Flowers popping at Anza-Borrego

23740-AnzaBorregoDesertSP_flowers_3.jpgEarly
blooms of sand verbena, popcorn flower, spectacle pod, brittlebush, chuparosa,
and even the spectacular desert lily are popping up in Anza-Borrego Desert
State Park
.

 “We anticipate the peak blooming season to hit between the third
week of February and the second week of March, depending on the
weather,” reports Michael Rodriques, the manager of the Park’s Visitor Center.  “For those who enjoy
the thrill of the hunt and would like to beat the crowds, right now is the
perfect time to visit.  Little pockets of wildflowers are being found
along roadsides, in sandy washes, and along trails in the Park.”

 

When the bloom reaches its peak, the
massive fields of wildflowers are found at the northern edge of Borrego Springs
on Henderson Canyon Road and at the northern end of DiGiorgio Road, about
mile beyond the end of the pavement. A great variety of wildflowers are found
along washes or in the canyons of the Park. An off-road trip through the
badlands, a hike up Borrego Palm Canyon
or a trip to Plum
Canyon
may yield a startling
array of wildflowers.

 Lower elevation areas in the
southern end of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
are currently seeing flower blooms in areas such as the Carrizo Badlands
overlook at Sweeney Pass, the Bow Willow Campground, and Indian Valley

 Call the Wildflower Hotline
(760-767-4684) to get regularly updated information about this year’s
bloom. You can also visit Anza-Borrego
Desert State
Park
‘s website (http://parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=638)
or Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute’s website (www.theABF.org)
for wildflower sightings and locations that are updated weekly.

 If you plan to see
the desert wildflowers with a large group this spring, schedule a guided tour
with a naturalist who can take you to the lesser known hot spots in the Park.
Anza-Borrego Foundation and Institute’s Step-On
Naturalist
program tailors trips especially for those visiting on
tour buses and in groups of 20 or more.

Avoid the crowds by venturing out
early with an expert to explore, learn about, and enjoy the vast wilderness of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
At the cost of $10 per person, you will gain the expertise of a botanist
specializing in plants of the Anza-Borrego
Desert
region. 
Contact Kelley Jorgensen at (760)767-4961 or visit www.theABF.org for more
information about this unique opportunity.

 Tours focus on a variety of topics
including geology, general botany, and prehistoric animals of the Anza-Borrego Desert.  Park naturalists lead half
day or full day tours which can be catered to the needs of your group. 
Tours of the Park’s distinctive Visitor Center
are also available.  If you need 4WD transportation for your trip,
consider a licensed Park tour with California
Overland
, who will take you on a special wildflower route through varied terrain in
open-air jeeps and excursion
vehicles. Call (760) 767-1232 or visit www.californiaoverland.com for
more information.

 Anza-Borrego Desert
State Park is California‘s
largest state park and is the largest state park in the contiguous United States
with more than 600,000 acres. It extends into three counties: San
Diego
, Imperial and Riverside.
From just above sea level to more than 6,000 feet, the Park has unique and
diverse landscapes and environments, and provides habitat for many endangered
and rare species including Peninsular bighorn sheep, least Bell‘s vireo, Borrego bedstraw and
Arizona Carlowrightia. Anza-Borrego
Desert State
Park
is the first State Park to develop a sister
park relationship across the world. Anza-Borrego
Desert State
Park
and Ikh Nart Nature Reserve in Mongolia were officially recognized
as sister parks in September of 2008.

 

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