March can be a rough month for a lot of the country. All anyone wants after a long, dark winter is the arrival of Spring, but March days are for the most part still cold and trees have yet to get their leaves. Luckily, March is when the very first wildflowers start to spout, and there are a few places in the country that have fantastic shows of color during this month! So, if you need to quell your Spring fever with flowers and fresh air, plan a hiking trip to one of these awesome destinations and scout out some wildflowers!
Chances are when you think of epic hiking destinations in the United States, the Pacific Northwest already comes to mind. But with a reputation for grey, rainy days, you might not think to book a trip to Seattle for Spring color. But just an hour and a half north of the Seattle Airport is a region that comes alive with daffodils in March and tulips in April!
If you come at the right time, you can catch the La Conner Daffodil Festival or the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. And when you’re done tiptoeing through the tulips and looking for a more serious hike, nearby North Cascade National Park has 684,000 acres of “the American Alps” for you to explore.
This section of the Mojave Desert bursts with color from mid-February into May annually when the California poppies bloom. Other wildflowers adding to the beautiful tapestry include owl’s clover, lupine, goldfield, cream cups, and coreopsis. And birdwatchers can keep an eye out for hawks and meadowlarks while on this hike!
A word to the wise -this is not the place to go traipsing into the flowers for an Instagram shot. While it’s not recommended that you do that anywhere because you can trample on delicate plant life and compact the soil, making it hard for flowers to bloom in that spot in following years, it’s an especially bad idea here. Antelope Valley is home to rattlesnakes. While they’re not aggressive and you won’t have a problem hiking on a marked trail, if you surprise one while wading into flowers you could have a problem!
Just to make sure we’ve covered all colors after yellow daffodils and red poppies, we’re throwing in bluebonnets! These beauties spread across a huge area of Texas just west of Austin and north of San Antonio. Go in late March through Mid-April and you’ll see them carpeting fields right along the roadsides.
A perfect hike to view the flowers for families with small kids or hiking newbies is at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. There are easy trails and educational materials so you can learn more about the flowers. And to cover more ground, hop in the car and do a wildflower driving tour around the region, stopping to stretch your legs and hike at state parks as you go!