Wildflower Walks - POST

Spring is one of the best times of year to explore the open spaces of the Peninsula and South Bay.

The landscape is alive with carpets of colorful wildflowers. It’s a season of abundance and the ideal time to try out new trails and see new places.

Use this guide to find some of the best wildflower displays in the Bay Area. Remember to check the weather forecast before you go, as some flowers only bloom when the sun is shining.

Time to stop and smell the flowers!

Serpentine Loop

at Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
Location
[hike.location]
Length
3.15 miles
Elevation Change
500 feet
Hiking Time
2 hours
Difficulty
[hike.trail_type]

The serpentine soil in this preserve produces some of the best displays of spring flowers on the Peninsula, and these trails take you right through the middle of it all. It’s a go-to spot if you’re looking for a walk in a sea of wildflowers.

Arastradero Creek Loop

at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
Location
[hike.location]
Length
3.7 miles
Elevation Change
300 feet
Hiking Time
2 hours
Difficulty
[hike.trail_type]

The rolling hills in this preserve create a range of habitat types offering refuge for a great diversity of wildflowers. You’ll find the biggest patches of wildflowers along the sunny, southern-facing slopes.

Bald Hills Loop

at Calero County Park

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
Location
[hike.location]
Length
8.34 miles
Elevation Change
4,819 feet
Hiking Time
6-7 hours
Difficulty
[hike.trail_type]

Enjoy a large outcropping of serpentine soil, offering big, showy displays of native wildflowers. You’ll also enjoy views of the southern Santa Cruz Mountains and nearby Diablo Range.

Arrowhead Loop

at Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
Location
[hike.location]
Length
4 miles
Elevation Change
575 feet
Hiking Time
2-3 hours
Difficulty
[hike.trail_type]

Just a short drive from downtown San Jose, this preserve offers phenomenal views of Coyote Valley, the Diablo Mountain Range and a plethora of spring flowers. You don’t have to complete the full loop to get your fill of spectacular flowers!

Purisima Creek Loop

at Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
Location
[hike.location]
Length
9.1 miles
Elevation Change
5,528 feet
Hiking Time
5-7 hours
Difficulty
[hike.trail_type]

Meander through a lush redwood forest and along a creek before climbing to an exposed ridge. You’ll find a variety of wildflowers as you move through the preserve, but the most exciting display is along the sunlit ridge.

River Trail

at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
Location
[hike.location]
Length
2 miles
Elevation Change
Flat
Hiking Time
1 hour
Difficulty
[hike.trail_type]

Giant redwoods tower over the cool waters of the San Lorenzo River in this beloved park. It contains one of the largest stands of old-growth redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and an abundance of spring flowers add to the beauty of this landscape.

Ridge Trail

at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
Location
[hike.location]
Length
3.6 miles
Elevation Change
600 feet
Hiking Time
2 hours
Difficulty
[hike.trail_type]

Cruise the top of Russian Ridge for sweeping views of the surrounding open spaces including rolling hills dotted with wildflowers. Note that the peak bloom for this preserve usually comes a little later in the season.

Spine Ridge Trail

at Golden Gate National Recreation Area

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
Location
[hike.location]
Length
4 miles
Elevation Change
3,590 feet
Hiking Time
4 hours
Difficulty
[hike.trail_type]

Climb the rugged flanks of Montara Mountain for views of drought-tolerant wildflowers and the Pacific Ocean in the distance. It is frequently foggy here, so be sure to check the weather forecast for sunny skies.

Pillar Point Loop

at Pillar Point Bluff County Park

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
Location
[hike.location]
Length
1.4 miles
Elevation Change
100 feet
Hiking Time
1 hour
Difficulty
[hike.trail_type]

This is an easy, wheelchair-accessible hike with great views of the Pacific. There’s a seasonal wetland where wildflowers thrive. But be sure to visit when the sun is shining for the best displays.

Bird Trail

at Wavecrest Open Space

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
Location
[hike.location]
Length
1.5 miles
Elevation Change
Flat
Hiking Time
Less than 1 hour
Difficulty
[hike.trail_type]

Wander through a coastal wetland, where vernal pools support a surprising array of native wildflowers. This spot is also frequently foggy, so check the forecast for sunny days and the best wildflower viewing times.

Año Nuevo Point Trail

at Año Nuevo State Park

  • Hiking
  • Dogs
  • Horses
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Handicap Accessibility
  • Swimming
Location
[hike.location]
Length
1.5 miles
Elevation Change
Flat
Hiking Time
1 hour
Difficulty
[hike.trail_type]

Best known as the destination to see 5,000-pound elephant seals, Año Nuevo is also home to a spectacular display of spring wildflowers. This easy, gentle trail is good for all ages and abilities. Check the forecast for sunshine and the best viewing times.

Keep it Beautiful

Here are a few guidelines while viewing wildflowers:

  • Stay on trails to avoid damaging sensitive species and their habitats.
  • Please don’t pick wildflowers so that they are more likely to return next year.
  • Clean your boots after each hike to avoid the spread of invasive species.
  • Keep dogs leashed at all times.

The land in POST’s working area has been home to many distinct communities of Native people since time immemorial. We work to conserve and care for these lands — the ancestral territory of at least four contemporary Indigenous communities: the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, Muwekma Ohlone, Ramaytush Ohlone and Tamien Nation. These groups have survived centuries of oppression and displacement, and are the past, present and future caretakers of this land.

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