BORREGO SPRINGS, Calif. (KGTV) - California State Parks are preparing for wildflower blooms across the state. The unpredictable and rare occurrences attract thousands of people to the parks.
Some of the most beautiful blooms take place in desert landscapes. These rare blooms occur when precipitation levels in the areas are high, combined with years-long drought that eliminate grasses and weeds that take up nutrients. These conditions cause wildflowers to thrive.
Vibrant wildflowers can already be seen sprouting from the typically barren brown soil in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
“This area is just a mosaic of a painter’s colors," said Danny McCamish, Senior Environmental Scientist for the Colorado Desert District and Anza-Borrego State Park.
"The early October, November rains started that germination process early this year, and so as the December, January, and February rains came in, all of the area was ripe to go off like this."
Cooler temperatures are also a factor in prolonging the bloom, which the region has been experiencing thanks to snow in the mountains.
McCamish says during the 2017 'super bloom' word of the beauty spread fast on social media, drawing in 6,000 to 7,000 cars a day.
He says the rush of visitors overwhelmed the small town of Borrego Springs but that this year they're more prepared.
Restaurants are planning to offer to-go meals and rangers will set up pop-up visitor centers to spread out where visitors go.
McCamish recommends people check out other parts of the 700,000-acre region, including Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area.
And if you plan to spend the night figure out lodging ahead of time, whether that be a hotel or camping.
In addition to the flowers, visitors can enjoy nature on a bike. Bike Borrego offers tours on electric bikes, as well as bicycles for more advanced riders.
California State Parks offers these rules and tips for visitors:
- Take only pictures, flower picking is prohibited
- Pick up all trash
- Understand the area; cell coverage may be spotty
- Know your vehicle's limits
- Visit the parks during the week and arrive early to beat the crowds
- Check weather conditions beforehand
- Bring plenty of food and water
- Drink plenty of water before your visit to remain hydrated and avoid heat-related emergencies