It's been a rainy couple of months in NorCal, which means California wildflowers are in full bloom around the Bay Area—and at some of these spots, they will continue to do so throughout the year. Whether you’re looking to stay close with one of the best hikes in the Bay Area or take a day trip to see the coastal flora, there are many options when it comes to seeing Northern California wildflowers. So take advantage of the recent rainy days and head to one of these spots.
Where to see wildflowers in the Bay Area
Drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to see a colorful abundance of wildflowers, including California buttercups and seaside daisies. This easy, 1.8-mile out-and-back trail is a nature photographer’s dream, so plan to get there early and bring a serious camera for beautiful shots of the golden fields, blue-eyed grass and mule’s-ear sunflowers.
Chimney Rock Rd at Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Inverness
The grasslands at this nature preserve are famous for their magnificent displays of wildflowers every spring. Hike through acres of rolling hills and lush meadows filled with owl’s clover, blue bush lupine and miner’s lettuce. If you want to learn more about the native plants and wildlife, Edgewood offers free guided hikes every Saturday and Sunday at 10am through June 3.
10 Old Stage Coach Rd, Redwood City
Deep within the hills of the Sunol Regional Wilderness lies one of the East Bay’s best-kept secrets: Little Yosemite. For a moderate hike—just a four-mile round trip—Canyon View Trail provides spectacular views of oak-lined canyons, dramatic waterfalls, grazing cattle and colorful wildflowers. Make it a day hike or grab a permit and camp overnight.
1895 Geary Rd, Sunol
Golden poppies (and wild turkeys) greet you on the road leading to this East Bay park, where the high elevation allows flowers to remain in bloom into early summer. The trail to the top is lined with white ceanothus and tiny pink manzanita, and from the summit you can see clear into the delta or back to the Golden Gate Bridge.
96 Mitchell Canyon Rd, Clayton
You can follow any number of routes around Windy Hill, but the one you don’t want to miss is the Anniversary Trail. Get up early to park in the main lot, which opens 30 minutes before sunrise. This will leave you enough time to make your way up the 1.8-mile trail, through the wildflower-scattered fields and up to the peak to watch the sunrise over San Francisco Bay.
Portola Rd at Skyline Blvd, Portola Valley