Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - June 22 2019

Purple Flowers

Happy summer and farewell to spring! With the arrival of the speckled clarkia, aka farewell-to-spring, we will be saying, “Farewell!” to spring, and to the Spring Wildflower Reports. Though the reports are ending, it does not mean that the flowers are done with their show; the sunflowers are just starting!

Golden Star FlowerA few poppies can still be found on Spaghetti Pass, and as you drop into the valley near Edison Campground. The purplish-pink patches along the pass are due to the speckled clarkia, aka farewell-to-spring. Here, and in many other areas of the park, the golden stars are exploding on the hillsides like tiny fireworks.

The bushmallow is another recent bloomer. Look for the bushes loaded with pink flowers and bees. The poodle dog bush has also burst into bloom with its purple flowers on gangly stalks. There are a few of these blooming along the entrance road and can be found scattered throughout the park.

Take a stroll through the Oak Woodland Natural Preserve to see some new varieties of flowers. The white flowered yerba mansa and pinkish milkweed are blooming on the left as you enter the oak grove. The delicate pink wild rose is blooming across from the purple mustang mint as you explore the left fork.

Mustang Mint BloomingSome flowers continue to bloom along Schmidt Ranch Road near the Maxey Road junction. Look for the white flowers on the buckwheat bushes, the low-to-the-ground pink Turkish rugging, yellowish chamise bushes, and golden stars on the road bank near the Maxey Road shortcut junction. If you look close, you may spot a few of the pinkish succulent stalks of the dudleya, with their small yellow flowers, hiding among the bushes at the base of the bank.

The red-tipped Indian paintbrush and the scarlet bugler can still be seen blooming in many areas. Prickly poppies are scattered here and there in the park; look for their large white showy flowers reminiscent of a fried egg! The similar-looking thistle stalks are also beginning to bloom with their pink or lavender flowers.

The yuccas are still flowering throughout the park, but they are fading fast. There are still a few in the area between Aliklik and Lane Ranch Campgrounds with their flowering stalks blooming above the spiky leaves. Other blooms in the south are the lavender flowers on the yerba santa shrubs, and the elderberry with their lacy white flowers. Watch for the vivid green flowers on the tall snake cholla cactus and the showy white blossoms of the Jimson weed when using the south entrance.

Milkweed bloomMake plans to visit Hungry Valley to catch the remaining wildflowers before it gets too hot! Please remember that the warm weather that brings out the flowers also brings out the snakes. Though rattlesnakes are dangerous, they are rarely deadly. They are not normally aggressive, but they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. Watch your step as you view the flowers and give snakes plenty of room to get away.

Please protect the flowers by not stepping on them and do not disrupt the plant’s life cycle by picking the flowers. Plucked flowers means less seeds for the animals to eat, and for future propagation. (It is also illegal and may result in a citation.)

Please keep California clean by disposing your trash responsibly; litter ruins the view and harms plants and animals.

Download the wildflower map for the self-guided tour, or you can go by the entrance station and pick up a wildflower brochure. Just ask! Please remember that there is a $5 entrance fee for the park.

Wild rose vines with pink bloomsWildflower Viewing Tips:

  • High clearance vehicles are required for the self-guided tour along dirt roads 
  • Don’t park on dry vegetation; it can cause a fire 
  • Hungry Valley SVRA is an OHV park and there will be traffic on the trails 
    • o   Keep windows open to listen for approaching vehicles
    • o   Pull over to allow vehicles to pass
    • o   Don’t block the roads while viewing flowers- find a turnout
    • o   Honk when approaching blind corners 
  • Keep away from rattlesnakes 
  • All plants, animals, geologic and historic features are protected

Park Map

Wildflower Map

Scarlet Bugler Wildflower image

Wildflowers at Hungry Valley

The wildflowers of Tejon Pass are world renown for their color and abundance. In spring, California Poppies, Goldfields, Lupine, Tidy Tips and other flowers turn the grassy hillsides brilliant shades of orange, yellow and purple. During wildflower season, Hungry Valley SVRA has a self-guided tour route that begins at the Visitor Center and is marked by distinctive poppy flower signs. (Download the PDF version of the wildflower tour map.)

Map Titled: Spring Wildflowers at Hungry Valley. Map depicts wild flower viewing areas at Hungry Valley State Vehiculare Recreation Area. The larger viewing area depicted is located in the vicinity of Stipa trail, Condor trail, Powerline Road, and Badger trail west of Gold Hill Road. A smaller viewing area is located along Wheatfield Trail at the east end of the park. The map depicts Paved and dirt roads, and dirt trails.

The park annually publishes an informative guide to the native wildflowers of the Tejon Pass. This year, the park is offering self-guided tours. The wildflower brochure, along with a map and directions, are available at the entrance kiosk.

For an update on the most current flower conditions, wildflower enthusiasts are encouraged to check the Wildflower Reports posted on the Hungry Valley SVRA Facebook page and this webpage before visiting the park. Admission to the park is $5.