Hudson Ranch Road is a scenic drive through Los Padres National Forest from Highway 33 to Frazier Park. Sweeping views of the Central Valley, Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Emigdio Mountains and the Chumash Wilderness are revealed at each bend. Visit in the Spring for dramatic green hills covered in wildflowers.
Sunrise Scenic Byway is San Diego's most scenic drive. At 24 miles, this drive winds 6,000 feet high through Cleveland National Forest and Laguna Mountain Recreation Area with green meadows, forested peaks and stunning desert vistas that overlook Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Enjoy Fall colors, Winter snow and Spring wildflowers making it a four season destination.
Rancho Sierra Vista Satwiwa in the Santa Monica Mountains preserves sacred Native American land of the Chumash and Tongva/Gabrielino. The iconic Boney Peak provides a dramatic backdrop for this once village called 'Satwiwa' or Bluff where 150 archeological sites have been discovered. The area was first visited by Europeans in 1769-70 during the famous Portolá expedition and again in 1774 during the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition. Enjoy miles of trails and Spring wildflowers in a landscape largely unchanged.
Wind Wolves Preserve is the largest non-profit preserve on the west coast at 93,000 acres. The Transverse & Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert and San Joaquin Valley all meet to create one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the country. Protected by the Wildlands Conservancy, the preserve is free and open to the public for all to enjoy. Visit in the Spring when the golden hills turn a brilliant green and burst with wildflowers.
Caspers Wilderness Park is the largest and most beautiful park in Orange County with 8,000 acres of wilderness. Sandstone canyons, coast live oak trees, river valleys and wildflowers on the edge of the Santa Ana Mountains come together to create a stunning landscape. Juaneño Native Americans lived in Villages here for thousands of years and lived off the land.
Figueroa Mountain is a Recreation Area north of Santa Barbara in Los Padres National Forest. Spring is the best time to visit when the hills and mountains put on the most stunning wildflower displays in California. Grass Mountain can become completely covered in poppies it looks orange from miles away and views from the top stretch across the Santa Ynez Valley all the way to the ocean. Whether hiking the many trails or enjoying a scenic drive, Figueroa Mountain will be an unforgettable experience.
Borrego Springs is a beautiful desert community surrounded by Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Named after the town's most famous residents, Borrego means 'bighorn sheep' in Spanish. The town is an International Dark Sky Community, one of only a few in the country, making it the perfect place to watch the stars and a meteor shower. If winter rains allow, springtime brings the most stunning desert bloom on the continent with miles of explosive bloom.
Carrizo Plain National Monument is a true wilderness experience in California's Great Central Valley. More than 200,000 acres of untouched beauty reveal what the entire valley looked like long before development. Beautiful grassland plains hug rolling hills blanketed by a rainbow of wildflowers in the Spring. The San Andreas Fault cuts right through the plain giving it a rich geological history. Native Chumash considered the plain sacred and inhabited the area for at least 4,000 years.
Today, this is the only original California grassland strand remaining. The highest concentration of endangered species in the state reside here including the tule elk, pronghorn, San Joaquin kit fox & antelope squirrel, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, giant kangaroo rat as well as the California condor. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management as opposed to the National Park Service, the plain is continuously in a controversial debate over grazing, solar power and oil drilling rights. One visit will have you one the side for preservation.
*Access is dirt road only, 4 wheel drive strongly recommended
The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is a Spring wildflower showstopper. Located in the Mojave Desert outside of Los Angeles, poppies carpet rolling hills to create a stunning mirage of orange. Bloom is generally February through May though can vary each season depending on winter rains. One look of at the massive fields of California's State Flower will be an experience you will never forget.
Malibu Creek State Park is the premier nature wonderland of the Santa Monica Mountains. Grasslands, oak woodlands and rolling hills make up more than 8,000 acres of scenic beauty. The area was once home to the Native American Chumash who had a village here called Talepop. Paramount Pictures & 20th Century Fox both used the area for filming including M*A*S*H & The Planet of the Apes. Hiking trails of every length wind through canyons covered in wildflowers each Spring.