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Tri Valley’s Vibrant Wildflower Hotspots

Tri-Valley, a group of three valleys in the Mount Diablo region of California comprising four cities namely, Pleasanton, Livermore, Danville, and Dublin, is one of the rare places in California that experiences an explosion of wildflower growth throughout the open space, leading to a colourful spring. Let us find out some of the prime locations to admire these beautiful blossoms in Tri-Valley.

Las Trampas Regional Park
Las Trampas Regional Park features 5,778 acres of open space and offers visitors sweeping 360-degree views of the surrounding valleys and ravines. In addition to being home to the O’Neill National Historic Site, an abundance of plants and wildlife also takes up residence in this remote, yet accessible, preserve. Las Trampas Regional Park has so much open space that it is one of the most popular places in the Tri-Valley to take dogs on off-leash hikes.
Each spring the park’s sloping hillsides and steep canyons are carpeted with a variety of wildflowers including California Poppies. For the best wildflower viewing, visit between mid-February and mid-May and keep your eyes on trails such as the Rocky Ridge View Trail, Las Trampas Ridge Trail, and Sycamore Trail.

Mount Diablo State Park
Mount Diablo State Park sits a mere 3,849 feet above sea level, but its peaks offer fantastic views of the surrounding low-lying foothills. In addition to featuring panoramic views of the entire Bay Area, several rare and native ferns, grasses, and wildflowers thrive in the 20,000-plus acre park. Some plant species are found solely within the park limits and nowhere else in the world.
Wildflowers grow year-round in the park but those who are looking for especially colourful blooms should visit between mid-January and mid-May. Wildflowers are easily spotted alongside the winding roads that lead to the mountain’s summit, but if you are up for a hike visit the North Peak Trail, Mary Bowerman Trail, or the Mitchell Canyon.

Del Valle Regional Park
Del Valle Regional Park is located just 10 miles south of Livermore and encompasses 4,395 acres of land that surrounds a 5-mile-long lake. A popular spot for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, boating, picnicking, and camping, the park’s rolling hills turn a gorgeous green and feature several pops of colour each spring. Visitors seeking out wildflowers should visit the park between mid-February and mid-May.
Enter through the park via Arroyo Road Staging Area for a steep yet rewarding hike to the East Short Trail and Heron Bay Trail. For a less challenging hike, enter the park via the East Ridge Trail by parking roughly a mile before approaching the park gates on Del Valle Road.

Sunol Regional Wilderness
Sunol Regional Wilderness is home to an expansive trail system, a variety of naturalist-led activities, and several picnic sites and BBQ pits sprinkled alongside Alameda Creek. Visitors come to the nearly 7,000-acre park to view its abundant wildlife and impressive sandstone outcrops and take in the scenery at Little Yosemite, a picturesque gorge located two miles upstream from the Visitor Center. Each spring, the hillsides of Sunol Regional Wilderness turn to gold, yellow, and lavender with the growth of California poppies, lupines, and mustard.

For the best chance to view wildflowers, make your way to Little Yosemite via Canyon View Trail or try Maguire Peaks Trail and Indian Joe Creek Trail. Check with a naturalist at the Visitor Center to inquire about current wildflower whereabouts and to check out a wildflower identification guide.

Morgan Territory Preserve
One cannot talk about wildflowers in the Tri-Valley without mentioning Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. Each spring this 5,321-acre park sees more than 90 species of wildflowers, including the Diablo sunflower, which only grows in the foothills of Mount Diablo. The park is also steeped in Native American history and was the traditional homeland of the Volvon, one of the Native American groups who resisted Spanish missionization.
The best time to visit Morgan Territory Regional Preserve to view its wildflower display is between March and May. Wildflowers can typically be found alongside Coyote Trail, Stone Corral Trail and Volvon Loop Trail.

Dublin Hills
Dublin Hills Regional Open Space Preserve is located near Interstate 580, making it extremely accessible to visitors. Although the preserve spans just 654 acres, it encompasses grassland areas that have been largely left untouched since the 1800’s.
Sprinkled throughout the park are several streams and springs which prove to be an important source of water for wildlife and various plant communities. Visit the preserve in the spring between February and May and head to the Calaveras Ridge Trail in search of seasonal wildflowers.

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