern California!
It really shouldn’t be but the reality is, when you are adventuring with your dog, it can be a little bit tricky. Dogs aren’t allowed at all outdoor locations. To start off, National Parks and California State Parks don’t allow dogs on the trails. If you plan to stay on the pavement during the entire visit, then it’s not an issue. But as you know, I love exploring trails with Xena. And, I very much love peace and quiet.
If you are like me, then here are my tips for you on How To Enjoy Wildflowers With Your Dog without losing your sanity. 😉
1. Do research to avoid crowded locations
Chances are the most popular locations either don’t allow dogs or enforce the leash rule at all times. I respect the rules but I like exploring with Xena off leash at the same time. So I do my research to find places where we can explore at our pace without the crazy crowds and a bunch of dog-restricting rules.
This past spring, Lake Elsinore was the most popular location to see the super bloom in SoCal. The entire area was congested for weeks and the crowd became out of control several times. NO thank you. I did everything in my power to avoid that area altogether. Ha! Seeing the super bloom through other’s Instagram posts were enough for me.
2. Explore off-trail
I think the best way to experience the field of wildflowers is by taking a little hike. We were on a trail when we saw an explosion of vibrant colors on a hill ahead. We took a detour from the plan and hiked until we found a little side trail that could lead us to the hill. We followed that narrow path for a while until we were at the bottom of the hill.
We got off the trail and scrambled to the top until we reached the field of California poppies. There was no one. We had the vibrant wildflowers and the stunning view of the valley all to ourselves as long as we cared to stay. It was truly wild!
3. Be willing to drive a distance for isolated locations
You can research online the wildflower sighting reports to find slightly off the beaten paths. My go-to resource is the Desert USA website. I skip the national parks and state parks from the report and go straight to the parks and trails I’ve never heard of before. Then, I research further to see if dogs are allowed at those locations using All Trails or similar websites.
4. Time it
Usually, everywhere is busy between 10 AM – 4 PM on Saturdays. I like to plan my adventures on Sunday between 8-11 AM or 3-6 PM if I am visiting a popular location. Wildflowers open up when the sun is out, so plan your visit for a sunny day or partly sunny at least.
Hope you find this post helpful! Please be respectful and be mindful where you step, sit, and lean for the photos so others can enjoy the flowers too.
Lastly, here are some of my favorite photos from our month-long wildflower chase.