Topanga Canyon State Park
Malibu Creek State Park
Circle X Ranch
Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa
Point Mugu State Park
Charmlee Wilderness Park
Date of Review
Things are drying out. If you've been putting off a flower hike time is running out.
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The Backbone Trail section through upper Zuma Canyon is a garden right now, with over 80 species currently in bloom. In addition to the "usual suspects", some of the less common plants to be seen include: Checker Bloom, Stinky Gila (Allophyllum glutinosum), some white-flowered Elegant Clarkia, Large-flowered Phacelia, California Mustard (Caulanthus lasiophylllus), Pine Mat (Gallium andrewsii), and Mountain Dandelion.
— Jay Sullivan
|Topanga Canyon State Park||
This year's wonderful flowers are starting to diminish in many places but the Nature Trail in Topanga Canyon State Park, especially the chaparral portion out on the edge of the hillside is still pretty wonderful. It isn't that there are unusual flowers there, just that there are so many massed flowers. There are bush mallow and lots of bush sunflowers, yucca, wild rose, bush lupine, narrow leaf milkweed and California buckwheat, in great quantities. We saw alligator lizards and a California whip snake. The only downside is that there is a lot of yellow star thistle growing in and near the trail. The prickles easily penetrate most trouser fabric and I pity anyone wearing shorts.
— Dorothy Steinicke
|Malibu Creek State Park||
Hiked the Backbone Trail eastbound from Piuma Road to Saddle Peak. There is a large variety of flowers blooming on this trail. There is a lot of Golden Yarrow, Elegant Clarkia , Orange Monkey Flower, and Purple Sage blooming on this trail. Other flowers seen; Yellow Monkey Flower, Deerweed, Chemise, Indian Pink, California Everlast, Tarweed, Mariposa Lily, White Pincushion , Wooly Bluecurl, California Fuchsia, Buckwheat , Popcorn Flower, Canyon Sunflower, Purple Nightshade, Black Sage, Purple Sage Turkish Rugging Goldenstar, Fern Phacelia, Tarweed, Large Flowered Phacelia, Caterpillar Phacelia Cliff Aster
— Jim Garafalo
A wonderful site if you can make the climb. Black Sage blooming in mass, Sticky Monkey Flower seems to be peaking, Wooly Blue Curls and Chamise adding to the mix. I started at the China Flat trailhead. Heading up the 101 North take Kanan exit, head North away from coast, after a few miles go right on Lindero Canyon Rd. Look for China Flat trailhead sign on the left. Hike is straight uphill and strenuous with some overgrown Mustard in the beginning, but once you get to the top, weeds are gone and hiking is generally easy and flat.
The pond off the China Flat trail on the eastern end of the loop has standing water, with hundreds of juvenile Western Toads hopping all around it. Quite the natural phenomena. If you do go, watch your step because some of them are tiny. — Anthony Bevilacqua
Rocky Oaks is a great place to go right now with many flowering species seen not far from the parking lot. I took the Pond Trail and found a cluster of flowers from a large patch of Golden Yarrow, Black Sage, Wooly Blue Curls, and all the Chamise around them in full bloom. A nice easy walk and the pond is full with water. After many dry years it is worth the trip.
— Anthony Bevilacqua
This trail is in full glory. The trailhead is awash in purple sage mixed with golden yard, chamise and wild morning glory. Descending into the cool riparian woodland you fine purple nightshade, canyon sunflowers, fiesta flower, hummingbird sage, eucrypta and my favorite; globe lilies or fairy lanterns that just seem to radiate light. Climbing up out of the oaks you come to meadows that are filled with golds and purples. There are multitudes of golden star lilies and more golden yarrow mixed with larkspur, blue dicks, blue eyed grass and the exquisite tiny brodeaia and punctuated by more butterfly mariposa lilies than I can remember seeing in one place. Continuing into the chaparral you will find elegant clarkia, heart leaf penstemon, woolly blue curls, California chicory, caterpillar phacelia and great swathes of Chinese houses. A wonderful hike for flower viewing.
— Dorothy Steinicke
|Circle X Ranch||
This is always an amazing hike filled with different habitats and the plants that inhabit them. We began our hike from the second parking lot after you pass the park visitor center, the one marked as the Mishe Mokwa trailhead. When we came to the Backbone Trail we turned left onto it and made a clockwise loop going to Sandstone Peak and then Split Rock before returning to the parking lot, about 6 miles.
