You’re a lot closer to seeing a super bloom than you might think.
The Carrizo Plain National Monument in eastern San Luis Obispo County is one place to spot wildflowers. Just 30 minutes south of Santa Maria, you can also start to see flowers covering Grass Mountain near Santa Ynez.
But just like all of the super blooms in California right now, some locals are concerned about the crowds of sightseers.
People were visiting Grass Mountain in droves Monday just to get a glimpse.
“It’s pretty gorgeous up there right now. This time of year is epic,” said hiker Jacqueline Boone.
“I’m so thankful to live here, just to drive an hour and see all this amazing scenery,” said forest visitor Ryan Johnson.
Parts of the bloom are visible on Grass Mountain but to get up close and personal, the closest viewing area is inside the Los Padres National Forest.
“The flowers here are really amazing. I remember coming here as a child and I just remember thinking how beautiful they were so it’s really great coming here and experiencing that again,” Johnson said.
But too many people enjoying the outdoors isn’t always a good thing.
“I did see a bit more trash on the trail than usual and that hurts a lot. Pack in, pack out. Don’t leave your trash around,” Boone said.
These sentiments are echoed at Midland School in Los Olivos. The campus has a front row seat to the bloom.
“We’re out here to see the natural world and the best thing we can do is to carpool. That would make a huge difference. Make sure to park off the road and if there’s no parking, you need to either come back later or go farther up the road into the national forest and access the super bloom from there,” said Head of School Christopher Barnes.
The Los Padres National Forest asks people to spend some time walking instead of driving all the way up Figueroa Mountain Rd., to make for less traffic going into the forest.
The Los Padres National Forest posts a wildflower update on its website so you can know what to expect before visiting.