With the heavy rains the Central Coast has seen, the landscape has become very green and the wildflower season this year is expected to be epic. In 2017, we received almost 30 inches and the blooms off Shell Creek Road and Carrizo Plains were both amazing. This year will not be one to miss, and we hope you get out and enjoy. The blooms rush in, and begin to die off after a few weeks so don’t miss your chance.

According to the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants, the wildflower season is expected to be a good one, but with some challenges that could affect getting to the flowers. As of March 1, some trails, roads and highways were closed due to water erosion, rock slides and subsequent damage. The foundation posts a wildflower update every Friday on its website at theodorepayne.org. You can also call 818-768-1802 ext. 7 for updates.

SOME ETIQUETTE FOR VISITING AND PHOTOGRAPHING WILDFLOWERS:

– Stay off private land
– Don’t travel down closed public roads
– Don’t trample the wildflowers
– Don’t take nature with you, which includes picking wildflowers

At the Bureau of Land Management’s Carrizo Plain National Monument, wildflowers have not yet bloomed as of early March because parts of the Carrizo Plain were still covered in snow. The bureau is encouraging the public to leave no trace when they visit the wildflowers. That means not leaving trash or food behind.

Typically, wildflower season is from mid-March to the first week of May, but that is with the area getting significant rainfall by mid-February. The county received a great deal of rain —and snow in some parts — in mid-March again year, so that could result in a late wildflower season.

Before planning a trip to Carrizo Plain National Monument, the Bureau of Land Management encourages visitors to call the automated hotline at 805-475-2035 to check conditions.

Where to find wildflowers

While there are places that usually have large amounts of wildflowers year after year, those same areas sometimes have fewer flowers.. A lot of that has to do with the rainfall that year. During heavy drought years, there were fewer abundant fields of wildflowers.

Heading to more rural areas, such as the Carrizo Plain or somewhere between there and the 101, you’ll see more. That has a lot to do with the number of people who wander among the flowers.

Some other popular places in San Luis Obispo County to see wildflowers include:

– Shell Creek off Highway 58 east of Santa Margarita
– Whale Rock Reservoir
– See Canyon Road
– Montaña de Oro State Park