TRAVEL
03/16/2017 01:23 pm ET Updated Mar 20, 2017

'Super Blooms' Transform California Deserts Into Colorful Wonderland

This looks pretty magical.

Southern California deserts are exploding with color in a “super bloom” of wildflowers brought on by unusually heavy rain over the winter and fall.

The Anza-Borrego Desert, about two hours from San Diego, and Walker Canyon in the town of Lake Elsinore are nearly unrecognizable as the fields of flowers hit peak bloom in mid-March.

The wide expanses of orange poppies in Lake Elsinore are such a spectacle, they’ve been causing local traffic problems, city manager Grant Yates told the Press-Enterprise.

In the Anza-Borrego, the colors are more of a mix of purple and yellow. The Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association wrote Wednesday that the desert is experiencing a “rolling bloom” — meaning that different areas and types of flowers will bloom at different times. (You can find specific information on bloom times and locations on the ABDNHA website.)

If you want to see the flowers, morning is the best time, since some flowers close up during hotter daytime hours.

If you’re not going to be making the trip anytime soon, you can still enjoy the gorgeous photos coming out of the deserts.

  • Julia Lu, 5, (left) and Amy Liu, 5, walk through the wildflower bloom in Lake Elsinore, California.
    Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
    Julia Lu, 5, (left) and Amy Liu, 5, walk through the wildflower bloom in Lake Elsinore, California.
  • A dog stands in the bloom at Lake Elsinore.
    Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
    A dog stands in the bloom at Lake Elsinore.
  • People walk through the bloom in Lake Elsinore.
    Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
    People walk through the bloom in Lake Elsinore.
  • Poppies bloom in Lake Elsinore.
    Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
    Poppies bloom in Lake Elsinore.
  • A woman uses a selfie stick to photograph herself in a massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter in Lake Elsinor
    Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
    A woman uses a selfie stick to photograph herself in a massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter in Lake Elsinore.
  • A woman walks through the desert that's usually dry, but is now a beautiful spring wildflower bloom in Lake Elsinor
    Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
    A woman walks through the desert that's usually dry, but is now a beautiful spring wildflower bloom in Lake Elsinore.
  • A man sits while looking at the massive wildflower bloom in in Lake Elsinore.
    Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
    A man sits while looking at the massive wildflower bloom in in Lake Elsinore.
  • A woman and dog in a field of flowers in Lake Elsinore.
    Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
    A woman and dog in a field of flowers in Lake Elsinore.
  • A massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter is seen in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California.
    Steve Gorman / Reuters
    A massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter is seen in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California.
  • A massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter is seen in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
    Sue Horton / Reuters
    A massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter is seen in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
  • A massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter is seen in Lake Elsinore.
    Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
    A massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter is seen in Lake Elsinore.
  • A massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter is seen in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
    Reuters
    A massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter is seen in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
  • A massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter is seen in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.
    Steve Gorman / Reuters
    A massive spring wildflower bloom caused by a wet winter is seen in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misidentified photos from the Lake Elsinore bloom as being from the Anza-Borrego Desert. The article has been updated to include photos and information about both blooms.

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