Best places to see wildflowers in Arizona
You might not know it, but starting in February Arizona begins to peak with amazing displays of wildflowers. If you thought the changing of the seasons was less than dramatic in this state, then perhaps you haven’t taken notice of the wildflower collections Arizona has to offer. Take a day to drive to one of these locations to see just what we are talking about!
Just north of Phoenix lies a little place called Bartlett Lake. With paved roads and picnic areas, there is plenty to experience in this area. Bring a sack lunch and your hiking shoes because wildflowers will be blooming here.
Catalina State Park (Tucson)
Head south to Catalina State Park in Tucson for a peak at some brilliant wildflowers. In this area, there are two large washes that keep temperatures a bit cooler. Specifically, try Sutherland Trail for some wild colors.
Picacho Peak State Park
For a spot between Phoenix and Tucson, Picacho Peak State Park is another area for great wildflower viewing. The easy Nature Trail and Calloway Trail are all you need.
Lost Dutchman State Park
East of Phoenix in Apache Junction lies Lost Dutchman State Park. Siphon Draw Trail will give you the best flower views. There are not only wildflowers to gaze at, but there many other sights to take in. Make a stop at Goldfield Ghost Town, grab some food at Tortilla Flats and drive around Roosevelt Lake to complete your trip.
Lake Pleasant Park
Head to the west valley to scope out wildflowers at Lake Pleasant Regional Park. Be on the lookout for poppies and desert hyacinth. There are plenty of recreational activities to take advantage of at the lake, so do not let any time go to waste.
Usery Mountain Park
In Mesa lies Usery Mountain Regional Park located at 3939 N. Usery Pass in Mesa. For an easy stroll take the Lost Sheep or Markle Trail. For a challenge, choose the hike on Pass Mountain Loop with 7 miles of scenery.
Estrella Mountain Park
Located at 14805 W. Vineyard Avenue in Goodyear is Estrella Mountain Park. The Rainbow Valley Trail is one to tackle when searching for vibrant wildflowers.
Located in Alpine on the Coronado Trail, Hannagan Meadow will give you pure wildflower joy. You can stay at the lodge to make it an overnight trip.
Saguaro National Park (Tucson)
Saguaro National Park has 165 miles of trails with wildflowers blooming all over the place. Wait until April to see the saguaros bloom as well. Also located nearby are several local preserves with generous amounts of trails, picnic areas and more chances for wildflower viewing.
South Mountain Park /Preserve
Take a hike from Central Avenue into the South Mountain Park/Preserve. This route will lead you to the Gila Valley Overlook and tons of growing wildflowers. In addition, Pima Canyon and Beverly Canyon offer entrances to this place as well.
Mcdowell Sonoran Preserve
Scottsdale is home to the Mcdowell Mountain Preserve off of Thompson Peak Parkway. You want to get to Gateway Trail for beautiful sightings of wildflowers on Horseshoe Loop and Gateway Trail loop. Lost Wash Trailhead is another good starting point.
A vast area of land that is ready to bloom with wildflowers can be found in Mesa. Peridot can be found if you head on U.S. 60 East to Globe, then go East on U.S. 70 to the reservation – pass mile marker 268, hang a left on a dirty road by a cattle guard and (2) white H-Shaped Poles.
Be sure to stop at a gas station or Basha’s in Globe to pick up the required tribal permit.
There are many trails lining Piestewa Peak. Some are notably more difficult to hike than others. For wildflowers, be sure to check out Quartz Ridge Trail.
Spur Cross Ranch
Located in Cave Creek, Spur Cross Ranch is a large conservation area. There will be a good variety of blooms upon entering the trailhead on N. Spur Cross Road.
Phoenix Sonoran Preserve
Ranging from yellow to marigold and orange-red blooms, the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve does not disappoint. The Apache Wash Trailhead located on 1600 E. Sonoran Desert Drive in Phoenix is where you want to start.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Heading towards Globe, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum has its own enchanting way of showcasing wildflowers and other desert species. It is Arizona’s largest and oldest botanical garden with 323 acres created just to study Arizona’s plants.