Big Bend National Park Welcomes Biggest Bluebonnet Bloom in Years

California isn’t the only place experiencing a super bloom this spring.

Big Bend National Park Welcomes Biggest Bluebonnet Bloom in Years

The Chisos bluebonnets in Big Bend National Park can grow up to three feet tall.

Photo by Kara Gerbert

California’s wildflower super bloom may be getting all the attention on Instagram right now, but the bluebonnets in Big Bend National Park in western Texas are also putting on quite a show this spring.

The hills and roadsides in the 800,000-acre national park, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, have already exploded with Chisos bluebonnets. Unlike the Texas bluebonnets that bloom each spring in central Texas, Chisos bluebonnets can grow up to three feet high, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

“Blooms were first spotted in mid-February and are expected to last until the first week of April,” according to a statement from Travel Texas. Lee McMullen, a local photographer, told that he hasn’t seen a bloom like this in 30 years.

This year’s spectacular bloom is mostly due to above normal rainfall last October in the region. As with most national parks, entry to Big Bend costs $30 per vehicle. To find the best blooms in the park, suggests driving from Mule Ears Viewpoint to the Castolon Visitor Center. The bluebonnets are also blooming in Big Bend Ranch State Park between the towns of Terlingua and Presidio along the roadside of Texas Highway 170.

If you’re unable to get out to Texas within the next few weeks, a second bloom is expected this fall from late August to early October. And if you decide to go see the wildflower bloom, be respectful of the flowers and private property.

“While there is no law against picking the state flower, laws do exist against damaging or destroying rights-of-way and government property,” the Texas Department of Public Safety says. “So even though picking a few flowers may be OK, individuals should not dig up clumps of flowers or drive their vehicle into a field of flowers.”

>> Next: 7 U.S. National Parks That Shine in the Spring

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at Afar who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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