Where to see beautiful wildflowers

california poppies john slot

The Calaveras River in Jenny Lind near Valley Springs | John Slot

The calendar may still read winter, but loads of spring colors are starting to pop out all over the foothills. This season’s wildflower bloom is already in full swing in the lower elevations of the county – the photo above was taken on February 26.  Also this month is the Mother Lode Daffodil Show at Ironstone Vineyards, which features thousands of the colorful flowers and related artwork. March is going to be visually stunning! Read on for ideas about where to go see and photograph the flowers in the coming weeks.

Mother Lode Daffodil Show | Ironstone Vineyards

Daffodil Society | Ironstone Vineyards

Mother Lode Daffodil Show
March 19 11:00am – 5:00pm
March 20   10:00am – 3:00 pm
Ironstone Vineyards
1894 Six Mile Road
Murphys, CA 95247

Now in its 21st year, the Daffodil Show shares the weekend at Ironstone with the Spring Obsession Art Show and is a sensory delight. The road from Murphys to Ironstone is lined with daffodils (the largest display of daffodils in the Gold Country) and once inside the venue, you’ll be treated to all sorts of horticultural exhibits and artistic designs. Nearby Daffodil Hill in Volcano has the next largest plantings of daffodils and is also worth checking out.


Poppies near Valley Springs | by John Slot

Strolls and Hikes

It’s a perfect time of year for a walk along the trails of the foothill lakes, the poppies have started to bloom and as March goes on, more and more color will begin to shine. A moderate hike up the Table Mountain trail, part of the New Melones Recreation Area, offers a unique volcanic plateau overlooking Melones Lake and is home to vernal pools and many species of wildflowers. The trails at Glory Hole and Tuttletown entrances offer easier walks. Trail systems at New Hogan and Camanche lakes, in the Valley Springs area are also awash with wildflowers, rolling green grasses and budding oak trees.

Foothill towns with historic downtowns, like Mokelumne Hill, Angels Camp and Murphys all have a populations of gold rush-era fruit trees currently sporting their colorful blossoms. And the Mokelumne River Canyon is currently blooming with spectacular displays of California poppies.

Lupines | by Joel Metzger

Lupines | by Joel Metzger

Take The Car

Hop in the car and explore some of our favorite backroads and byways. In the winding river canyons you’ll see redbud trees, lupine and lilacs coming out. In ranch country near Copper and Valley Springs, be on the look out for poppy fields, mustard, and blossoming fruit and nut trees.

In the higher elevations, wildflowers start blooming later, so you’ll have plenty of time to venture out to enjoy the multiple species on show at Highland Lakes.

For more ideas on things to do in Spring, check out our Spring Vacation Itineraries.

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