2023 Peak Bloom
The NPS judged that the Yoshino cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin reached peak bloom on March 23, 2023. They're now done for the year..
There are some flowers still hanging on, but the cherry blossoms are well on their way out now. Yesterday was warm, and last night saw rain, wind, and storms (with even a possible small tornado touching down not far away). The combination has been knocking petals off quickly, and the cherry blossom snow has been falling quite heavily. Much of the ground is covered by a blanket of white and pink petals.
It's still very easy to find trees with blossoms still on them, but wind today, and maybe some more rain, will keep knocking more petals off.
Surprisingly, the damage from the freeze earlier in the week didn't do too much damage. There is some clear evidence of freeze damage, but many of the flowers bounced back for a brief last hurrah.
The Kwanzan cherry blossoms aren't yet flowering but have been making progress. Some photos of them this morning at the bottom of this post.
Sunday / Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Race. If you plan to head down to the Tidal Basin this weekend for a last glimpse, a heads up that the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler race is returning to in-person racing this year and is being held on Sunday morning. That means closures (map) and inaccessible parking all around the Tidal Basin, the western end of the National Mall, and East Potomac Park/Hains Point. The Tidal Basin will remain open to pedestrian traffic (but you might have to (carefully!) dodge runners to get there. Most of the road closures are scheduled to lift at 11am, but there's often a traffic ripple effect lasting a couple of hours.
Good luck to all the runners!
Reader Photos 2022
I've posted the reader photos for this year. There are some beautiful shots!
They're posted in four parts:
There were many hundreds of photos submitted, and I just wish I'd been able to include all of them. But thank you to everyone who submitted!
How it Looks at the Tidal Basin This Morning
These were all taken this morning to give a sense of how it looks today.
Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms
They still have work to do, but some of the rich pink petals are starting to show. These were taken this morning.
Logistics for Visiting
Please don't pick the blossoms, climb on the trees, or damage the branches. Many of the trees are old and fragile (some over a century old), and the Tidal Basin area is a National Park.
Ohio Drive has been switched to the special one-way traffic pattern (until 4/4). So you'll need to enter up by the Jefferson Memorial; you won't be able to enter from the Lincoln Memorial End. There is parking along one side of Ohio Drive, but it's first-come-first-served and frequently fills up.
NPS Welcome Area. The NPS is switching things up this year and has moved the Welcome Area from the old Maine Ave parking area to next to the MLK Memorial (West Basin Dr SW). So West Basin Dr SW is closed to traffic from Ohio Drive. That has displaced some disabled parking spots; they've been moved to a temporarily signed area about 50 yards or so away from the permanent spots, at the intersection of Ohio Drive and West Basin Dr SW).