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7 Places to See the Wildflowers in Newport Beach

March 7, 2023

In case you missed it, things are bloomin’ in Newport Beach! Between the months of March and May, the wildflowers are in full force, covering the hillsides with bright yellow hues. These beautiful flowers make for a great photo opp, and you can witness the natural bloom up close this spring if you know where to look. Whether you’re hiking through the backcountry wilderness of Crystal Cove State Park or biking around the Back Bay, there are a number of places to see the wildflowers in Newport Beach!

Back Bay Loop Trail

In the spring, Newport Beach’s Upper Newport Bay Nature Reserve, or as locals call it, “the Back Bay,” comes alive with vegetation and, you guessed it, wildflowers! One of the best ways to see these yellow beauties is by taking a walk or bike ride on the Back Bay Loop. This trail is good for all skill levels, given its relatively flat terrain and offers sweeping views of the Back Bay. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, including a handful of endangered species, such as the Brown Pelican, Belding’s Savannah Sparrow and Peregrine Falcon.

Buck Gully Trail

Tucked in the back canyons of Newport Coast near Corona del Mar, Buck Gully Trail is a scenic path perfect for walking, running, hiking and mountain biking. The trail transports trekkers to a “world away,” despite being relatively close to civilization. Along the 4.4-mile path, you’ll come across an abundance of wildflowers and a narrow river! This hike is doable for kids, but in order to not disturb the native wildlife, dogs are not allowed.

Crystal Cove Double Loop

If you’re up for a challenging workout, this 12-mile loop in Crystal Cove State Park is well worth the trek. The Crystal Cove Double Loop is great for hiking and running, and the rolling hills that surround this trail become covered in wildflowers in the springtime. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen and wear sturdy shoes, as most of the trail is made up of dirt paths.

Pelican Point

Perched atop a bluff in the heart of Crystal Cove sits Pelican Point, a popular place to take in ocean views and catch a sunset. To reach this viewing spot, walk as far north as you can on the paved path and keep right until you come to the small viewpoint area on your left. On the way, you’ll likely spot several patches of wildflowers.

Bonita Canyon Trail

Bonita Canyon Trail links the cities of Irvine and Newport Beach and is a path that runs along Culver Drive and Bonita Canyon Drive. At the trail’s midpoint, hop on the Shady Canyon Trail to reach the picturesque Quail Hill Preserve, where you’ll find fields of blooming wildflowers and far-reaching views of Orange County. This hike is considered easy and is only 3.2 miles in length!

El Moro Canyon

If you’re up for a bit of challenge, this path features a variety of intertwining trails and an elevation gain of 900 feet. However, the highlight of this hike through Crystal Cove State Park is when you reach the peak at Emerald Bay Overlook. The rest of the hike is downhill and features stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and fields of wildflowers in bloom.

Reef Point Crystal Cove

Fields of wildflowers cover the bluffs at this scenic spot in Crystal Cove State Park. Along Pacific Coast Highway, there’s a large lot where you can park and walk to Reef Point Vista. Here, you’ll find a scenic path that leads down to the beach below. Take in views of the blooms as you head down, and then take a stroll along the shore towards Pelican Point. Pro Tip: Go at golden hour for dreamy photo ops!

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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