El Paso never looks more beautiful than in March when yellow poppies cover the slopes of Franklin Mountains. The annual bloom is the most anticipated natural phenomenon in the city. The first flowers appear in late January. The bloom peaks in March, turning everything north of El Paso into a sea of gold. By early April, the flowers are usually fading unless El Paso gets a few good showers. For the best pictures of poppy fields, you can head to El Paso Museum of Archaeology and the National Border Patrol Museum.
Mexican gold poppy, known as Eschscholzia californica ssp. Mexicana, is quite common for Southwest. But El Paso is especially famous for its massive poppy blooms. There are rumors that seeds were dropped here from a plane in the 1930s to make the arid area more appealing.
Franklin Mountains Poppy Fest (March 2021, unconfirmed)
For over 10 years, El Paso celebrates the annual bloom with Franklin Mountains Poppy Fest, organized by the Museum of Archeology. It is held on a Saturday in late March, from 10 am to 4 pm. Visitors can enjoy free admission to the museum, live shows, performances, educational exhibits, kids' activities, delicious treats from food trucks, as well as a crafts and art fair that features over 50 booths. The best part of the festival is, of course, nature trails across the Castner Range of the Franklin Mountains.