The timing of California’s super bloom could not be better for those of us still feeling the super gloom of winter. If you’re one of the 10 million Americans still feeling the residual blahs of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), science says that even just the sight of beautiful foliage is enough to help lift your spirits. A 2020 study revealed that looking at an image of a flower can be powerful enough to reduce negative emotions, lower your blood pressure, and lessen cortisol release. Aside from this, blooming flowers symbolize rebirth, new beginnings, and opportunity, as well as mark the beginning of longer days and shorter nights.
If you’re lucky enough to visit California in person this year, be forewarned that a few popular super bloom spots have been closed off from tourists in Riverside County. Increasing popularity over the past few years has resulted in huge crowds of visitors swarming these areas at once, trampling the local flowers and putting their own safety at risk in order to get a photograph of the event. The problem got so out of hand in the city of Lake Elsinore that the mayor instituted a zero-tolerance “keep out” trespassing policy for sightseers hoping to get an up-close glimpse of Walker Canyon.
This year, the California Department of Parks and Recreation created a list of super bloom spots open to the public, including the months in which wildflowers will still be in full bloom as well as the species you can expect to see during your visit.
For the rest of us who can’t make the trek out West, soak up these images of the Golden State’s super bloom: