California Desert Wildflower Tour

(Last Updated On: December 26, 2020)

I love the desert in bloom and have long wanted to visit Death Valley when it was awash in blossoms. You can never predict exactly when it will be a good year or when the flowers will peak, but last winter’s flooding in southern California made us decide that this would be a good year to take a chance on it.

We think we did pretty well!

Our California desert wildflower itinerary

Day 1: March 26, 2011

Into the Mojave


Day 2: Joshua Tree, March 27

We have the Park mostly to Ourselves

I actually woke up a little after 6 but, for whatever reason, we laze around until 7.

Discovering Hidden Valley

A Tree Blooms at Jumbo Rocks

Along with her recommendation to immediately head into Hidden Valley (to beat the crowds), the ranger at the gate also advised us where to find a Joshua tree in bloom (it’s still too early for most of them), so we head into the Jumbo Rocks Campground in search of site 37.

Sure enough, across from site 37 a Joshua Tree just coming into bloom. The tree is growing up against a large boulder and a quick climb takes me almost right up to the blossoms.

How convenient!

In Search of Wildflowers

Indian Cove Campground

The campgrounds at California’s Joshua Tree National Park are almost enough to make me want to come back with a tent – or maybe a camper.

The Good Life at Spin and Margie’s


Day 3: Joshua Tree to Palm Spring, March 28, 2011

Barker Dam Reflections

Joshua Blossoms

Someone we met along the way had told us that the streets of Yucca Valley were lined with Joshua Trees in bloom. That turned out to be a bit of an exaggeration, but there are a number of trees and a few are in bloom.

Wind Power

View from the Palm Springs Visitor’s Center

There are lots of incongruous sites in Palm Springs, California, some of which are visible right from the city visitor center.

Yes, those are wind turbines in the distance behind the palms. It’s a little unreal.

A Bit of Downtown Palm Springs

Palm Springs is a rather fascinating mix of old and new. . . not sure yet what to think of it all.


Day 4: March 29, 2011


Day 5: March 30, 2011

Spring in Tahquitz Canyon

Disappointment at Big Morongo



Day 6: March 31, 2011

The Natural Side of Coachella

A Cacti Extravaganza

Looking into the Devil’s Punchbowl


Day 7: April 1, 2011

Day 8: April 2, 2011

Antelope Valley, Sans Poppies


Day 9: April 3

Day 10: April 4

Day 11: Driving to Las Vegas, April 5, 2001

Night Lights and Dancing Waters


Day 12: Leaving Las Vegas, April 6, 2011

Las Vegas Sunrise (Natural Neon)

Our just-of-the-strip hotel in Los Vegas faces east.

The Details

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