Monday, March 22, 2010


Capay Valley & Bear Valley wildflowers - Yolo County & Colusa County, California USA 20mar2010.

JimH & I did a wildflower drive-around on 20mar2010. Fruit tree blossoms in Capay Valley were a little past their prime, but were still quite nice. There were also blooms on redbuds, mustards and many others. We continued north on Hwy 16 along Cache Creek and Bear Creek.

Map of Bear Valley & nearby landmarks.

Instructions for online interactive topographic maps & road maps.
• Click on Map button for road map, Topo button for topographic map.
Full-Screen Map - landmarks along Capay Valley & Bear Valley.
• Names of landmarks (A, B, etc.) - DoubleClick or point on the red

N 38.70748 W 122.09793 - Capay Valley (A)
N 39.01201 W 122.36079 - Hwy 20 x Bear Valley Rd
N 39.04029 W 122.40825 - Bridge over Bear Ck
N 39.07231 W 122.40963 - south end of Bear Valley wildflower area (B)
N 39.17801 W 122.44310 - Bear Valley Buttes at north end of valley (C)
N 39.18956 W 122.42126 - Leesville Gap to High Valley (D)
N 39.14184 W 122.34298 - Leesville Rd at Mountain House
N 38.85468 W 122.04300 - Bird Valley & Dunnigan Hills
N 38.71230 W 122.04575 - Capay Open Space Park
N 38.52497 W 121.97041 - El Verduzco Taco Truck, Winters, CA

Peak wildflower display at Bear Valley predicted for first week of April 2010.

Wildflowers were quite sparse at the south end of Bear Valley, but fortunately we kept going north. Some people we met up there estimated that it would be about 2 weeks before the peak wildflower bloom would occur in Bear Valley this year. Nevertheless, there were some very nice wildflower displays at the north ends of Bear Valley and High Valley. All of this land is private and fenced, so we stopped at various places along the road and got out to view & photograph the wildflowers. Then we saw some roadside wildflowers in Oat Valley and Antelope Valley as we headed east towards the Sacramento Valley.

Black Mustard, Brassica nigra, Capay Valley wildflowers
• 06 Black Mustard (Brassica nigra), Capay Valley wildflowers.

Bear Valley wildflowers, Colusa County
• 61 Bear Valley wildflowers, Colusa County.

High Valley wildflowers, Colusa County
• 91 High Valley wildflowers, Colusa County.

California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica, Bird Valley wildflowers, Yolo County
• 124 California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Bird Valley, Dunnigan Hills wildflowers, Yolo County.

• More photos: BRT photos from Bear Valley, JimH photos from Bear Valley.

We got on Interstate Hwy 5 heading south and took one more sidetrip through Bird Valley & the Dunnigan Hills. This area is all planted in grain, so there were almost no wildflowers. There were some horticultural varieties of California poppy planted by the roadside that provided a few nice, colorful flower displays. Capay Open Space Park provides a public access to Cache Creek. Finally we got some excellent tacos from the El Verduzco Taco Truck located on E. Grant Ave. just east of the Railroad Ave. intersection in Winters, CA.

For more information:
Bear Valley wildflowers - Colusa County - Davis Wiki
Colusa County Trailheads Map - BRT Insights.
Bear Creek Recreation & Conservation Directory. (Sort alphabetically. Section 5 = camping & hiking)
Hiking & Camping Trip Reports - BRT Insights.
Olympus Stylus 720SW camera. Photos edited with IrfanView

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