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Walnut Creek Magazine

Ten Good Places To See Wildflowers

Mar 06, 2022 04:59PM ● By Save Mt. Diablo

With early, heavy rain, wildflowers are already blooming on Mount Diablo and across the region. This year promises to bring another incredible bloom. When you’re ready for a wildflower adventure, please remember to respect the natural surroundings, stay on the trails, and don’t pick the flowers.

Mitchell Canyon in Mount Diablo State Park This is a fan-favorite trailhead. Start at the interpretive center. There’s a native plant garden and cool stuff for kids to touch and ask questions about. Trails offer a wide variety of wildflowers, stunning ancient oaks, lots of birds, and interesting rock formations.

Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve Once the largest coal mining operation in California, nature has restored the preserve to its spectacular beauty and ecological health. Here entire hillsides are covered in wildflowers and for visitors interested in finding out what it was like to be a miner, from March through November, you can also tour the mines (advance reservations required).

Contra Loma Regional Park A leisurely stroll around the reservoir will give you a good vantage point to spot a whole bunch of blooms. Contra Loma is also a good place to bird watch and picnic.

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve Visit the morning side of Mount Diablo where the park sprawls across more than 5,000 acres, with trail connections to Round Valley Regional Preserve, Los Vaqueros Watershed, and Mount Diablo State Park. Ridgetop views will make you feel like you’re on top of the world. A portion of Morgan Territory was burned in the 2020 SCU Lightning Complex fires and wildflowers are expected to be spectacular here.

Round Valley Regional Preserve Big, wide-open meadows plus blue oak–studded hills to climb. Several tree-lined creeks cross the park, including Marsh Creek, where kids can explore local streams. Beyond beautiful wildflower displays, the habitat is home to the endangered San Joaquin kit fox.

Henry W. Coe State Park With 87,000-acres of terrain, Coe is California’s largest state park ideal for hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and botanizing. In under two hours by car, you’ll be treated to drive away to fields of spectacular blooms.


 

Sunol Wilderness Regional Preserve Escape to a remote place only 20 miles from Pleasanton or Fremont. The park is home to spectacular spring wildflower displays intriguing rocks, and Alameda Creek. Kids can interact with local wildlife including lots of interesting bat species.

Ohlone Wilderness Regional Preserve The only way to get here is by hiking in or riding in onhorseback. The centerpiece of this near 10,000-acre park is Rose Peak, which is just 32 feet lower than Mount Diablo. Surrounding the peak are grassy ridges covered in spring flowers. Keep an eye out for golden eagles, mountain lions, and tule elk.

 

 

Pinnacles National Park Visit the wildflowers in bloom at California’s newest national park. While you’re there, you might spot a California condor—the one that recently visited Mount Diablo came from here.

Del Valle Regional Park This park has awesome wildflowers and a new visitor’s center. You can also rent boats and paddle around on the lake. It’s easy to rent a cabin or a reserve a campsite at Del Valle if you’re planning an overnight trip.

Save Mount Diablo is a nationally accredited nonprofit land trust founded in 1971 to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, watersheds, and connection to the Diablo Range through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide educational and recreational opportunities consistent with protection of natural resources. 

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