Arizona Wildflower Forecast 2010

Ron Niebrugge Arizona, Phoenix, Photos, Travel 19 Comments

McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Arizona.

McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Arizona.

We just moved to Arizona to a place just outside of Fountain Hills, which is just outside of Scottsdale, which is just outside of Phoenix – you get the idea.  🙂

As you can see, things are really green out here right now and look very promising!  With temperatures predicted into the 80’s next week, I’m hopeful that things will really start blooming very soon – it should be a great year.  As we made our way across Arizona I10, the hills throughout the state were very green, but only the edge of the roadbed is blooming right now.  The road edges always look the best.

This area has received over 6 inches of rain since the beginning of this year, and signs of the wet year are everywhere.  We are camped on the edge of the Verde River and I can’t believe how much water is flowing in it right now – substantially more then our past two visits.  Many of the normally dry riverbeds around Phoenix are flowing right now, it is fun to see the transformation.

Here are some photos of the wildflowers of McDowell Regional Park from 2008 during our last visit to this area.

Comments 19

  1. Nice sunrise shot from last year. Hopefully I can visit Phoenix for work this spring and get a little free time at sunrise/sunset. Either that or it’s finally time to be nice to my kids and take them to Spring Training out there 🙂

    I checked out a couple places up in the San Joaquin Valley the other day. There’s definitely some mass bloom areas that are very nice up around Bakersfield and it sounds like the Merced River valley running into Yosemite will be nice again this year. Cold must be affecting the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve and Gorman though, as there were very few flowers visible despite all the green foliage.

  2. I always loved seeing that area green! It may take another couple of weeks though for some peak blooming, but if you’re still there you’ll be in for a treat! Hopefully there’ll be some left when I’m down there in a month from now. I’m not holding my breath though.

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    Hi Paul – I will check out your site – sounds like a good idea!

    Hi John – Thanks! Spring Training games start at 1:00 – you can make your kids happy and shoot sunrise and sunset! Thanks for the update on condition – it will be interesting to see what happens in Gorman / Lancaster.

    Thanks Dennis!

    Mike – I have a feeling there may be plenty left in a month!

  4. Do you know why wild flowers along the sides of the road in Arizona are often the most lush? I’m guessing its the carbon monoxide, but maybe the vehicles spread seeds, I sure don’t know. At the same time, the saguaros near the roads seem to be turning to skeletons from the bottom up and I would guess they don’t like vehicle emissions.

    Apple trees are in bloom in Sedona along with dafodills (obviously not wild) but Flag is supposed to get more snow today and is already in second place for cities over 50,000 in the US having the most total snowfall this year, including Anchorage and Buffalo, they say. Number one is someplace in Wisconsin. In Flag the natives are getting restless and are ready for those wildflowers!

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    Hi Joni,

    Thanks for the tip on the Apache Trail!

    I heard the same thing about Flag on the nightly news – that is crazy!

    I think the wildflowers grow better on the roadside because they receive more water thanks to the run off from the pavement, and are probably in warmer soil thanks to the raised road bed. The warmer soil is a much bigger factor in Alaska as the road sides are one of the first places to melt thanks to plowing and snow-blowing.

    Thanks Joni,


  6. Are you guys going to do any mountain biking while in Arizona? I’ve been following several MTB blogs from different parts of Arizona, and the riding over there looks pristine right now!

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    Hi Greg,

    Yeah definitely – we love the competitive trails at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, they are really fun! Going back for some riding today!



  8. Looking forward to your Arizona wildflower updates Ron.
    Southern Anza Borrego is finally starting to do its’ thing. 🙂
    Was out last Thursday and there was color everywhere.


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    That is great to hear Bob – thanks for the update! I was reading recently where you met Bert Gildart – next winter the 3 of us should get together!

    Thanks for the update, hope you had a great weekend!


  10. That would be great. Maybe I will have a digital SLR by then 🙂

    Had a great time meeting Bert and hiking with the Anza Borrego Foundation.
    Planning on heading out again thie Wednesday so I will send you an update.


  11. Hi Ron,

    Besides Desert USA, have you found any good resources for AZ flowers? I’m taking my kids to see some spring training games and hopefully will have some sunrise/sunset times at some of the parks. Sounds like Bartlett Lake is the place to go, but it’ll be tough to get that far east, so I’m thinking looking at White Tank regional park.

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    Hi John,

    I don’t – I have been watching Desert USA.

    East of Phoenix, wildflowers are starting to show – poppies, lupine etc., just not in huge numbers yet.

    I haven’t been over to White Tanks, but was in a mountain bike store the other day and the mechanic showed me a video he made with a helmet cam from a trail in the area – I was watching for flowers more then anything, and there were some showing in the video, but like here, not thick fields yet. But, that was last weekend – it can change fast. We received a lot of rain yesterday, and it is suppose to warm again this week, so maybe.


  13. Water runoff and warmer soil due to higher road bed. Now that makes sense. Thanks! I’ve been wondering about that for years. I guess the withering at the bases of saguaros is caused by the auto emissions. Your experiences in Alaska with snow removal must make it more obvious.

    I’m submitting another recommendation for the Apache Trail for John. With Roosevelt Lake at its highest level ever there will also be saguaros with their bases under water and that makes interesting photos.

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  15. Sounds interesting Joni, thanks for the tip. Hope I can make enough time for it, but I’m thinking I’ll have to stick closer to Phoenix since my kids wanted to see spring training games Saturday and Sunday. Sounds like I need another excuse to come back soon.

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