Visiting Almond Blossom Orchards near Woodlands, California

All photographs are mine. Please do not repost/use unless on Pinterest.

If there’s one thing the Bay Area does better than Socal (sorry, I’m a socal girl) it’s the beautiful trees and orchards that blossom in Spring. Whether it’s the delicate white almond blossoms, pink cherry blossoms or peach blossoms, the entire bay area livens up with signs of spring starting late January/mid-February. This year I have a mission to capture ALL the seasonal blooms in California. Last Saturday I visited an almond orchard for the first time!

Photo Tip: Tell the photographer to squat and hold the end of your dress toward the camera to extend the perspective towards your torso for a dynamic shot of the flowering branches against the sky behind you.

Where can I find the orchards?

Here I will show you some locations where we spotted nice orchards with almond trees that were a medium/large size (and not like baby saplings).

Before you check these out, please keep in mind that you should stick to photographing at the edges of the orchards, don’t break off branches or pluck blossoms, and don’t leave any trash – respect the farmer’s land and orchards!

Ignore the location start/end points – they just show the boundaries of Hwy 16 and Gibson Road along which you’ll find several orchards of almond blossoms. I’ve heard about Hwy 16 but the road we took was Gibson Road and we saw plenty there.
After our shoot along the orchard at Gibson Road, we went south along E7 towards Plainfield/Davis/Dixon on our way back to San Francisco and saw even more almond orchards, some a lot bigger and fuller in bloom than the ones we saw on Gibson Road.

Our visit: On Saturday, February 27th, 2021, we departed from San Francisco at around 8am, and started seeing the orchards on Gibson Road a little past Monument Hill, on the way to Woodland, at 9:15am. We passed by many smaller trees before we found a patch of medium/larger size trees that we liked by 9:30am. This specific patch also had a green lawn facing the street but we drove a little farther in to take some photos away from the side of the street.

We stopped on Gibson Road where the darker patch of land is (that’s the almond orchard).

Recommendations for Visit

Best days for bloom: mid-February to mid-March in the Bay Area

Best time of day: Depends on day but for early March with sunny weather, try to arrive around sunrise ~ 8am.

During our visit, by 9:30am the sun had risen significantly so it was illuminating the flowers a little too harshly and the branches were casting shadows as seen in the photos below when we stood between the rows of trees. Still, we did our best and here are some of the shots after edits:

Photography Inspo and Tips:

Create natural dress flicks through repetitive motions of dropping your skirt while the photographer shoots continuously
Use flowers in the foreground to create frame and create depth
Use flowers in the foreground to frame and create depth
Create organic movement by twirling in a flowy dress. Have the photographer shoot from below to create more dimension and add extra height to the trees.
Hold branches to frame yourself while the photographer photographs from below

Have the photographer use the flowers to frame you

Add these pins to your board for future reference!

Thanks for checking this out, I hope this post was helpful!

Have you seen the almond blossoms this year? There are many other places in California that showcase wonderful blooms, including Modesto/Tracy and Bakersfield! Where did you visit the blooms? I’d love to know!

Stay tuned for mustard field blooms and peach blossom orchards!

♡ Vivien ♡

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