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Best trails in Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve

271 Reviews
Explore the most popular trails in Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Description

Each spring, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve comes alive with the seasonal surprises of the Mojave Desert Grassland habitat. The duration and intensity of colors and scents vary from year to year. The wildflower season generally lasts from as early as mid-February through late May, with a variety of wildflowers creating a mosaic of color that changes daily. Eight miles of trails through the gentle rolling hills, including a paved section for wheelchair access, make the park a wonderful place to hike and explore any season. Get away from the city and relax in the quietude of the countryside, with only the birds singing and hawks gliding silently overhead. Benches located along the trails make good places to sit quietly and watch for wildlife, such as singing meadow larks, lizards zipping across the trail, gopher snakes and rattlesnakes. If you're lucky, you may spot a coyote or bobcat. Numerous burrows around the trails may house mice, gophers, kangaroo rats, beetles, scorpions, or others. The Antelope Valley is located in the western Mojave Desert at an elevation ranging from 2600--3000 feet, making it a high desert environment. This State Natural Reserve is located on California's most consistent poppy-bearing land. Other wildflowers: owl's clover, lupine, goldfield, cream cups, and coreopsis, to name a few, share the desert grassland to produce a mosaic of color and fragrance each spring. As unpredictable as nature - the intensity and duration of the wildflower bloom varies yearly. California State Parks does not water or use any other means to stimulate the flowers; the land is preserved to only be influenced by the natural forces that had once influenced all of our surroundings. The broad views of this landscape provide eyefuls of brilliant wildflower colors and fragrance. Whether you most enjoy expansive fields or the close-up study of a single flower, this is the place to visit. Open sunrise to sunset.

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Map of trails in Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
Park information
Contact
(661) 946-6092
Top trails (2)
#1 - Antelope Loop Trail
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(223)
Length: 5.5 mi • Est. 2 h 37 m
$10.00 to park. This loop walk includes the two primary loops and hilltop viewing areas at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. Generally an easy-to-moderate jaunt, this walk can get tough in high heat or in strong gusty desert winds. Bring plenty of water and wind protection. And don't forget the sunscreen. This park was established to protect outstanding seasonal displays of native wildflowers, in particular the California Poppy, our state flower. The park includes seven miles of trails winding through wildflower fields, hilltops, and a lovely spring-fed desert valley. The wildflower blooms generally happen from March through May with the peak viewing period in Mid-April. The best poppy showing occurs when the temperature is over 70F and wind is less than 10mph. In season watch for: Poppies, filaree, fiddleneck, silver puff, pygmy-leaved lupine, bush lupine, lacey phacelia, slender keel fruit, forget-me-not, fringe pod, wild onions, red maids, sun cups, gold fields, owl's clover, hairy lotus, cream cups and rattlesnake weed.Show more
#2 - North Loop, Antelope Butte and Lightning Bolt Loop
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(47)
Length: 3.6 mi • Est. 1 h 45 m
Parking Fee: $9 This park was established to protect outstanding seasonal displays of native wildflowers, in particular the California Poppy, the state flower. The park includes seven miles of trails winding through wildflower fields, hilltops, and a lovely spring-fed desert valley. The wildflower blooms generally happen from March through May with the peak viewing period in Mid-April. The best poppy showing occurs when the temperature is over 70F and wind is less than 10mph. In season watch for: Poppies, filaree, fiddleneck, silver puff, pygmy-leaved lupine, bush lupine, lacey phacelia, slender keel fruit, forget-me-not, fringe pod, wild onions, red maids, sun cups, gold fields, owl's clover, hairy lotus, cream cups and rattlesnake weed.Show more