Before I start, feel free to follow my photography on my Facebook Photography page. I’ll be posting images of wildflowers throughout the spring – both of years’ past and from this spring. Also feel free to share what you’ve found as we work together to find the most color this Texas Hill Country spring may offer.
I’m asked quite a bit when and where the best bluebonnets will appear. I wish I had the answers. I realize folks make travel plans in hopes that they’ll find wildflower fields that stretch to the horizon. The truth is we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature. Predicting and finding bluebonnets and other Texas wildflowers is an inexact science to say the least. I’ve seen and photographed amazing bluebonnet fields in a specific location one spring only to find the the next spring a brown and barren pasture. So this is my disclaimer… my favorite places here are based on good years. These roads are usually where I check first, then move onto (hopefully) bluer pastures :-)
We have received good rains this past fall. We need rain now. Our bluebonnet season is hinging on more rains this February and March.
That being said, here are my favorite roads in the Texas Hill Country to find bluebonnets…
5 – Highway 71 between Llano and Pontotoc
The further you travel north from Llano, the better the bluebonnets appear. There are numerous side roads along this stretch to explore, as well. When you arrive in Pontotoc, you can often find bluebonnets surrounding the old structures in town that are still standing. I’ve also driven this stretch of 71 and not found any color. You just never know.
4 – 281 just north of Marble Falls to Highway 71 and northwest to Llano
The famous farmhouse is a few miles north on 281. Some years the farmhouse is engulfed in a sea of blue. Last year (2013), nary a bluebonnet could be found. From here, take 71 and travel north towards Llano. Again bluebonnets and coreopsis often line the highway. Just be careful stopping as the closer you get to Llano, the shoulder of the highway disappears. Several dirt roads branch off to the east and west and are often worth exploring. 1431 from Marble Falls all the way to Highway 29 outside of Llano can also be fruitful.
3 – Highway 152 between Llano and Castell. This small and winding road provides many colorful bends and great views of wildflowers. Often, many varieties of Texas Wildflowers – not just bluebonnets – line the ditches and fences.
2 – A big loop – From Mason, travel east and take a left (north) on 1900. Drive 1900 and take a left on 2618 (going west). From 2618, you’ll connect and turn south on 386, which takes you back to Mason. These county roads and highways at one time or another provided great bluebonnet fields and roadsides.
1 – Another loop – East of Mason at the corner of Highway 29 and Art Hedwigs Hill Road, travel south on Art Hedwigs Hill Road. This dirt road often provides wonderful bluebonnet fields. Other years (like last year)… nothing. You just never know. You’ll eventually connect with 81. Turn south on 81 and travel a few miles before turning back on Old Keyserville Road. This old dirt road takes you back towards the northeast for approximately 8-9 miles where you intersect with 152. From 152, you can travel back to Llano or head north on 2768 to connect with Highway 29 east of Mason. Dirt roads cross over this area and at times can show bluebonnets spreading up the distant hills. Please be aware that off the dirt road is private property, so be respectful of the landowners. Also, I’ve come across my fair share of rattlesnakes, while photographing this area. Be aware of your surroundings and where you place your feet and tripod!
Another location folks enjoy is the Willow City Loop. I tend to stay away from here because of the crowds. But it can be nice.
This list is not meant to be comprehensive. I just wanted to share a bit of the places I enjoy. I’ve considered putting together an Ebook one of these days that would be more comprehensive. Someday, perhaps!
In the meantime, feel free to share your experiences.
Also, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org