5 Best Texas Road Trips to See Stunning Wildflowers
There's a slight warmth in the air. The days are getting longer, and the rain and snow are slowly starting to taper, which means one thing: Texas is about to be overtaken by wildflowers.
The Lone Star State is home to some 2,700 different wildflower species, including the bluebonnet, Indian paintbrush, and pink evening primrose. They're all just about ready to pop into a vibrant display of color, blanketing the fields and lining the roadways. And that's why now is the perfect time to plan a Texas wildflower road trip.
Though the size and locations of the flowers vary annually, Texas is home to some tried-and-true destinations to enjoy these picturesque views during peak bloom time, which takes place between mid-March and mid-April. Read on to see which Texas road trip route is best for you.
Washington and Grimes Counties
There's an 80-mile round-trip circuit between Brenham, Burton, Independence, Washington, and Chappell Hill that takes travelers along a route that showcases bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush blooms, thistles, purple coneflowers, verbenas, skullcaps, rattlesnake masters, blanket flowers, and more. As Texas Highways explains on its website, "Those reliably lined with them include State Highway 105, Farm to Market 50 (FM 50) to Independence, FM 390 to Old Baylor Park, and FM 1155's doglegs between Chappell Hill Historic District and Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site."
Want to go even further? Visitors can take a 105-mile loop from Brenham through Navasota, Plantersville, Magnolia, Hempstead, and back to Brenham and catch an awe-inspiring display of natural color against the backdrops of oak and pine forests along FM 1774.
If you're looking for something a bit more official, head straight to the source at the Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail in Ennis. The area is home to never-ending grassy plains that are taken over by bluebonnets every spring. And if you plan a visit in April, you can partake in the Bluebonnet Trails Festival, which showcases the 40-plus miles of scenic wildflower routes through the area.
Texas Hill Country
For another guaranteed view of the bluebonnets, make your way to Texas Hill Country. Specifically, head to Marble Falls, Burnet, Lampasas, San Saba, Mason, Llano, Fredericksburg, and Johnson City to spot the flowers alongside Indian paintbrush blooms, pink evening primroses, daisies, winecups, prairie verbena, and goldeneye phlox.
Texas Highways additionally notes, "Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, between Fredericksburg and Johnson City, boasts more than 400 species, including bluebonnets, evening primrose, and scarlet sage."
It also points to the Willow City Loop, which includes U.S. 281, U.S. 290, and Ranch Roads 1323, 1631, 2721, and 1320. As a bonus, stop in Fredericksburg to visit Wildseed Farms, the nation's largest working wildflower farm.
West Texas is home to its own wildflowers — namely, in the Terlingua and Big Bend region. Here, visitors will likely find roadside blooms set amongst the area's otherwise arid landscapes. Guests may even stumble upon fields of the Chisos bluebonnet, a unique Texas flower that can reach up to four feet in height. According to Texas Highways, visitors may also want to head approximately five hours north to pay a visit to Franklin Mountains State Park, home to the ocotillo, yucca, Southwestern barrel cactus, and Chihuahuan fishhook cactus.
Finally, make sure to hit East Texas on your wildflower road trip. Here, visitors will find the distinct white and pink blooms on the Texas Dogwood Trails. Palestine's Davey Dogwood Park is also home to 254 acres of public grounds, five miles of roads, and eight miles of trails, all overflowing with dogwood trees that will soon be in full bloom. For a drive-by flower show, Texas Highways suggests trying your luck along the sides of FM 227, and then making your way to State Highway 21 for redbuds and yellow jessamine.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out the Texas Highways maps with even more detailed routes for your wildflower drive.