List of 10 meadows

Below in alphabetic order are listed 10 gorgeous meadows of Californian poppies.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

1. Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

Possibly the most impressive California poppy meadow, located in the western part of Antelope Valley. Nature reserve since 1960ies, area - 1,777 acres (7.19 km2). Tourist facilities and nature trails arranged.


Poppies in Bear Valley, Colusa
Poppies in Bear Valley, Colusa. / Wikimedia Commons, user Agunther CC BY 3.0

2. Bear Valley wildflower meadows

Largest remaining Californian arid grasslands next to Antelope Valley and Carrizo Plain. Desolate, vast valley, rich not only with California poppy but also creamcups (Platystemon californicus Benth.), adobe lilies (Fritillaria pluriflora Torr. ex Benth.) and many other wildflowers.


Goldfields in Carrizo Plain
Goldfields, Carrizo Plain wildflower meadows / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

3. Carrizo Plain wildflower meadows

One of the most unique natural complexes in California, vast remnant of arid grasslands. Large meadows of diverse wildflowers such as California goldfield (Lasthenia californica DC. ex Lindl.), lacy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia Benth.), California poppy (Eschscholzia californica Cham.), tidy tips (Layia platyglossa ( Fisch. & C.A.Mey.) A.Gray) and numerous other species.


Meadows of Dry Creek Preserve
Meadows of Dry Creek Preserve / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

4. Wildflower meadows of Dry Creek, Tulare County

Sycamore alluvial woodland together with open grassland further away from the creek provides one of the most impressive floral displays in this part of California.

Landscape is made even more impressive by the fact that it is partly restored after closure of gravel mine.


Poppy field near Mount Figureoa
Poppy field near Mount Figureoa / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

5. Poppy and lupine fields of Figueroa Mountain

Hillsides of the Figueroa Mountain represent a beautiful, refreshing sight in spring - lush meadows full with flowers. Add a stately backdrop of forested mountains and you get a perfect landscape.

Hillsides are covered here with sky lupines and California poppies. For diversity in many locations one can see patches of magenta padre's shooting stars (Dodecatheon clevelandii Greene), chocolate lilies (Fritillaria biflora Lindl.). In more open areas there are rich displays of goldfields (Lasthenia ssp.) and numerous other flowers.


Spring colors in Gorman Hills
Spring colors of Gorman Hills. / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

6. Flower fields of Gorman Hills

Not too far from the famous Antelope Valley poppy meadows there is another well-known location where in spring-time there can be observed magnificent florescence of Californian flowers.

Most common flower species here are the yellow California tickseeds (Coreopsis californica (Nuttall) H. Sharsmith), blue Bentham lupines (Lupinus benthamii A.Heller), blue bluehead gilias (Gilia capitata Sims) and lacy phacelias (Phacelia tanacetifolia Benth.).

Orange accents are added by the beautiful California poppies ((Eschscholzia californica Cham.) in many places forming larger golden colored meadows.


Poppy meadow in Merced River valley
Poppy meadow in Merced River valley / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

7. Poppy meadows of Merced Valley and Hite Cove

Not too far from the famous Antelope Valley poppy meadows there is another well-known location where in spring-time there can be observed magnificent florescence of Californian flowers.

One of the most popular routes leading into the Yosemite National Park is Highway 140 along the Merced River. When approaching the Yosemites the valley gradually becomes deeper and deeper. In springtime the beautiful landscape is supplemented by unusual sight - high hillsides on both banks of the river bedome colored bright orange by millions of poppies.


Meadows near Lake Elsinore
Meadows near Lake Elsinore / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

8. Walker Canyon poppy fields

Lake Elsinore area is located in the Greater Los Angeles Area - there are approximately 16 million people living here. Some areas near Los Angeles though have been spared of urban development and are even relatively intact.

One of such places is seen from I-15 highway between Alberhill and Lake Elsinore. In both sides of the road there are desolate hills which for most part of the year seem to be nearly lifeless. But in the spring - in late February - April - there happens miraculous change - greyish hills become covered with large bright colored patches of wildflowers.


Point Buchon poppy meadows
Point Buchon poppy meadows / docentjoyce, / CC BY 2.0

9. Point Buchon poppy meadows

One of the best seaside Californian poppy meadows is located at Point Buchon. Often in spring this approximately 6 km long and up to 0.8 km wide stretch of seaside plain is covered with millions of bright orange California poppies.

For long years these beautiful meadows were closed for public but since 2007 - 2008 up to 275 people per day are allowed to enjoy them.


Meadows around the Shell Creek Road
Meadows around the Shell Creek Road / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

10. Shell Creek Road meadows

The diverse and beautiful Shell Creek meadows can serve as a teaching ground for learning the Californian wildflowers. Undulating hills with occasional groups of trees and gallery forest along Shell Creek form here a lively landscape. Further towards the north the valley becomes more arid and devoid of trees - but still rich with spring wildflowers.

In spring, in late February - April Shell Creek Road becomes an important destination for wildflower enthusiasts and especially - for photographers. Diverse scenery and diversity of plants provide plenty of excellent views.

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