Come for the Color, Stay for the Trails

Published by The Bee News

February 13, 2023

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Wildflower Season Has Started at Arizona’s State Parks

PHOENIX – Arizona State Parks and Trails is welcoming a great wildflower season! The past months of plentiful rain are making showstopping wildflowers bloom in the state parks, giving you another reason to get out and explore.

Many of Arizona’s state parks are bursting with beautiful yellow, red, orange, blue, or purple flowers, making it a perfect time to camp and hike in the parks. At Picacho Peak State Park, mountainside blossoms of bright Mexican poppies, purple lupine, pink globemallow, and yellow brittlebush are just starting, but the park expects a showstopping season.

Catalina and Lost Dutchman state parks will also experience beautiful and different types of budding wildflowers. Both parks offer great trails for hikers of all experience levels that have stunning views of the bright blooms. Flowers in the desert bloom based on the elevations, rainfall, and the temperature. Other great, lesser traveled parks to view stunning wildflowers include Alamo Lake and Cattail Cove state parks. Parks at higher elevations, like Oracle and Red Rock State Park, will see flowers later in the year, around May, and the blooms last well into the summer.

Desert blooms typically appear in this order: bladderpods, Mexican poppies, chuparosa, globemallow, brittlebush, and then other various cacti species. Some park trails are already lined with little bladderpod blooms and Mexican poppies, creating yellow carpets across the landscapes and mountainsides.

Trails at the parks are available for different abilities and different wildflower views – contrasting with the desert’s natural landscape. Remember to bring plenty of water and sun protection, then grab your camera and enjoy the rich colors across the state.

Don’t forget to recreate responsibly when enjoying the beautiful flowers. Stay on designated trails and don’t pick any blooms. Don’t go off trail to get the perfect picture and ruin flowers for other visitors. The flowers look best in their natural habitat, and this year’s flowers are seeds for next year!

Managing and conserving Arizona’s natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our parks and through our partners.

For information about the more than 30 Arizona state parks and natural areas, trails, Off-Highway Vehicle program, and State Historic Preservation Office, call 1-877-MY-PARKS or visit AZStateParks.com.

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