Arizona Spring Wildflowers: 6 Best Places to View around Scottsdale
Baby boomer travelers visiting Scottsdale in the month of March should absolutely plan to get out into creation and witness the Arizona wildflowers that God puts on display each year.
As an Arizona transplant from Michigan, we had absolutely no idea how beautiful the spring wildflower bloom can be here in the Sonoran desert. And, as the region has had a fairly wet winter, this year’s display promises to be simply dazzling.
Generally speaking, the first flower to peak its head out of the arid Sonoran desert soil is the Mexican Poppy, while the last to leave the dazzling display is quite often the bloom on our native Brittlebush.
However, once the wildflower bloom dies out, Arizona’s cactus population then follows up with a marvelous floral display of its own.
The absolute best way to see our Arizona wildflower bloom is to get out into one of the parks that circle our beautiful valley.
Here’s our list of recommended places to view Arizona wildflowers around Scottsdale, Arizona:
6 Best Places to View Arizona Spring Wildflowers around Scottsdale
- Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve – as you drive along the 101 freeway in Scottsdale, the mountains you see immediately to the east are the McDowell Mountains. In this preserve, there are over 21,000 acres of land preserved for us to enjoy. Entrance is free, the area is filled with groomed trails, and there are several beautiful gateways with restrooms, picnic tables, and trail maps. A very easy 1.7 mile hike is the Horseshoe Loop Trail.
- Cave Creek Regional Park – located just north of Scottsdale, this park offers a dizzying amount of hosted ranger hikes, stargazing, creature hunts, and much more. The park is just shy of 3,000 acres and offers guests many trails to view wildflowers and long-range views of the valley. Our very favorite trail in this park is the Go John Trail. Entrance fee is $6/vehicle.
- Spur Cross Ranch – the newest park in the Maricopa County Parks & Recreation Department, this 2,100 acres park graces the banks of Cave Creek and offers a wonderful area to see one of the area’s only flowing streams as well as beautiful volcanic materials strewn along the paths. Did you know that Arizona had volcanoes? Here is an easy 2.3 mile loop trail that would make an outstanding Arizona wildflower viewing area. Entrance fee is $6/vehicle.
- Tonto National Forest – we’re very fortunate to have this fabulous resource in our backyard. The Tonto National Forest is nearly 3 million acres and is the 5th largest National Forest in the U.S. This is a wonderful place to explore Arizona’s spring wildflowers if you prefer to drive instead of hike. You will need a $6 Tonto Pass (or other National Parks Pass) to gain entry, but we promise the views will be fantastic. You might even consider renting a boat in the Barlett Reserve and enjoying the flowers from the water. Here’s a feature we did a while back on renting a pontoon boat in the Barlett Lake Marina.
- Superstition Mountain’s Lost Dutchman State Park – if you’re in Scottsdale, this will require an hour’s drive. However, as you can see from the photograph at the top of this article, the Superstition Mountains will add a lot of dramatic scenery to your wildflower viewing. Entrance fees are $7/vehicle. Link: Lost Dutchman State Park.
- Desert Botanical Garden – last, but certainly not least, is our beautiful local botanical garden. Here you can walk on paved sidewalks and view 145 acres showcasing over 50,000 desert plants. They have a beautiful section dedicated to Sonoran desert wildflowers, and because they can control the water, the bloom is certain to be reliably fantastic. Here’s a video from our visit to the Desert Botanical Garden.
Do you want a magical experience that is certain to be one of the highlights of your memories of Scottsdale, Arizona? Then get out and enjoy our annual explosion of spring wildflowers in the Arizona Sonoran desert.