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Blooms Make Early Debut at County Parks

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Above-average rainfall this winter has created the perfect conditions for a colorful show of wildflowers in County of San Diego parks.

"We are seeing a spectacular display of early wildflowers this year, but the best time will be mid-March,” said Renée Bahl, Director of the County of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department.

The plants started to bloom in early February throughout area parks, from the coast to the mountains and deserts, sprinkling the ground with vibrant purple, yellow and white blooms.

Parking at County parks entrances is either free or costs a nominal $3 fee. Once in the park, hiking and enjoying the scenery is free for everyone; fishing is free for children under seven and costs just $2.50-$5.00 for older youth and adults.

Chuparosa, brittlebush, desert thorn, and ocotillo can be seen in many areas. Desert lily, desert aloe, sand verbena, creosote bush, Spanish needles and numerous belly flowers are abloom along the Marsh Canyon and Moonlight Canyon at Agua Caliente.

Some of the best places to see wildflowers at County Parks are listed below.

  • Agua Caliente, 39555 GR S Overland in Julian: Chuparosa, brittlebush, desert thorn, ocotillo, desert lily, desert aloe, sand verbena, creosote bush, Spanish needles, numerous belly flowers

  • Vallecito, 37349 GR S Overland in Julian: Same as those at Agua Caliente

  • Sycamore Canyon, 16281 Sycamore Canyon Road in Poway: Parry’s phacelia, poppies, lupine, popcorn flower, chocolate lilies, mariposa lilies

  • Oakoasis, 12620 Wildcat Canyon Road in Lakeside: Ceanothus, Parry’s phacelia, stinging lupine, pink maids, padre’s shooting stars, blue dicks

  • El Capitan Preserve, 13775 Blue Sky Ranch Road in Lakeside: Tree poppies as well as those plants listed at Oakoasis

For a list of activities or events at County Parks, visit

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