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Chino Hills State Park Wildflowers in Los Angeles

Photographers spend days here trying to capture all of that fragrant tenderness with their cameras

Best time: March–May (best in late March)

Chino Hills State Park Wildflowers
Chino Hills State Park Wildflowers
Chino Hills State Park Wildflowers

Chino Hills State Park is one of the top places to view spring wildflowers in Southern California. It's best known for its beautiful poppy-clad hillsides. You can spot chic orange poppies already on the way to the park and along the Upper Aliso Canyon Trail. Besides you can check out dozens of other wildflower trails within the park and discover more species of flowers, such as violet owl clovers and lupines.

Chino Hill flower season

The wildflower season in SoCal is in full swing from March onwards through May at least, or even longer if you're up in higher elevations. However, the most vibrant month to enjoy bright California poppies and other flowers in Chino Hills is late March and sometimes also early April. Poppies typically bloom for a week or two. Later into the season, some non-native plants, such as mustard or thistle, tend to obscure native blooms. Generally, the number of wildflowers popping up each season depends on the amount of precipitation during winter. In exceptionally wet years, you can behold unusually lush flower fields. Then you can capture a rare super bloom phenomenon in Anza-Borrego Desert. Another place to witness a super bloom is Death Valley.

Where to see wildflowers in Chino Hills State Park?

The park has a network of wildflower trails, mostly moderate, but also several hard ones. In addition to Aliso Canyon mentioned above, other popular trails include Bane Ridge Trail, Bovinian Delight Trail, Telegraph Canyon Trail, Little Canyon Loop, and more. You can check out the best 30 Chino Hills State Park trails here.

Chino Hills State Park trails are open from sunrise to sunset. Parking lots operate from 8 am to 5 pm until the first Sunday of April, and from 8 am to 7 pm in the spring-summer season.

Where else to see California poppies?

Walker Canyon poppy fields

If you're a big fan of orange poppies, you may want to check out more locations famous for this fiery wildflower. Walker Canyon located in Lake Elsinore is just a 30-minute drive southeast of Chino Hills State Park. Start your vivid hike at the intersection of Lake St. and Walker Canyon Rd. and enjoy breathtaking canyon landscapes painted with orange.

Antelope Valley poppy fields

If you're craving for the ultimate explosion of the color, your top choice must be Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve—the name speaks for itself. The reserve is situated about 105 mi (170 km) northwest of Chino Hills or 70 mi (110 km) north of Los Angeles, so the road trip will require up to 2 hours to drive one way, but the time is totally worth it.

Tips on viewing wildflowers in California

All of the poppy spots listed above have become quite trendy in the last few years. Thus it's better to plan your trip during a weekday, especially if you're visiting in the peak month of March. Booking a hotel in advance would be quite thoughtful of you too. Have a look at the map below to find the best deals.

Practical info

When is the best time to see wildflowers at Chino Hills State Park?

The wildflower season in Southern California typically runs from March until May, with March generally being the peak month for California poppies and other vibrant flowers in Chino Hills State Park. The bloom period for poppies usually lasts no more than two weeks, but it may continue longer in mountainous areas. Show more

Besides Chino Hills State Park, where else can you find California poppies?

If you're looking to explore more areas known for California poppies, consider visiting Walker Canyon near Lake Elsinore or Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in the Antelope Valley, which is approximately 70 miles north of Los Angeles and 105 miles northwest of Chino Hills. Both of these locations offer spectacular displays of wildflowers during peak blooming periods. Show more

What other types of wildflowers can be found at Chino Hills State Park besides California poppies?

Chino Hills State Park has a wide variety of wildflowers that bloom during the spring season. In addition to California poppies, the park is home to several other species of wildflowers, such as owl clovers, lupines, thistle, and mustard. The quantity and diversity of wildflowers can vary depending on the amount of rainfall the area received during the previous winter season. Show more

What should you know before visiting a wildflower location in Southern California?

To enjoy the wildflowers with less crowding, plan your visit for weekdays, particularly in March, which is the peak month for Southern California blooms. Additionally, book accommodations in advance to ensure a smooth trip. Remember to wear appropriate hiking footwear, apply sunscreen, and carry adequate water and a camera. Always respect park regulations and leave the flowers intact by refraining from picking or stepping on them. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin