From mid-February to early March, almond trees blossom across California’s Central Valley. With most of the world’s almonds coming from California, including Butte County, it’s no surprise that beautiful almond blossoms surround us. It’s a petal-filled wonderland with fallen almond blossoms flowing through the almond orchards, and a reminder that spring is on the horizon.
Everyone loves when almond flowers hit their peak bloom and start to open up into beautiful flowers so white they will take your breath away, but do you know where to find them?
I’ve compiled a list of the best places in Butte County to see the almond blossoms in all their glory.
A variety of orchards populate the North State. There are so many areas that have blossoming orchards to discover, but in Durham, it’s hard to ignore the blossom-covered trees that surround the town because they’re on every corner, every street, and every turn. No matter where you go, it seems that during almond blossom season, you can’t escape their bloom.
Where to Spot Them
Travel along the backroads by taking exit Highway 99 North at the the Durham-Dayton Highway exit to access Dayton Road. Drive Hegan Lane through Chico where you’ll run into Midway and drive south from Chico to Durham.
Depending on the route you choose, you’ll end up in Durham or Chico. Whichever path you pick, there are beautiful orchards for your viewing pleasure.
Enjoy the road less traveled as you drive Durham-Dayton Highway to Midway.Turn left onto Roble Road to be mesmerized by almond trees in full bloom. With blossoms to your left and your right, you can take any road and find the white flowers everywhere.
Driving Roble Road to Midway, you’ll find yourself going over a higher road—take a moment to look down: the crossroads of Blossom Lane and Roble Road will take your breath away. It’s easy to miss if you’re concentrating on the drive, but the cross section of these two areas is beautiful during peak almond blossom season.
The moment you turn onto Jones Avenue in Durham, you’ll experience blossom bliss. Like many surrounding areas in Durham, you will find a new orchard around every corner, making it hard to tell when one ends and another begins. Enjoy the blossoming trees from a variety of farms on Jones Avenue, including Red Bear Ranch and Grzanich Brothers’ Orchards.
Do you know that folks around these parts call Almonds “Amonds,” as in salmon? If you're just passing through, you may not catch it, but it's genuinely a pun that locals love to have fun with: “It’s because they’re ‘almonds’ when they’re on the branch, but on the ground, they’re ‘amonds,’ because the farmers knock the ‘L’ out of them.”
While Durham has many beautiful almond orchards, the tour doesn’t end there! There are plenty of scenic places in Chico, too. The drive into Chico from Durham along the Midway during this time is lovely.
Driving along the back roads on Dayton Road will lead you to Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products Gift Shop. This is an orchard area you won’t want to miss because Maisie Jane’s offers mouthwatering local treats as well as spectacular views of the blooms.
From Maisie Janes, drive south for 2.5 miles and turn right onto Elk Avenue to check out several, more-secluded orchards. With a right on Lone Pine and then a left on Stevens Avenue, you’ll see some beautiful ones that belong to the fourth-generation family Heron Fox Farm. They only farm and sell certified organic, unpasteurized almonds and use bee-friendly and water-saving farming methods, which you’ll notice when you stop by their orchards.
Those are some of my favorite spots to see blossoming almond trees. Whatever you’re looking for in the perfect almond blossom—whether it’s just to frolic through the orchards with your dog, take the perfect family photo, or ask your loved one to marry you—there is no escaping the spring bloom in Butte County.