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California desert experiences a rare wildflower "super bloom"

A desert in the Southwest is currently experiencing a rare wildflower “super bloom,” providing visitors with Instagram-worthy views -- filled with colorful flowers of nearly every shade imaginable.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Borrego Springs, California, says the second week of March is often the peak of the wildflower bloom, but the conditions must be just right to yield such a picture-perfect display. 

The bloom is expected to be even more spectacular this year due to the 7 inches of winter rain that recently hit the state. In fact, officials say the park hasn’t seen a wildflower super bloom like this since 1999, CBS Sacramento reports.

“This is shaping up to be a great wildflower year,” the park announced on its Facebook page last week. “Certainly not at ‘peak’ yet (at least as far as the sunflowers in the fields north of town), but desert lilies are spectacular, and other annuals are coming along nicely!”

The park recommended visitors make plans to visit in the middle of the month.

But some nature lovers are taking an early peek, and delighting in what they found.

California native Michael Zandy hopped in his Jeep early Saturday morning to catch the breathtaking views of the wildflower super bloom at sunrise. It was the second time he’s visited the park, but he’s never seen views quite like this.

“This is a perfect place to explore off-roading trails,” Zandy told CBS News. “I love the variety of flowers and color Anza Borrego offers.”

Michael Zandy, from Carlsbad, California, shares a stunning photo from his recent trip. Courtesy of Michael Zandy

There’s nothing quite like going down a dirt road “in the middle of nowhere” and stumbling across patches of wildflowers, Zandy said.

Jamie Bannon from Hartford, Connecticut, was on vacation in San Diego when she decided to take a detour to the park. As a photographer and avid traveler, Bannon is always looking to capture nature’s beauty. She tried to catch the last super bloom in Death Valley, but unfortunately, couldn’t make it in time.

“The night before I left I saw that there was a super bloom in the works and couldn’t resist taking a day to drive over and see it,” Bannon told CBS News. “It was really stunning.”

Jamie Bannon, a visitor from Hartford, Connecticut, says this is the first time she’s ever seen a super bloom. Courtesy Jamie Bannon

Bannon described a mix of yellow, purple and white flowers — “Fields as far as the eye could see in some places.”

According to the park’s website, there are 92 different plant families, 346 genera and hundreds of flowering species. Guests can get a glimpse of the flowers from the park’s Visitor Center, but park officials recommend taking a guide book and heading “off road” for some unique views, promising “There is quite the variety of flora to discover!”

Take a look at the variety of flowers visitors have spotted so far:

Borrego in bloom #desert#desertflowers#borregoinspringtime#anzaborrego#beautiful#wonderlust#daytrip#metime#😍

A post shared by 🍑🍑🍑👹 (@grouchy_apricot) on

Mmmmm superbloomy 🌼🌺🌻🌸 #anzaborrego #superbloom #flowers #journeyman👣

A post shared by Jason Wise (@jasonjourneyman) on

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