Carmel Valley Lodge

Wine glass with white wine sitting on rod iron patio table next to knitting needles and knitted pink scarf

Best hikes to see flowering Superbloom in Central California

bright orange poppies, and yellow daises along a green hillside with blue sky in the backgroundIt has been a rainy winter but Mother Nature is rewarding us with an amazing Superbloom in Central California. Many folks are happy to drive along our scenic roads admiring the poppies a plenty. But the best way to experience the 2024 Superbloom we believe is getting out on the trails. It could just be a spring saunter or an invigorating miles-long trek, but nothing is better than directly seeing the variety of flowers tucked into the rolling hillsides, brightening up the green springtime grass. We know this opportunity is fleeting. Come, visit Central California and enjoy this springtime show before the hills turn golden and summer’s heat descends.

Here are five of the best places to see the Super Bloom in Central California.


If color is what you’re looking for, stroll through the winding paths of Pacific Grove, a scenic half hour drive from the Lodge. Make sure your phone is fully charged, as you’ll want to capture this sight. To the west, huge expanses of the Pacific offer multiple shades of blue, while eastward a purple and pink carpet of blooming ice plants convert the area into a dazzling covering of flowers. A walk along the path from Lover’s Point to Cannery Row will offer spectacular views. If you really want to see the plants up close stop by Perkins Park, which is part of the Shoreline Park. (It’s named for Hayes Perkins who is credited with planting the first pink ice plant along the waterfront.)
Insider Tip: A walk to the tip of Shoreline Park will bring you to the John Denver Memorial, a plaque mounted on a rock that commemorates where the iconic singer’s plane crashed in 2007.


bright pink and yellow flowers bloom atop green cactiWhile most folks head west from Carmel Valley, toward the water, a few hearty hikers may want to travel to Pinnacles National Park, southeast of the Lodge. Although known more for its caves and rock formations, the open spaces of Pinnacles will host a plethora of wildflowers as well, including the ever-brilliant orange California Poppy and blooming cacti.
It takes just over an hour to drive the 52 miles to this national park entrance, but the numerous trail options make it worthwhile for hikers of all ability. From the easy well-marked 2.4 mile Cave Loop trail to the strenuous, partially unmaintained 9-mile Chalone Peak Trail that takes you to one of the highest points in the park, the views are breathtaking.
Insider Tip: Be sure and bring a flashlight if you want to explore any caves.


A true gem of a nature area just five minutes from the Lodge is Garland Ranch. There are multiple trails to enjoy in this park, which is packed with history and elevation gains ranging upward of 2,000 feet. The Garland Ranch Waterfall and Siesta Point via Lupine Loop says it all – and is one of the park’s most popular trails. The trail is always beautiful, but the addition of seasonal purple wildflowers along the route certainly adds to its beauty. There are a few hills, but the views on a clear day make the effort worthwhile.
Insider Tip: The waterfall flows best after a rain, so take advantage if you have the opportunity to see it really flowing. Otherwise prepare for more of a waterfall drip (but it’s still worth the trip.)


a white curled calla lily with a yellow stem and green leaves in backgroundIn springtime Garrapata State Park offers brilliant fields of poppies, irises and Indian Paint brush amid hills of green. But during a Superbloom, everything intensifies and the one must-visit spot is the Calla Lily Valley, which boasts expanses of the elegant white flowers, as well as beach views and tidal access. This canyon is sometimes hard to find, but well worth the effort. Parking is on Highway 1, near mile marker 63, with a dirt parking lot beside Gate 19.
Insider Tip: Check the tide tables and access the beach during low tide, or wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet.


We usually don’t brag, but truth be told, some of the prettiest flowers in Carmel Valley are found in the gardens at the Carmel Valley Lodge. Theresa does an amazing job cultivating the plants all year long and this spring the rewards are fantastic. Monarch butterlfies on bright gold flowers with deep green leavesThe flower beds that surround  the event center sprout colorful hollyhocks, poppies and a plethora of colored flowers. The pool area is adorned with verdant green arbors, while orange Birds of Paradise, blue agapanthus and red paint brush plants surround the patio sitting area by fountain.
And the outdoor sitting area by each room is also carefully curated, not just with comfortable relaxing furniture, but also by individualized plantings unique for the mixture of sun and shade on each parcel.
Offering guests the opportunity to enjoy these flowering delights – as well as our whimsical sculptures – that are sometimes hidden within the flower beds – creates the warmth and beauty that makes the Lodge such a special getaway.
Insider Tip: Travel midweek – it’s less crowded, the pace is more relaxing and the sun still shines just as brightly on the Superbloom sites! And midweek guests who stay three or more nights received 20% off their reservation. Just use code 20% MIDWEEK booking online, or call us directly at 831-659-2261 if you have any questions, or to book.

REMEMBER – For the most recent information about the best hikes in the area to enjoy the Superbloom, stop by the front desk before you head out. We love sharing our local insights with guests, ensuring your visit is as wonderful as the beautiful Carmel Valley.



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