We were barely out of the parking lot before we were overwhelmed at the quantity of butterfly mariposa lilies, they filled the grasslands and trail edges, I don’t remember ever seeing so many. There was also blooming yucca, yarrow, black sage, popcorn flower, California chicory, chia, star lilies, twining snapdragon and yellow monkey flower. As we climbed toward Sandstone Peak we saw blooming chamise, sticky monkey flower, collarless poppies, mustard evening primrose and beautiful bush lupines. On the trail up to Sandstone Peak there were clumps of blooming phlox. Walking from Sandstone Peak to Split Rock there were blooming globe gilia, larkspur, yellow pin cushion and owls clover. Approaching Split Rock there are blue and white ceanothus that are not the usually found ones that are especially beautiful. From Split Rock back to the parking lot there were great patches of virgins bower, delicate woodland stars, parry’s phacelia, shiny lomatium, more blue dicks than can be imagined and a few of the flower we were hoping to find, chocolate lilies. It was a wonderful hike. — Dorothy Steinicke
I left out of the old western town, took the Coyote Canyon Trail to the Hacienda Trail to the Backdrop Trail and then came back to the western town on the Bwana Trail. At first I was disappointed that there didn't seem to be the masses of flowers that I have seen in some other locations, it just seemed to be blue dicks. Then there were also a lot of owl's clover, then added in popcorn and fiesta flowers, then there were fairy lanterns, a flower that I rarely see. The rest of the chaparral section had caterpillar phacelia, yellow monkey flower, woolly blue curls, chia, yarrow, parry's phacelia and whispering bells. When I walked through the grassland area I saw great masses of globe gillia interspersed with yellow collarless poppies as well as butterfly mariposa lilies, red maids, fiddle neck and johnny-jump-ups. A very pleasurable walk for flower lovers.
— Dorothy Steinicke
The Castro Crest area is easily visited by travelling the Backbone Trail between Corral Canyon Road and Latigo Canyon Road. This is a great hike for flowers at this time in this year. There are some, like star lilies that are scattered along the length of the trail, we must have seen hundreds. There are others that seem clustered in their own 'neighborhoods'. Some highlights are: The large quantities of twining snapdragon, in some places creating nearly a solid mass of them. The great masses of blue dicks that are interspersed with butterfly mariposa lilies. Patches of the tiny but vividly blue skullcap that line the trail in many places. The yellow johnny-jump-ups, cinquefoil, milkmaids and fiesta flowers that are in the shaded creekside places. There are large patches of woolly blue curls, of parry's phacelia, Indian paintbrush and scarlet bugler. This is not a trail to be missed.
— Dorothy Steinicke
Climb up and over Tunnel 1 from the Newton Canyon Trailhead. About 15 minutes or into the trail you will find the most amazing stand of Hummingbird sage (aka Crimson pitcher sage) I've ever seen. It is on the right-hand side of the trail (upslope). There are several areas of it along the way.
— Gary Goldstein
|Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa||
Went to Rancho Sierra / Satwiwa and saw some great blooms! You have to walk a little ways to where the hillsides burned a few years ago. There is more Purple Nightshade than I have ever seen in one place. There are California Poppies and Parry's Phacelia (a fire follower) blooming . The part of the Boney Mountain Trail that goes down to the waterfall (see park map) was the best place to see lots of flowers. The Hidden Valley Overlook Trail is also nice, as is the Stream Side Trail.
Flowers seen: Parry's Phacelia California Golden poppy , Morning Glory, Purple nightshade Annual Coreopsis Winter vetch , Deerweed, Canyon Sunflower Bush Sunflower, Blue dicks ,pitcher Sage, Mariposa Lily, Pink Lady's Popcorn Flower,Stinging Lupine, Wishbone Bush, chia, Purple Larkspur, Collarless California Poppy — Jim Garafalo
|Point Mugu State Park||
|Hillsides carpeted with California poppies. Gorgeous wildflowers all over the place including: morning glory, lupine, canyon sunflower, blue dicks, desert wishbone bush (five purple petals, five white stamens), purple nightshade, fiddlenecks (yellow, curling). Occasionally: paintbrush, shooting stars, clematis, pearly everlasting, treasure flower, Jimson weed. Other blooming plants: wild pea, wild cucumber, miners lettuce, black sage, ceanothus (blue and white), And many more whose names I don’t yet know. Thousands of lizards along the trail, particularly side-blotch, along with fence and alligator lizards. — David Harris|
|Charmlee Wilderness Park||
Tons of Flowers!!
Fields of Shooting Stars in full bloom above the Nature Center.
Fields of Blue Dicks on the entrance road.
Hummingbird Sage in bloom with Anna’s Hummingbirds feeding in Oak Groves.
MilkMaids, Canyon Sunflower, Stinging Lupine, Danny’s Skullcap, Wishbone Bush, Wild Peony, Prickly Phlox, Indian Paintbrush, Hairy leaf Ceonothus, Purple Nightshade. — Joseph Brooks
Santa Monica Mountains NRA
401 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
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