On the heels of a very welcome wet winter, the Coachella Valley and its surrounding mountains are bursting with blooms. Celebrate this vibrant spring season at the 10th annual Wildflower Festival March 4 put on by Friends of the Desert Mountains.
Presented by the City of Palm Desert and Palm Desert First Weekend, this free event invites attendees to get active, browse works by local artists, see sand sculptors, and just generally decompress. A 5K trail run kicks things off at 9:15 a.m. and a variety of guided hikes will be offered throughout the afternoon, some of which are handicap accessible.
You’ll see fans of yellow brittlebush, blossoming beavertail cactuses, and primrose — all desert natives. Last year, volunteers counted about 50 species of wildflowers, says Colin Barrows, Friends of the Desert Mountains conservation coordinator. After so much precipitation, this year he expects many more.
Inland Empire cover band The Arrangements will be jamming in the beer and wine garden, which will serve up local fare as well as beverages from La Quinta Brewing Co. and Organic Wine Exchange. The little ones will love the climbing wall and craft and face-painting stations in the kids zone, where they can learn about the local environment and meet a variety of desert critters up close during animal demonstrations.
There is no on-site parking, but shuttles will run from St. Margaret’s Church on Highway 74 to the festival grounds throughout the event, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, 51500 Highway 74, Palm Desert. 760-568-9918; www.desertmountains.org/wildflower