Check out our extensive Arizona wildflower list at the bottom of the page, complete with vibrant photos and bloom information! How many will you see in 2020?
February showers make March wildflowers in the desert parks and create yet another reason to explore this beautiful state! During years of average and above average precipitation, it seems every direction you look there are beautiful yellow, red, white, orange, blue, or purple flowers blanketing the landscape. Try not to be discouraged during the dry years...The desert is resilient and will do its best to impress while propagating the species.
Parks at higher elevations see flowers later in the year, around May, and the blooms last well into the summer. There's typically more rainfall up north, which equates to even more beautiful northern Arizona wildflowers. The contrast of vibrant flowers against the backdrop of green is a sight to behold, so get your camera, comfortable outdoor shoes, and plenty of water and enjoy the rich colors across the state.
Picacho Peak is arguably one of the best spots to see blooming wildflowers and cactus in Arizona, with bushels of incredible golden blooms throughout the park. The desert wildflowers here offer a unique and beautiful contrast to the green and brown hues of this Sonoran Desert destination. Experience the trails as they wind through a colorful sea of yellow, orange, purple, and red wildflowers, each step exposes new beautiful along the way. Plants, shrubs, and cacti all blooming, seemingly for your pleasure...Extend your trip and enjoy a stay in the campgrounds to get the most out of Arizona's wildflower season. Springtime weather is perfect for a desert camping experience, book a trip and expose yourself to the beauty Arizona so selflessly shares with you.
The poppies are starting to bloom in small patches at Picacho Peak, we expect the brittlebush and lupine are not far behind but have yet to see any significant growth. The following photos give a great general representation of the current wildflower situation at Picacho Peak State Park.
Looks like the poppies are getting there...It takes a little work to get into areas with dense blooms and we're hoping that the more accessible spots in the park will catch up soon.
Lost Dutchman had a great showing in 2017; in fact, wildflower conditions were nearly optimal. The 2018 season slowed a bit with a lack of timely rainfall and early high temperatures that killed off young plants, and the 2019 season was hampered by the late-season freezes, although the brittlebush did fairly well. Flowers at this park usually start a couple weeks after Picacho Peak, and little bursts of brittlebush and poppies are starting to show. Flowering plants in this park may include, but are not limited to: chuparosas, poppies, fiddle necks, globe mallow, chuparosa, brittle bush, desert evening primrose, blue dicks, lupine, ocotillo, chicory, scorpion weed, skeleton weed, jojoba, Mormon tea, phacelia, bluebell, and more!
Preview some of the blooms that are on display during the spring on the Lost Dutchman State Park Facebook page.
It's still looking a little sparse out here. Bloom density is very low although there are some pockets of decent growth throughout the park.
Although the first two images are framed beautifully with the limited wildflower supply, the third pic is more representative of the current wildflower situation at this park.
Catalina is already starting to see splashes of color along the Sutherland Trail. This Sonoran Desert dominated park is fed by snow melt through two large washes, which brings cooler temperatures, and beautiful blooms that last a bit longer. This is actually quite convenient for visitors hoping to extend their wildflower season by visiting this southern Arizona destination after seeing the beauty of other parks across the state! With such a large variety of flowering plants, shrubs, and cacti, this park is really a sight to behold when the bloom is taking place. Springtime brings beautiful sights and aromatic appreciation to park visitors, combine these with a hike through the desert for an absolutely unforgettable experience.
The Catalina State Park Facebook page posts wildflower updates during the spring season. Follow along and visit the park when your favorite plants are blooming!
The following photos were taken on the Sutherland Trail on February 25, 2020. The poppies are blooming in isolated pockets and seem to be favoring the flats between the first set of stairs and the bighorn sheep reintroduction area. We're anticipating more widespread blooms within the coming weeks, only time will tell...
There are definitely more blooms showing up in the park, and the weather seems to be cooperating so far. We're seeing more and more yellow and orange, and we know it's just starting!
Alamo Lake isn't just for world-class fishing and off-roading! The park has so much more to offer, like amazing blooms that blanket the landscape in late March and early April. The high desert getaway is covered in brittlebush flowers and blooming palo verde trees along the shores and hills surrounding the lake, which makes for amazing views on your hikes through the Sonoran desert. The juxtaposition of bright yellow starbursts among desert landscapes is a bucket list item begging to be checked off! Reserve a cabin or campsite to take advantage of all Alamo Lake has to offer, and to see the blooms as they hit their peak of Arizona wildflower season!
