San Diego Flower Power: Superbloom at Anza-Borrego!
March 24th, 2017|SofiaBlog


By now, news of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park’s spectacular “superbloom” has gone thoroughly national.

There’s still time to experience the show—right around its peak—and the Sofia makes the ideal San Diego Hotel and Spa for doing so! We’re about a two-hour drive from the state park, which makes a superbloom safari of a daytrip an easy (and unforgettable) proposition!

The Superbloom

Anza-Borrego, set in the Colorado Desert and its adjoining mountain ranges, always puts on some kind of wildflower show in the late winter and spring. This year’s blossom bonanza, though, is of a magnitude that hasn’t been seen since 1999.

A variety of environmental factors conspire to create a superbloom (check out this great primer from RootsRated for more on the science), but the most important is rainfall. Since last July, the Anza-Borrego desert has seen more than seven inches of precipitation—well above average. Most of it falling in calm and steady as opposed to violent and scouring fashion.

The Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association (ABDNHA) maintains a webpage with frequent updates on the local wildflower show, well worth eyeballing as you plan your Sofia getaway. The latest dispatch confirms there’s still epic color to be seen throughout the Borrego Valley and the mountain canyons, not least along Henderson Canyon Road—shouldered by gorgeous beds of desert sunflowers, dune evening primroses, verbenas, and other showstoppers.

And then there’s the forest of ocotillo along Borrego Springs Road, which ABDNHA reports is nearly at peak. Seeing the tall, wild whips of these cactus-like stunners in blossom will take your breath away.

As the Times of San Diego recently noted, Anza-Borrego hasn’t been presenting natural spectacle on the ground: Birders rubbing shoulders with flower-photographers have lately seen some remarkable sights, not least, on March 18, Swainson’s hawks migrating over the desertscape in the thousands.

Also Worth Checking Out: Waterfalls!

The same plentiful rains that have been helping fuel Anza-Borrego’s superbloom also make this the perfect time to go waterfall-hunting around the San Diego area. Anza-Borrego itself includes fern-edged Maidenhair Falls in the charmingly named Hellhole Canyon; Borrego Palm Canyon, one of the state park’s most popular hikes, also has cascades and little falls. (Both canyons are also worth visiting for their splendid groves of California fan palms.)

A bit closer is the well-known Cedar Creek Falls, which tumbles down an almost cinematic rocky chute in the Cuyamaca Mountains. It’s reachable via the lovely hike up the San Diego River Gorge.

For more, check out this roundup of regional waterfalls over at the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website.

What better way to celebrate spring than with a visit to the Sofia Hotel in downtown San Diego and a jaunt east to Anza-Borrego for its once-in-a-decade superbloom? Catch the mind boggling flowering before it starts ebbing…