Wildflower Viewing in the Phoenix Desert Preserves

Wildflower 2013 Los Lamotis Trail

Caption: Photo by Ranger Allyson Brennan, taken on the Las Lomitas trail on March 5,  Poppies and Lupine just east of the Kiwanis parking lot. See the South Mountain section below for more park wildflower viewing recommendations. 

Spring 2013 Wildflower Update

With sufficient fall and winter rains, after a healthy summer monsoon, wildflower blooms in the Phoenix Desert Preserves will be the best they've been in many years. As a general rule look to north facing slopes, which are free of the most direct sunlight, for the best wildflower growth. 

Below, we've listed recommendations from our park rangers on some Phoenix Desert Preserve areas that historically boast impressive waves of wildflower growth. Scroll to the bottom for a photo guide of some of the most common wildflowers blooming this spring. 

South Mountain Park/Preserve
Areas in the preserve with good wildflower displays include the Bajada, Las Lomitas, Ranger, Kiwanis accessible from the Central Avenue entrance (please note road restrictions at the Central Avenue entrance); and the Pima Canyon, and Beverly Canyon areas located in the eastern end of the park. The roadway leading to the Gila Valley overlook (Central Avenue entrance) also offers good wildflower growth. North facing slopes in the Pima Canyon and Beverly Canyon (Javelina Trail) entrances of the park also are a great spot for wildflowers.

Sonoran Preserve 
Many north-facing slopes on trails from the Desert Vista Trail trailhead parking area offer impressive wildflower blooms, including areas along the Desert Tortoise and Verde trails, both accessible from the main trailhead parking area.

Piestewa Peak Area 
Trail 8, the Quartz Ridge Trail, typically runs through impressive blooms. The trailhead is at
40th Street south of Shea Boulevard. Several trails with north-facing slopes around Piestewa Peak that are accessible from the Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area also are good spots for wildflower viewing. The Summit Trail typically does NOT offer good wildflower viewing. 

Dreamy Draw 
Hillsides and washes surrounding Trail 100 out of the Dreamy Draw trailhead at Northern Avenue and Highway 51 often are covered in a wide variety of wildflower blooms.

Look for these wildflowers varieties in bloom in Phoenix Desert Preserves:

Gordon's Bladderwart

Mexican Gold Poppies, Lupine

White Tackstem

Ocotillo Bloom

Brittlebrush Desert Bluebell Desert Marigold Fire Penstemon
Popcorn Flower Blue Dicks Globe Mallow Fiddleneck
Scorpionweed Lupine Bladderpod Parry's Penstemon