The poppies are starting to bloom in patches in and around the park although widespread full bloom has yet to be achieved. Recent reports of decent lupine blooms have not been confirmed. There's usually a really good brittlebush bloom at Alamo as well, we're keeping an eye out for the seas of yellow and will report back here when (if) it happens.
Red Rock rests at a higher elevation, so their wildflower season usually begins in May and continues through mid-June, as long as moisture levels remain high. Due to above average winter precipitation and temperatures, many early spring annual plants may sprout early. Take a peek at what's sprouting on the Red Rock State Park Facebook page.
Arizona’s flowering plants bloom at various times of year, although the spring wildflower season is generally the best time to view unforgettably vibrant fields of color. Provided there has been ample late winter/early spring rains, Arizona’s deserts absolutely come alive from late February through April and draw in visitors from around the world to admire the splendor. Many of these flowering desert plants attract hummingbirds as well to truly accentuate a colorful springtime park experience! Check out the following list of wildflowers you can find in Arizona's State Parks.
Marsh Aster is found in riparian and drainage zones throughout Arizona. As the name implies, this forb is found within close proximity to a regular water source.
Many of Arizona's rocky desert slopes and hillsides are alive with the yellow flowers of brittlebush in the spring. This is a very common, yet extremely gorgeous wildflower species.
This member of the lily family has a large range that encompasses the lowest deserts up to seven-thousand feet! Bluedicks may not actually be blue, depending where you are...White, purple, and pink flowers may be experienced throughout their range.
The semi-succulent tubular flowers of the chuparosa are typically red, although orange and yellow variants can be found throughout the sonoran desert range. Chuparosa flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds wintering in the desert.
Typically found below 4,500 feet in central and southern Arizona, the (usually) bluish-purple flowers of this pretty annual can vary to varying degrees of pink and even white. Flowering season is March to May.
Of the 16 species of Salvia found in Arizona, the Desert variety is by far the most widespread. The blue (or purple) flowers typically bloom from March to May at desert elevations below 3500 feet.
This small member of the sunflower family sports white flowers, is usually less than two-feet tall, and occurs in gravel or sandy areas of both the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts between 200 and 3,000 feet in elevation.
A conspicuous desert perennial with a short life span that flowers in March and intermittently through November. Found on rocky slopes and sandy areas of the desert floor from 100 to 6000 feet in elevation.
Found from the desert floor up to 4500 feet in elevation, these annual herbs commonly bloom on the sandy desert floor and associated topography like hills and washes.
This annual herb is usually found in desert washes and other sandy locations below 3000 feet in elevation. This ground level desert plant grows in clusters adorned with small white flowers.
The California poppy is found throughout the Sonoran Desert and in great abundance during years of above-average precipitation.
Typically found in desert washes and valleys below 4500 feet, these white flowers seem to be "ghostly" floating on their tall (up to 2.5 ft.) thin stalks.
The thin, wispy flowers range from light pink to orange throughout the desert region. The Fairy Duster, an important food item for a variety of desert dwelling birds and animals, is found below 5,000 feet on open hillsides and sandy washes.
During years of above-average rainfall, the yellow-orange flowered fiddlenecks will be particularly abundant and found in dense patches in the upland desert. This plant irritates human skin upon contact.
This small biennial to annual flowering herb is actually a member of the mustard family. Interestingly, the white flowers turn to yellow the further east in range occurrence. In Arizona most jewelflowers are white.
This forb can reach a height of over six feet tall throughout its range. The thistle blooms from March through September after above-average rainfall.
A small spring annual that grows in large "mats" sporting numerous purple flowers. Present only after above-average winter precipitation in desert flats, and somewhat rocky areas near washes.
After periods of above-average rainfall, these beautiful annual forbs can produce huge swaths of color in generally open desert areas from March through May.
A small, delicate, annually recurring herb, the Rock Daisy is usually found in relatively open rocky or sandy desert areas.
Scorpion weed usually blooms from February through June and is found typically along desert washes and hillsides between 1,000 feet and 4,000 feet.
Flowering best during years of above-average desert rainfall, these small yellow flowers typically occur in western Arizona between 300 ft and 6000 ft elevation.
You can always contact the parks by phone to see what blooms have made their appearance! February is the earliest wildflowers will start to bloom, and often they wait until March. The season depends on precipitation and temperature, so you never know what you'll see!
Always remember to treat the landscape and blooms with respect, and be careful not to pick or trample the flowers! Help us keep the parks beautiful for all visitors to Arizona State Parks!