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Wildflowers

poppy
Picacho Peak State Park

About 40 miles northwest of Tucson along Interstate 10. Take Exit 219 for the Picacho Peak Road.

Park day use hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission: $7 per vehicle

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Wildflowers are on a blooming binge this week at Picacho Peak State Park northwest of Tucson.

Carpets of dazzling gold poppies play a starring role in the colorful show — but other wildflowers add their own hues to the landscape. Among them: blue lupines, orange globemallow, white desert chicory and bright yellow brittlebush.

“Beautiful!” “Awesome!” “Amazing!”

Trek one of the park’s flower-flanked trails this month, and you’re likely to hear such exclamations again and again from hikers along the way.

“It’s a rare occurrence to see this wonderful poppy bloom at Picacho Peak State Park,” said Sue Black, director of Arizona State Parks.

Aaron Soggs, manager of the park, said, “At Picacho, the rain data is showing just about 12 inches, which is the accumulated total since September of 2014. The last great year of flowers was 1998, when there was 12 inches of rain, and we are seeing the same result now with the abundance of Mexican poppies blooming.

You’ll find some expanses of poppies and other blooms in the desert area encircled by the loop drive. Try lower reaches of the Hunter Trail and the Calloway Trail for additional good wildflower displays.

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