It’s official. Wildflower season is here.
Lompoc, known as the “Valley of Flowers,” is bursting with poppies, lupine, mustard, and baby blue eyes. What’s the best way to see these beautiful blooms up close? At this time of year, wildflowers can be seen on one of three hikes.
Here’s a closer look at trails you should check out:
After a five minute drive from downtown Lompoc, you’ll find the base of Bodger Trail. It’s a fairly short trail, just 1.5 miles roundtrip, but it’s a bit steep in parts so be sure to wear sneakers or hiking boots for support.
As you walk through the lush valley, you’ll spot patches of wildflowers along the trail. It’s lightly traveled, so you’ll have plenty of space to take some nice photos of the flowers too.
As you reach the top, you’ll be towering over the valley with a 130-degree panoramic view of the town below.
La Purisima Mission State Historic Park Trails
Looping around California’s most extensively restored mission, La Purisima, are 25 miles of hiking trails to enjoy. Wildflowers love the climate and untouched soil near the mission, so you’ll find wildflowers scattered about on most trails. However, if we had to pick just one, the Vista De La Cruz Trail is a good one to start with, which begins just behind the Visitor’s Center.
Consider going early in the morning as the sun comes up. You’ll have a peaceful walk, beautiful scenery, and the chance to take some great snapshots of wildflowers in bloom.
After your walk, consider touring the mission. With its restored buildings and living history events, it’s a great place to visit.
Jalama Beach State Park Trails
Take a country drive along the rolling hills of California’s shoreline to reach Jalama Beach State Park Trails. You might spot a mustard field or two in bloom on your way out.
When you arrive, head to De Anza Trail, which is an 11-mile walk towards Point Conception Lighthouse.
You’ll walk along the beach, circle around caves, and hike along some narrow seascapes on this journey. And, of course, you’ll see some wildflowers too. Everything from California poppies to Coreopsis Gigantea, a yellow daisy-like flower, can be seen along the route.
After your nature walk, head over to Jalama Beach Grill for their famous Jalama Burger. It’s stacked high with toppings and a secret sauce that locals and visitors rave about.
The wildflower history in Lompoc
Lompoc has a floral history that dates back to the early 1900s. Settlers noticed early on that wildflowers took root easily in the temperate, consistent climate and soon started planting acres upon acres of wildflowers to harvest and sell the seeds.
Today, the industry has changed a bit. Lompoc doesn’t export seeds anymore, but the area is still home to several commercial growers that sell fresh-cut wildflowers.
If you’re in Lompoc, be sure to check the Bloom Tracker on the Explore Lompoc website to find a field that’s in bloom. While the fields are private, there are plenty of public roads that run right alongside the fields and are quite a sight to see.
Wildflower season is an ideal time to visit Lompoc. If you’re looking for more information about the area, download the Visitors Guide.
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