Popular | Best places for Arizona Wildflowers

Photo Cred: Andy Atzert

Spring is upon us which means two things in Arizona; baseball and wildflowers. With the temperatures heating up the lower deserts are beginning to see the first signs of the magnificent color we all wait patiently for each year. Arizonan's are crazy about our wildflowers; so much so that the Arizona State Parks have their own wildflower hotline: (602) 542-4988!
Beginning in February and lasting until around April, wildflowers will begin to show off their vibrant colors all around the state with each area taking ownership of different varieties. Not only do we have a hotline to get the latest information but Arizona is fortunate enough to have the Desert Botanical Gardens Wildflower Tracking Site which tracks wildflower varieties, their blooms, and where they are located. Below, we have listed just a few of the many places around the state where wildflowers can be viewed and enjoyed along with some helpful sites and links to get you out and taking advantage of our lovely spring season!

Photo Cred: S Gilsdorf

Lost Dutchman State Park

  • Address: 6109 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction
  • Fee: $7 per vehicle.
  • Phone: 480-982-4485
  • WebsiteLost Dutchman State Park

The Lost Dutchman State Park is located in the western Superstition Mountain Range.  These ragged, jagged mountains burst with color when wet winters bless the desert.  February and March are great times to see the mountains turn yellow and orange.  Treasure Loop Trail, Jacob's Crosscut Trail, and Siphon Draw Trail are great trails that cut straight through the painted desert landscapes in this state park.

Photo Cred: Debbie

Catalina State Park

  • Address: 11570 N. Oracle Road,Tucson.
  • Fee: $7 per vehicle.
  • Phone: 520-628-5798,
  • WebsiteCatalina State Park

Nestled on the northern slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountain Range, Catalina State Park is in a prime location for many outdoor activities including viewing wildflowers.  The park offers "5,500 acres of foothills, canyons and streams invites camping, picnicking and bird watching — more than 150 species of birds call the park home. The park provides miles of equestrian, birding, hiking, and biking trails which wind through the park and into the Coronado National Forest at elevations near 3,000 feet. The park is located within minutes of the Tucson metropolitan area".  This beautiful area is great for viewing poppies, lupines, and desert chicory from late March and into April.

Photo Cred: John Menard

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

  • Address37615 U.S. Highway 60 Superior, AZ 85173
  • Fee: $10 per vehicle
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily  (hours change based on season)
  • Website: Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Boyce Thompson Arboretum is the oldest and largest botanical gardens in Arizona.  Their mission is, "to instill in people an appreciation of plants through the fostering of educational, recreational, research, and conservation opportunities associated with arid-land plants" which is exactly what you will find when you visit.  You will be amazed at the plant life, the knowledge, and the vibrant colors on the 323 acre Arboretum.  During spring make sure to take a walking tour of the various species of wildflowers around the area and gain some valuable insight from the staff.  This is a great way to spend a weekend and is a must-see for viewing wildflowers!

Desert Botanical Garden

  • Address: 1201 N. Galvin Parkway.  Phoenix, AZ 85008
  • Fee: 
    • Adult: $22
    • Senior: $20 (60 years and older)
    • Student: $12 (13 – 18 and college with ID)
    • Child $10 (3 – 12)
    • Children under 3 are admitted free.
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
  • Website: Desert Botanical Gardens

The Desert Botanical Gardens is the utmost authority on wildflowers in the state of Arizona.  These guys know their stuff.  They are so up to date on the times, seasons, and locations that they dedicated an entire website to Wildflower Tracking!  This is a one-of-a-kind resource to inform everyone when and where they can capture their favorites flowers.  The actual gardens in Phoenix are absolutely beautiful and is a great spot to hike, explore, read, dine, and gain knowledge of our desert plants.  Visit their site for upcoming events and exhibitions!

Photo Cred: Andy Atzert

Bartlett Lake

  • Address: 20808 E Bartlett Dam Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85263
  • Fee: $6.00 per vehicle, per day; $4.00 per watercraft, per day
  • Website: Forest Service, Bartlett Lake

When full, Bartlett Lake is the 2nd largest Phoenix lake after Lake Pleasant with over 2,800 acres of water surface and is about 12 miles long.  Fed by the Verde River, this beautiful desert mountain lake is vibrant with wildflowers and cactus blooms in the spring.  With sandy beaches on one side and mountains on the other, there is something to do or see for just about everyone.  And although not as close as the popular Lake Pleasant, Bartlett Lake is only about 48 miles northeast of Phoenix, 32 miles from Scottsdale, and about 22 miles northeast of Carefree, Arizona.

other notable areas

  • US 60 from Queen Valley to Globe
  • Hart Prairie in Flagstaff
  • Picacho Peak State Park in Tucson
  • Hannigan's Meadow in eastern Arizona
  • McDowell Sonoran Preserve
  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument