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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ocotillo Wells: Free wildflower tours start thursday

Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area anticipates a tremendous wildflower bloom this year due to the recent rains. Such plants as the Sand Verbena, Spanish Needles, Orcutt’s Aster, Ocotillo, Desert Sunflower, and Evening Primrose are all expected to be showing off their beautiful colors.

Daily wildflower exhibits and interpretive staff are available in the district office. For those that prefer solitude, self guided tours will be available at the Native Plant Garden and the Nature Loop Trail. Laminated signs will be placed throughout these trails to assist all visitors with their wildflower experience.

The popular Wildflower Program guide is returning for its second year of publication. The free, eight-page guide features full color photos of the flowers you’ll mostly likely find in the park. Each photo is accompanied by the flower’s common name, scientific name, how common the flower is, and where it is likely to be found.

After seeing the flowers, visitors can learn about some of the park’s unique qualities by visiting such places as Shell Reef and Gas Domes. The park also has many interpretive geocaches. Boondocking is also available throughout the park.

Free wildflower trading cards are offered at the various interpretive features as a memento to help bring back memories of your visit. The more you see, the more cards you can collect. Remember that the flowers need to stay in the park so that they can be enjoyed next year, so no picking please.

Ocotillo Wells SVRA is located off of Highway 78 in both San Diego and Imperial Counties. The park provides 85,000 acres of off-highway motor vehicle recreation in the Southern California desert. It is open to the public 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

For additional park information contact the Ocotillo Wells SVRA District Office at 760-767-5391 or visit the website.

Learn about Bob Difley's eBooks on Boondocking and Camping in the Southwestern Deserts at

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