Wildflowers in the Anza-Borrego desert in 2016. Photo by Jerry Vaughn for the Anza-Borrego Foundation
Wildflowers in the Anza-Borrego desert in 2016. Photo by Jerry Vaughn for the Anza-Borrego Foundation

With the heaviest winter rainfall in a decade, wildflower experts are predicting a record bloom this year in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

The blooming season could begin as early as mid February and continue through mid April, according to the Anza-Borrego Foundation.

In an online update on Saturday, park staff noted that desert lilies are budding in many locations, and poppies, phacelia, and brittlebush are just beginning to bloom at the park’s visitor center.

“Good rains in December and January have annual plants growing in the flower fields north of town, and along trails in western canyons,” according to the update. “It’s hard to predict a peak, but we should start to see lots of flowers toward the end of February.”

The foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and offering free access for new visitors to the park’s popular hike to Borrego Palm Canyon. Upcoming free dates are Feb. 12, March 25-26 and April 1-2.

A two-hour drive from San Diego, the 600,000-acre park is the largest in California and is visited by one million people every year.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.