Wildflower viewing and driving tours
The flowers above are just a sampling of what can be found within our city limits. Each spring puts on a different show. How colorful the display is depends on how much rain the winter and spring storms deliver and when, how warm it is and when, or how long drying winds have blown. The Bladderwort shrub produces the first blossoms of the year, often as early as January. Desert Calico and Eriastrums can be found blooming as late as July. Varieties of Goldenbush, Rabbitbrush, Buckwheat, and Sage bloom in the fall.
Quarter mile long carpets of purple and white Parry's Linanthus have been seen along the sides of California City Blvd, both going west and south. Many years Goldfields manage to paint the entire floor of the desert. The facinating Desert Candle can be found nearly every year in our city. In ideal years some can grow to be three feet tall.
The delicate, pale green, bell shaped flowers of Lysium cooperi shrubs smell like sandlewood. Often the blooms of Dark-eyed Primroses and Desert Dandelions (not actually dandlions) overlap and perfume the desert air.
Below are reliable print and online references for those that would like to know more about the flowers that grow in our West Mojave Desert.
Mojave Desert Wildflowers, Pam Mackay
CalFlora - specific link to California City (Once on site, click search for photo list of plants.)
Check our blog to learn what is blooming, migrating, and active this spring in California City.
Self Guided Tours
Please remember that most land in the city is private even though you may not see frences or developement. Stay on paved and dirt roads. There are miles of good dirt roads off of California City Blvd, 20 Mule Team Rd., and Randsburg Mojave Rd.
Use common sense when taking a closer look at flowers, snakes could be hidden under shrubs and in thicker growth. No reason to fear, just look before reaching or stepping. They are more scared of you than you are of them.
If you are exploring right after a good rainstorm, use caution when driving dirt roads. They get very muddy but generally are drivable within a day or two. Skirt puddles with at least two tires on dry land.