Sunday, May 1, 2011

Short Canyon Flowers - Inyokern, CA

Lots of tiny flowers on the desert floor

I asked at the Ridgecrest museum which of the many canyons in the area might be the best bet for wildflowers.   She mentioned Short Canyon, which was probably less than 6 miles north of where I was staying in Inyokern.   Dog and I headed up the next day and I was not disappointed!

More flowers here than actually came out..  :-(
Driving up the to the canyon the desert was filled with thousands of white flower balls with some yellows and purple's mixed in.   When we got the the parking area the hillside had many poppies, yellows, purples a few orange globeflowers.  They weren't as dense as the whites were coming up, but they were still pretty and the variety was amazing.  So dog & I climbed the hill to the ridge and spied a route that went further along the floor of the canyon.  We went back and took that road and wow, what a find.  The desert floor was much more densely packed with small flowers.  Bunches of yellows in one place, then purples, the tiny whites, then we found some primrose bunches.  It was flower heaven! The variety and colors were just fabulous.  I was quite the happy flower hunter that day.

Primrose plus 5 other kinds of flowers here, though hard to see at this size

The next day I checked out Grapevine and Nine mile canyon but couldn't find Sand Canyon.  Neither of those canyons had any of the fanfare that Short Canyon did.  If you are in the area in early April and enjoy flowers, I recommend making the easy trek up to Short Canyon.

There are many dirt roads in this area and I didn't have a 4wd map or guide book but this one is not hard to find.  The best route is labeled (sort of).  If you go north from Inyokern to the Brown road exit then turn west, you will see small signs that will take you on an easily passable in a passenger car route.  Coming back the same way you go up is best if you don't have high clearance.  I detoured on a short cut down and kind of did a bumpy sliding in deep sand kind of thing for a bit.

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