Oregon’s wildflowers typically begin blooming in early March and continue through mid-summer, as late as July, with “peak bloom” in May and early June. Wildflower blooms are dependent on the variety of flower, temperature, the number of daylight hours and the amount of moisture in the soil. Since Oregon offers a wide range of wildflowers, color speckles the countryside in pinks, yellows, lavenders, blues, russets and oranges through most of the spring and summer.
The Corvallis area is home to a wide variety of beautiful wildflowers. You’ll see yellow sand verbenas, red columbine, elegant brodiaea, fireweed, glacier lilies, scalloped onion, harsh Indian paintbrush, Cardwell’s penstemon, spreading phlox and so many more.
There are plenty of wonderful places to find wildflowers, too. Marys Peak Botanical Special Interest Area, located on the highest point in Oregon’s coast range, contains hiking trails and a variety of wildflower species. Marys Peak’s meadows and rock gardens are awash in spring with swaying wildflowers and dancing butterflies. Chip Ross Park, Bald Hill Natural Area and Fitton Green Natural Area are excellent locations to find and enjoy wildflowers near Corvallis.
McDonald-Dunn Forest, part of the OSU Research Forests, offers a variety of hiking trails that’ll take you through old- and new-growth forest and plenty of wildflowers to enjoy. Suggested hiking trails include the Calloway Creek Trail Loop, Dan’s Trail from Chip Ross Park to Dimple Hill and the McCulloch Peak Loop.
Bald Hill Natural Area is a gorgeous park that offers a plethora of hikes through a mix of upland prairie, oak savanna, mixed forest and wetland habitats. You’ll find some stunning views and plenty of wildflowers. Suggested trails include the Midge Kramer Path, the Bald Hill Trail and the Bald Hill Farms Trail.
The William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge offers 12 miles of trails through wet prairies, wetlands and marshes, oak savannah, Douglas fir forests and more. It’s an excellent spot for viewing wildlife, birdwatching and finding wildflowers. Suggested trails to explore include the Woodpecker Loop Trail and the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge Mega Loop. While you’re there, keep your eyes open for the endangered Willamette daisy and Kincaid’s lupine, as well as the Fender’s Blue Butterfly.