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5 Places Within 2 Hours Of UCLA To See The Super Bloom

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Winter Quarter brought rainy days, soggy shoes and socks, a new designated accessible place for our umbrellas and lots of bad hair days. However, it might have been worth it because California is going to experience a super bloom this year! A super bloom only happens every 5-10 years when there is an unseasonably wet winter that causes thousands of dormant wildflower seeds to bloom, and it’s not just the California Orange Poppy. We’ll see multiple colors from yellow flowers to blue flowers to purple flowers and more. 

The *best* places to see the super bloom are unfortunately along the central coast. But don’t frown just yet, because there are a couple of places in SoCal all about two hours away from UCLA that we can make a day trip out of. So start up your car, or beg your friends that have cars to take a road trip to these five places:

Diamond Valley Lake

Distance: 90 mi, 2hr drive with good traffic 

Diamond Valley Lake is picturesque with not only its wildflowers but also the mountain ranges surrounding it and its beautiful lake. While it can be a two-hour drive, leaving later in the morning or mid-day could make the trip over three hours. However, in true road trip spirit, if we depart before 8am (preferably around 7am), the traffic is lighter, and we can make the trip as short as possible. I would say the trip is worth the planning: parking is inexpensive and the trail fee is only $4 per person. The park is open from 6:30am–6pm, and the wildflower trail is easy, with a 2.1-mile loop and elevation gain of 282 ft.

Urban Forest Huntington Beach

Distance: 36 mi, 1hr drive

Closer to campus is the Urban Forest in Huntington Beach. It is 36 miles from UCLA, and about an hour’s drive (give or take). However, unlike Diamond Valley Lake and the other options on this list, Urban Forest is more curated and garden-like rather than a reserve or state park. It’s still beautiful, but the vibes are different. Therefore, it comes down to what we are looking for.  There is still an array of colorful flowers because of this year’s rain, but the hiking and walking experience will be different. Urban Forest is perfect for people who aren’t huge fans of nature.

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

Distance: 45 mi, 1hr-90 min drive 

Antelope Valley is specifically a poppy reserve and it’s already covered with California’s orange beauties. However, other colors are slowly starting to emerge. The park is open from sunrise to sunset and is a 90-minute drive from UCLA with good/moderate traffic. Parking is $10, and according to the California State Park website, it is “eight miles of trails through the gentle rolling hills, including a paved section for wheelchair access, [which makes] the park a wonderful place to hike and explore any season.”

Weir Canyon in Santiago Oaks Regional Park

Distance: 44 mi, 1hr-90 min drive 

Weir Canyon is a specific part of Santiago Oaks Regional Park. It is a 3.6-mile loop trail with an elevation gain of 643 feet with easy/moderate difficulty. There is free parking along the road. There are several patches of flowers that make the green hills beautiful, but some have said that the super bloom is not super prominent in this part of the park as the green hills still dominate the trail. However, it is still a great escape from the city!

Chino Hills State Park

Distance: 43 mi, 1hr-90 min drive 

I personally went to Chino Hills State Park in the spring of 2021. There wasn’t even a super bloom, and it was still beautiful. These hills were covered in yellow and white flowers, and the way the sun reflected on them was absolutely stunning. I can’t imagine how even more amazing it is now. The trails were easily walkable, and a lot of it is driveable too if you’d rather drive and stop at the super picturesque places. Parking is $10, unless you park on the road for free, and during this time of year, the gate access is 8am-7pm!

All of these options are absolutely amazing. For my girlies who like a more desert landscape, a couple of other options to check out are the Malibu Creek State Park, Anza Borrego Desert State Park and Joshua Tree. These options will not have fields or hills of flowers, but the usually barren landscape will have bushes and cacti with pops of color that are unique to the super bloom! With only one quarter left of this school year, let’s make the most of it, and the super bloom seems like the perfect Spring Quarter activity!

BriannaRose is a UCLA Communications major and Film/TV minor who aspires to break boundaries and stigmas. As an aspiring creative director and editorial writer, she works on student films and photography projects, and has professional experience in entertainment and fashion journalism, fashion public relations and internal communications for cable. In addition to writing, BriannaRose volunteers at local animal shelters, competes in pageants, and is always excited to read a contemporary romance novel.