Seas of flowers bloom in the desert

An unprecedented amount of rain in 2016 and 2017 has brought vibrant vegetation to drought-stricken California. Because of the unusually wet winter season, the hills are greener, flowers are abundant, and this year, springtime is truly in the air.

California’s deserts are experiencing what many have dubbed a “super bloom,” a kind of explosion of flowers across the normally barren desert landscape. Wildflowers of all types and colors are currently covering hundreds of acres of desert—truly a sight to behold. Seas of yellow, orange, and purple go on for miles in Anza-Borrego Desert. This kind of bloom only happens once a decade or so.

Thousands have flocked to the desert to see the bloom, including many University of San Diego students. While the 630,000 acre Anza-Borrego State Park is used to having a wide range of campers, hikers, and sightseers, the sheer volume of tourists is unheard of for

Photo courtesy of Anna Colman –
Freshman Darlene Ngo visited the Anza-Borrego State Park to see the “super bloom.”

the park. The nearby town of around 5,000, Borrego Springs, has had to adjust to accommodate the influx of outsiders. The normally sleepy town has had its motels booked completely full and its restaurants packed with new faces. Though tourists undoubtedly provide the town’s business owners with some extra customers, the “super bloom” also has the possibility of causing tension between tourists and the locals.

There is already a traffic advisory in place for areas around Borrego Springs, and there could be traffic delays of up to several hours on roads in and out of the area, especially on weekends. If you’d like to see the flowers, it may be best to go on a weekday when it is less crowded. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department also issued a few tips for tourists visiting the area so as to keep everything running smoothly.

For any USD students who would like to check out the flowers, go soon, otherwise the flowers may start to wilt as we get closer to summer. If you’re going to venture out to the desert, be safe, prepared, and above all, be respectful.

If you’d like to see the flowers but can’t make it to Anza-Borrego, there are some amazing photos on Instagram under the hashtags  #superbloom and #superbloom2017. If you can, grab a few friends, pick your favorite road trip playlist, and head out to the desert before the once-in-a-decade “super bloom” ends.

Written by Walker Chuppe, Arts & Culture Editor