If you’re wanting to plan a trip and be guaranteed to see painted colorful desert hills filled with millions of blooming poppies and wildflowers for miles you must visit Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve!
Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is known for the most consistent poppy blooms in all of California! This park is over 1,700 acres with only seven miles of hiking trails. They let mother nature use its natural forces. This means no watering or use of other means to stimulate the flowers. Talk about preserving the land and nurturing nature, I love it!
Did you know the poppy is California state flower?
The wildflower season generally lasts from as early as mid-February through mid-May, with a variety of wildflowers creating painted hills of color that changes daily. Each season comes with surprise blooms depending on the amount of rainfall and type of weather. This year the Mojave Desert had the perfect conditions for a super poppy bloom! I happen to be visiting during this super bloom so I took a day trip from San Diego to visit!
BEST TIME TO SEE POPPIES
Poppy’s can be stingy. If there’s too much rain or too dry expect a moderate bloom. Peak poppy season is late March to mid-April. I visited on April 11th2019 and they were in full bloom. If there are no poppies, there most likely will still be wildflowers in bloom, I made a complete guide on where else you can find them!
They say it can be windy during Spring and they were not kidding! It was extremely windy and a bit chilly during my visit. It made some of the most unique cloud formations I have ever seen.
The dark moody clouds in the distance and little sunlight behind me made for a neon orange poppy foreground. I have never seen anything like it!
Even though the cool weather and extreme wind chill closed all the poppies, it still made for a beautiful landscape.
Can you spot the people walking on the rolling hills?
The beginning stages of a poppy flower look like a mini pink lilypad on a stem.
Another plus about this reserve is they are prepared for the rare “super blooms” unlike the recent Lake Elsinore chaos as I mentioned in my last post, Antelope Poppy Reserve has it down to a science with traffic management, extra portable toilets, parking, benches and trail maps. This allows for the best possible super bloom experience!
Have you ever witnessed a super bloom? If so, tell me about it! Comment below, Pin share and subscribe to stay up to date on my latest adventures!
Antelope Valley Calfornia Poppy Reserve
LOCATION – Western Mojave Desert. Elevation from 2,600-3,000 feet. 15 miles West of Lancaster California.
WHAT TO EXPECT – Blankets of orange poppy’s coloring the desert hills for miles. Various other wildflowers. Mainly orange, yellow and purple.
PRICE – $10 per car – expect a long wait to park during peak season. You can park along the side of the road and hike in. Please pay the fee still, it helps maintain and protect our parks.
PEAK POPPY SEASON – mid-March to April.
WEATHER- Known to be extremely windy during Spring. It can be cold and windy one hour and sunny hot the next. There is no shade so bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunblock. For real-time weather, updates check here.
HOURS – Sunrise to sunset daily year-round. The interpretive center is open March 1st– Mothers Day.
HIKING – 8-miles of trails. Well maintained walking trails. Sitting benches alongside the trail. Paved section for wheelchair accessibility. Rattlesnakes may be present. No shade, bring plenty of water and snacks.
COST – $10 cash and visa accepted (I learned my lesson by going 20-minutes out of the way to get cash and come to find out they take Visa, lol!)
DIRECTIONS – 15101 Lancaster, 15 miles West of Lancaster Calfornia.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION – Stay on official trails, do not pick the wildflowers, no dogs allowed, no drone zone, be prepared for strong winds. You can check the weather station updated every hour here. Rattlesnakes may be present. Expect a long wait to get in the park, recommend park on side of the road and walk inside the park. Shaded picnic tables are first come first serve.
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HAT – from @Wombatleather
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