Tag Archives: Pacific Ocean

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail

Chasing the Super Bloom

Activity: Day Hike

Date: March 22, 2019

Huntington Beach, California

4 1/2 miles, 2 1/4 hours in duration, less than 100’ in elevation change, rated Easy.

There has been a lot of press lately regarding the wildflowers in Southern California because of the unusually wet winter we have had.  It mentions places like Lake Elsinore, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley as having what they are terming a “Super Bloom”.  While looking for information regarding the phenomenon it mentioned other places with an abundance of wildflowers, and it made reference to Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve right near where I live in Huntington Beach.  I had experienced this hike once or twice, but that was a decade or so ago.  So it was about time I laced up my hiking shoes and checked out my own back yard, Huntington Beach’s wetlands and start chasing the “Super Bloom.”

This is a delightful little hike right across from Huntington Beach’s Bolsa Chica State Beach.  The wetlands of the ecological reserve are home to many species of birds, I saw a few lizards, and even a squirrel.  The trail works it’s way across the wetlands to a hill which is covered with wild grasses, the tips gently swaying in the ocean breeze, sprinkled with different wildflowers.  But your full attention is captured by the large field of yellow that did not disappoint when searching for wildflowers and I was certainly surprised to see so many.  So it appears that Huntington Beach has it’s own Super Bloom.

A sea of yellow, across from a sea of blue
While on the trail above the small bluff, there are nice views of the Pacific, Catalina Island, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
If you look close you will see the sprinkling of color the wildflowers lend to the wetlands area.

I hope that you enjoyed my Pursuing Balance through Adventure episode as I chase the Southern California “Super Bloom”, and find it in my own backyard. Leave a comment, Like the article, but be sure to get out and feel the sunshine on your face, the air in your lungs, and balance your soul.

Heisler Park, Laguna Beach, California

Heisler Park along the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach, California is one of my favorite urban hikes.  It is so beautiful there, so serene, so charming.  It is pretty much a botanical garden on the Pacific.  Every time I am there I see artists trying to capture the essence of this magical setting.

The following pictures are of my hike this winter’s day. Winter’s day… I almost feel bad saying that, as a typical day in So Cal in the winter is much different than say were my daughter is studying at the University of Wisconsin where they have a low of -22.  MINUS 22 can you believe that?!  Well, it was very pleasantly in the low 70’s on this day at the beach in Laguna.

I have also combined some pictures of another day at this special place that I took in mid fall.  You can tell where they start as the skies are a clear blue without so much of a whisper of a cloud.

I park in the neighborhood, a very well to do neighborhood I might add, just north of the park.  Then I walk through the park enjoying nature, the ocean, the cliffs, the rocks, and the gardens that make up Heisler Park.

From there I head down the slope to Main Beach in Laguna.  This beach is sort of like Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show.  It is surreal, it is almost to perfect.  It is the quintessential California kick back beach.  Everything is just so cute and so quaint, from the small little lifeguard station, the wandering boardwalk, basketball court, viewing benches, kids play ground, lifeguard tower.  It is, in a word, perfect.

I continue past Main Beach south viewing quaint little hotels, cliff side dining, and beach houses that range from kick back to wow I love it!

I walk as far as I can go without having to do a little rock scrambling, which I might have to do the next time to continue adding to my adventure.  But this hike there and back, stopping for pictures, and checking out tide pools, so let’s call it strolling, is about 2 hours.

What a special way to spend a day.