Color of Spring in the Desert

Thanks to the unusual and excessive rainfall this past winter in the desert southwest, the hills have come alive.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Phoenix valley so green, but it’s not just an abundance of green that has carpeted the land.

hiking in Phoenix

Superstition Mountain – Apache Junction, Arizona

Everywhere I look, I’m greeted with a delightful kaleidoscope of color. The wildflowers are on steroids this year and I’m loving the view.  Each bloom, bush, and tree is a wonderful sight to behold.

poppies

me photographing the wildflowers

desert wildflowers

The stunning display of wildflowers is an unexpected surprise to those visiting the desert for the first time.  The desert southwest is lush with vegetation and color and a far cry from the drab, barren brown most folks associate with a desert.

Phoenix hiking

Spring hiking in the desert is the best!

desert wildflowers

I always look forward to spring in Arizona, and couldn’t wait to share some of my favorite Phoenix valley spots with my daughter.   First up was hiking at the Superstition Mountain located on the far east side of the valley. This is my absolute favorite place to hike in Arizona.

Superstition Mountain

My daughter – it was a glorious morning to hit the trails.

March 2nd – Al and I managed to snag a lovely campsite in the overflow loop for a couple of nights of dry camping at Lost Dutchman State Park.  This is a popular state park and without a reservation, it’s difficult to nab a site with electric.

Lost Dutchman State Park

Lost Dutchman State Park, Apache Junction, Arizona

By camping at the base of the Superstition Mountains, I was able to hike multiple times throughout the day and photograph the beauty that surrounded me. Sharing this amazing scenery with my daughter was a special treat.

wildflowers

Fields of poppies blooming at the base of the Superstitions

If you ever find yourself visiting Phoenix and looking for an entertaining way to spend a day, here’s a post I did a while back about the Apache Trail that you might find fun.

Lost Dutchman State Park

The desert provides the best skies

Who knew the desert could be so colorful?  ‘I know, I know’, she exclaimed with raised hand!  And once the wildflowers wither, it’ll be time for the cactus to bloom. The color of spring in the desert is a memorable and unique experience …. not to be missed.desert wildflowers

CMT 1 Pair – Anti Shock / Hiking / Walking / Trekking Trail Poles

Pinty 2L Hiking Backpack Hydration Pack with Water Bladder Cycling Climbing Camping Bag (Pink)

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88 thoughts on “Color of Spring in the Desert

  1. We are planning on Arizona in the Fall. Now I wish it could be in the Spring. It’s so beautiful. Thanks for sharing such wonderful information.

    • We’ll be back in Phoenix in the fall as well. Although it’s a nice time to visit Arizona, spring is still my favorite. Let me know if I can offer any suggestions 😊

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  3. Dave is so jealous, while last spring was great this one looks even better, thanks for the beautiful pictures to remind us of why we love that area.

    • I’ve been thinking of you guys. Haven’t made it back to Spur Cross to hike but have been out regularly at the Desert Hills trailhead (new one off Carefree Hwy) and enjoying it. Look forward to sharing it with you in the fall… plenty of up and down – burn baby, burn 😄

    • If it hadn’t been for a reservation, we most definitely would’ve stayed longer. Love that place! Sorry we miss you guys. I could’ve photographed you at the top of Flat Iron while I sat reclined in my camp chair LOL!

  4. We were recently exploring the desert blooms at Joshua Tree National Park. The desert is so intriguing and beautiful. Been loving all the flowers the last couple of years. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Gorgeous photos! And you’re right, this is MUCH more appealing (to me) than the all brown all the time desert that so many people love. I know I’ve got to give it a chance. Maybe I’ll love it. But it just never appeals to me in photos. This, on the other hand…. beautiful!!

    • I grew up in Northern IL and never saw the beauty in cornfields and barns until I moved away. With an open mind and camera in hand, even brown can provide beauty. The desert is an acquired taste for some. I’ve always found it intriguing and I encourage you to visit …. at least once and in the spring 😊

  6. Once again – wonderful images!!! I’ve never been in one of those sweet deserts – mostly West Coast Rainforest. I really need to experience those prickles someday! Photos 3,4,5 are my favourites!
    I hope no snakes get you.

  7. Those flowers are magnificent!! Such beautiful colors. You were able to catch the bright sharp colors so well in your photographs. I love the color of the sky in your pic!! Almost looks purple or lavender!!
    Glad you were able to go hiking with your daughter!! How fun!!!

    • I’m fortunate to have traveled a lot during my life and I think the desert provides the best sunsets. The colors are incredible. As you know, one night it might be pinks and purples and the next it’s yellow and oranges. Oh, so pretty and the hiking possibilities around here are endless. Add in time with my daughter and wildflowers, and I’m one happy camper ☺

  8. I’m so glad we had five days at White Tank to enjoy the amazing flowers. The desert floor was just covered in yellow, blue, and purple. It was spectacular! I’m sorry that we are missing the cactus, but we should see them in Utah. How nice that you get to share all the beauty with your daughter:)

    • Daughter is finally embracing the desert and now that I’ve got her hooked on photography, she’s enjoying the area even more. It’s hard not to like the desert in all her blooming glory. Glad you enjoyed it while you were here.

