Where to See:
Tohono Chul Park
http://www.tohonochulpark.org/ 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, Tucson, Arizona 85704 Telephone: 520-742-6455 (Note: there is an admission price to this park.)
Tucson Botanical Gardens
http://www.tucsonbotanical.org/ 2150 North Alvernon Way, Tucson, Arizona 85712 Telephone: 520-326-9686; fax: 520-324-0166 (Note: there is an admission price to this park.)
Arizona 86 on the Tohono O'odham Reservation west of Tucson Brilliant gold poppies, white flowers of the desert evening primrose and other species make this a colorful drive- especially early in the wildflower season, from Feb. 20 to mid-March.
King Canyon in the Tucson Mountains west of Tucson; a short walk on the King Canyon trail is a good way to get a look at some of our wildflower "stars" such as poppies and lupines, and also to see lesser-known species including the white, lavender- streaked blossoms of the Arizona twist flower. Flowers should be at their best in March.
Drive over Gate Pass west of Tucson, turn right (northwest) on Kinney Road and follow Kinney Road to the Arizona- Sonora Desert Museum. The trailhead is across the road from the museum.
Catalina Highway northeast of Tucson, drive up lower reaches of the highway will take you to canyons and hillsides with a wide range of species. For a wildflower walk, consider a stop at the Babad Do'ag overlook at the 2.6 mile point on the highway. The 2.1 mile Babad Do'ag Trail, which begins across the highway from the overlook, often leads to plentiful blossoms in March. (Note: There is usually a fee to drive this highway.)
The canyons of the Catalina Mountains—Sabino, Esperero, Ventana, Finger Rock and Pima. Even during average years there are wild flowers here.
How much rain do wildflowers need and when:
Wildflowers need 3 to 6 inches of rain. In Tucson, the rain needs to fall from late September through early December. If the area has 10 inches of rain during these months, Tucson will have a spectacular wildflower display in the spring.
"Spring flowers need fall showers." Arizona Daily Star. October 19, 2006. Page1.
“Wildflowers could be great thanks to our 2+ inches of rain.” Arizona Daily Star. February 3, 2010. Page 1.