We're Getting Ready For Wildflowers at LV

A lone California poppy amid filaree just north of the Marina


Great Time To Go Hiking at Los Vaqueros in Spring 2017

3/17 (Updated on 3/31) 
Wildflowers at Los Vaqueros are getting close, but have not exploded.  We took these photos at some of our favorite spots within the nearly 20,000-acre watershed on March 16 and then went out on the trails March 29 and updated this report where we needed.

With all the rain this year, LV is about as green as Ireland right now. It's a great time to go hiking. The trails are in pretty good shape and are hikeable with some easily-avoided wet spots. None of the five closed trails are in areas that are usually prime spots for wildflowers.

We have not seen a lot of mustard, goldfields or buttercups yet, but we are starting to see Wally Baskets near the Marina and along the western shore of the reservoir..  

This is where we're watching.  The Los Vaqueros Trail, just below the Badger Pass Trail. (just to the left of the middle of the map.) Spectacular yellow lupin in the past here. If you get there at mid-morning, the lupin appear to be translucent. Photos can't do it justice.

We're also hoping, but will probably be disappointed, for the Montero Trail area near the Walnut Staging Area near the North Entrance where the new ponds are located. In 2013, it was sweeping with tiny yellow flowers-- probably Goldfileds or Buttercups -- across the entire valley.

That may have been a result of the dam expansion disturbing the soil. But we'd love to see it again, and one would think (hope!) it would happen after all that rain.

We looked for signs of tiny yellow flowers, and didn't see any. On our trip to LV in late March, cattle were enjoying the area, making it unlikely we'll see a lot of wildflowers there. The ponds are full of water, so it's worth a walk. We saw lots of red-winged blackbirds on the tules in the ponds.  

Outdoor Writer Tom Stienstra thinks wildflowers will explode in early April. With lots of buds throughout the watershed, we think he's right.  The flowers aren't telling!

Lupine on the Los Vaqueros Trail near the Badger Pass Trail


California poppies north of the Marina near the Rock Wall.


Mustard and Goldfields overlooking Penninsula Cove near the Badger Pass Trail


Not a Wildflower, but Colorful all the Same is This Northern Pacific Tree Frog -- Also Known As The Sierran Chorus Frog -- Near the North Entrance to the Watershed