    • Tucson isn’t blooming? We have a new trail head we’re loving and it’s not far from us and the wildflowers are everywhere. And now it’s time for the cactus!

      • There are certain areas that are blooming but not the colors you have seen. The Ocotillos on the other hand is really painting the desert red. Lots of buds however on the cacti, can’t wait to see them bloom.

  9. I know, I know! The desert is, indeed, more beautiful than I’ve ever seen it. I was on overdrive this year. We’ll miss the blooming Saguaro but we’re so lucky to have seen the wildflowers at their finest.

    • Yes, you too have been enjoying the desert in all her glory. By the time the Saguaro bloom, it’ll be getting pretty hot around here, but even with the heat, they are a site to behold topped with large white flowers.

  10. Your photography always amazes me! I’m hoping after we are completely settled in and develop a rhythm I can find the time to do some hikes and get out with the camera more. Darn that pickleball! It keeps me busy so much of the day…but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Sounds like you’re doing exactly what you want to be doing and having a blast in the process. I’m sure the pickleball will be waning soon as folks start heading north for the summer. Not a bad place to live nine months out of the year, huh!

    • My planning was strategic – I so enjoy the desert in full bloom. Spring is when she shows her finest and she didn’t disappoint this year ☺

      • Plus all that rain makes it a totally bonus year in Arizona. We are having a ball in NM. Loving Las Cruces…great breweries, restaurants and plenty of things to do. We have meet some really nice folks here. Hi to AL!!!

    • We love staying at Lost Dutchman SP and I would highly recommend it should you find yourself visiting the Phoenix area. The wildflowers have been exceptional this year and I’m taking full advantage of getting out with the camera as much as possible.

  11. You captured the vivid hues of these desert blooms so beautifully! Truly lovely stuff. We will be staying a night at Lost Dutchman this summer, though not in time for the wildflowers, unfortunately. The view from your campsite is gorgeous; I’m even more excited to camp here now!

    • We always enjoy our time at Lost Dutchman SP. Summer? Whew… it’ll be hot and difficult to hike any trails, but enjoy the area. If you haven’t heard of “Organ Stop Pizza”, please google and consider a dinner stop there. Very unique experience the whole family will enjoy.

  12. Beautiful photos of spring in the desert! What a perfect time to be there—this year looks especially lush. And especially lovely to share it with your daughter. 🙂

    • My daughter is finally embracing the desert and seeing the unique beauty and now that I’ve given her one of my old cameras, she’s enjoying photography. We’re having lots of fun hiking and shooting together while enjoying the desert at her finest ☺

  13. Beautiful pictures Ingrid. Lost Dutchman is one of our favorite places to stay and we always try to get at least 5 days reserved out there over the winter. That’s getting harder to do now but at least they have the overflow. We are going to be t Usery all next week and I am hoping the flowers are still around, this last rain should help. Beautiful in Charleston, SC right now.

    • We’ve been trying to hit the trails regularly and although some of the wildflowers are starting to wane, the cactus are stepping up and starting to bloom. We’ve stayed at Lost Dutchman several times and it seems our visits are never long enough. We’ve only overnighted at Usery once in the overflow ☹

  14. Even i was amazed to see Snow in Arizona/Utah in December when i went to Monument Valley. Love the colorful scenes here though.

    Some of your pics look like scenes from Breaking Bad 🙂

  15. ‘The hills are alive with the sound of color…’ In those rare times when the desert is not a glorious thousand shades of brown, it’s green.

    • She’s definitely dressed in her finest right now! Next up, it’ll be time for the cactus to show their amazing blooms, which always fascinates me.

  16. Great photos! I would love to be down there looking st those flowers! I’ll bet the wildlife is loving the cool weather, rains, and greenery as you inch closer to another hot summer. Love the Poppies too.

    • Thanks, it’s been so much fun hiking with the camera. Sometimes I don’t know where to point the camera. The warm weather is upon us and the wildflowers have peaked and it’s now time for the cactus, always fascinating.

    • Thank you and yes the desert in the spring is beautiful. It’s my favorite time of year to hang around here. Be sure and let me know if I can offer any recommendations.

  17. OMG! I am drooling with jealousy!! I love the color combo of yellow, purple and orange. I mean love! what a wonderful backdrop of the alien landing site… er, I mean Superstition Mountains 😉

    • As a horticulturist, I know you would love the desert in spring and this particular year has been amazing. And now the cactus are just starting with buds and blooms…. beautiful!

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