There has been a surge in recent years for wildflower hunting. Luckily, as southern California based residents, a lot of amazing species are right here in our own backyard. Some travel far and wide, and even wait in ridiculous hours long traffic for a glimpse of the orange sensation that is the poppies superbloom.
Due to avid amounts of rainfall this past year, we’re expecting that this season will be no exception to the dramatic increase in superbloom population. These poppies thrive on mountain and hillsides and have taken over large portions of our valleys and more remote landscapes. While you may see a couple here or there right in your own backyard, average adventure seekers are after the big prize – the superbloom fields.
We decided to explore this craze for ourselves, right here in our home base of Laguna Beach, CA. And of course, we had to conduct our search via mountain bike, because what’s a mile long uphill hike on the trails of Laguna Canyon without a beautiful mountain bike descent.
Our trip begins with some moderate mountain biking preparation. A quick air up of the tires using the Eflator™️ tire pump gets us in tune. We’re big advocates for carrying tools on any ride, no matter the distance. Especially on a trip like this, with hot temperatures and no cell service, you never know when you’ll run into a problem. We did our due diligence and packed our favorite Wheelie Whip™️ Tool just in case.
While seeing wildflowers along the trails behind Laguna Canyon Road is no specialty, the recent heavy rainfall and winds have our expectations high for spotting the famous California poppies. Keep in mind that despite a very wet winter, we’re expecting some blazing temperatures this summer. Bringing water and sunscreen is a must.
Our ascent started out strong. If you know anything about Laguna canyon, the trails go on for miles but all eventually spit you out back to civilization. We persevered for about three quarters of a mile, getting just high enough in elevation to spot any wildflowers that were happening. So far, we only had mustardseed and various other wildflowers in our sight. Another quarter of a mile and some rocky hiking later, we had our eyes on the prize, the golden poppies. While they weren’t in giant rolling fields like you see on Instagram, we felt accomplished basking in the presence of this small but sought-after flower. There were maybe less than 100 spotted on our trip in total, and the rarity made them all the more exciting to see.
We were careful to take our photos, all without harming any fauna or foliage, and begin our trail ride down. If you are planning to go poppies hunting this season, here are some helpful tips and reminders;
- Do your due research before entering wildlife areas and be conscious of any other plants/animals in the area.
- Check local chat groups and ask friends for the inside scoop on where to look. It’s better to have an approximate understanding of where these plants may be before wandering out.
- Be prepared with good hiking/walking shoes, water, sunscreen, and a camera to take photos.
- Respect any trail guidelines, and stick to the path. Never ever step in an area or field where poppies are growing as they will be permanently damaged.
- Consider donating to an organization or wildlife protection program to keep these flowers healthy and well maintained for years to come!