Joshua Trees and Juniper Interpretive Trail is a 1.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lancaster, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park is a small, unassuming park with a pair of trails through preserved Juniper and Joshua tree desert forest. This short trail is 0.3 miles long and set up as an Interpretive Trail. Much of this guide will be built around the trail and the park's descriptive guide. This plot of land was added to the California state park system in 1988 when it was donated to the state by Arthur Ripley. This park serves to preserve one of the last virgin stands of native Joshua and Juniper trees, both of which formerly grew throughout the this valley. Only small parcels of this desert woodland plant community remain, the rest having been cleared for farming and housing. The Joshuas once provided a vital source of food and fiber materials for the Native Americans that inhabited the region of the Antelope Valley. The Joshua is as a member of the lily family of plants. Early in the spring, creamy white blossoms start growing on the ends of the tree's branches. These blooms will last for several months, growing larger and larger as the weeks pass. Why is it called a Joshua Tree? Credit goes to early Mormon settlers saw the tree with its upraised arms and were reminded of the Biblical Joshua who led the Israelites into the Promised Land. Should the park headquarters run out of the interpretive pamphlets, more can be picked up just a few miles down the road at the sector office at Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve.. The start of the nature walk begins at a well-presented billboard kiosk in the park's small picnic area. The trail is short with no elevation change.
Good little walk
Basically forgotten about little location. The gates are never open, but you can easily park on the side of the road and walk inside. The trails are poorly maintained and narrow so it is VERY easy to stray from the intended trail and find yourself turned around for awhile. Nonetheless, the entire property is surrounded by a fence and you will eventually locate the trails again if you keep walking. Also, the area is extremely clean with very negligible amounts of litter. The ground is flat so it is extremely easy for beginners. There are picnic tables at the entrance as well as trash bins and a porta potty which is fairly well maintained.
I walk these trails every year around the Spring and Fall. It is my first hiking location so I am rather fond of it. It is a nice place to go out and simply become lost in the desert as you are unable to hear nearby traffic and it is far away from the city. You can make the hike as long or as short as you want.
I wouldn't advise arriving during snake season because the trails are too narrow in places to avoid a rattler. However, I will admit in all of the years I have been coming here I have never encountered a snake.
Lots of desert plants, small critters, and a probable chance of spotting a coyote. I bring my dogs and never run into a single soul. Personally I give it 5 stars but when compared to other places there isn't a lot to see to be honest.