Catalina Island News

Catalina Island's Wildflowers

The Avalon Hotel

Southern California's heavy rains have transformed Catalina Island, turning the island retreat's normally dry hillsides into a verdant paradise replete with thousands of wildflowers and dozens of waterfalls.

With names as colorful as their petals, wildflowers have been erupting on the island for the last several weeks, dappling the hills with blue, yellow, orange and white. Tidy tips and blue dicks, shooting stars and milk maids, Island poppies and wild hyacinths have bloomed alongside California poppies, Mariposa lilies and wild roses, creating a vibrant blanket of color.

"This winter's heavy rains not only ended our drought, they also fueled a banner year for wildflowers," said Carl Lambert, one of the owners of The Avalon Hotel. "This year there are more flowers than I've ever seen."

Lambert said that the myriad wildflowers have created a beautiful backdrop for the island's visitors. As Catalina's newest hotel, The Avalon is the perfect boutique base for experiencing the island's wildflower bouquet. Front desk personnel are happy to arrange expeditions to the interior, including bus tours, Jeep tours and hiking trips. Guests can also see the dramatic spring time transformation from the hotel's rooftop deck, where the blue of the Pacific offers the perfect contrast to nature's terrestrial show.

While a trip to the interior is the best way to experience what the record rains have wrought, visitors to Avalon have been discovering that the winter drenching has had a dramatic impact in the quaint town. The hills themselves are lush with greenery, their normal brass and gold erased with emerald and jade. Red geraniums, golden daisies and yellow mustard brighten even the shortest walk around town, as native and introduced plants create a floral cascade down the hillsides.