Monday, March 09, 2015

Spring Wildflowers in Southern California - A Rare Sight Nowadays

San Diego Wildflowers
California has entered its 4th year of drought. We don't get much rain anymore even though we are currently having an El Nino. But luckily, we still had some rain late in the winter; thus wildflowers start to bloom vibrantly on desert floors. We went to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park on Saturday and witnessed one of the most beautiful sight that I haven't seen for years. Every year, I always watch closely the wildflowers status around southern California. Within these few years, because of the drought, they were mostly turned out to be a disappointment. In the spring of 2008, I went here but it was not as good as this year.

Sand verbena, desert sunflowers, dune primrose are abundant and contrast each other really well creating a canvas of colors. This was taken just off the Henderson Canyon Road without any hiking. We just parked off the road and walked a short distance in. We have a hug heat-wave coming and there are caterpillars every where chewing on these fragile flowers; so I don't think it will last long. Go now! don't wait.
Anza Borrego State Park wildflowers spring

Monday, January 26, 2015

Winter in Bryce Canyon National Park, Southern Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park - Queens Garden Trail viewpoint
We finally visited Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah last weekend; thus, we have completed the Grand-Staircase tour. The Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce are often called The Grand Staircase of the Colorado plateau. We arrived at Bryce shortly before noon but it was not crowded at all (still there were a lot more visitors than we anticipated). In winter, we could drive into the park which is why it is the best time to visit Bryce Canyon. Snow also changed the landscapes significantly but it also made it hard to hike down the canyon without proper equipments.
Bryce Canyon Magical Hoodoos
We drove all the way to Rainbow point and started our visit there. But to be honest, there is nothing in Bryce can compete with the viewpoints along the Rim Trail such as Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset and Sunrise point. So if you are short on time, I recommend you to skip other viewpoints and just focus on the Amphitheater viewpoints.
The Bryce Canyon Rim Trail Amphitheater
The snow was not as much as I hoped because it's relatively warm winter this year. There was no snow at all in Zion Canyon. There was some snow at Bryce but I was hoping for more. Still, we had a great time and a great trip to Southern Utah.
Red Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon