During the spring, especially when there is a superbloom, this is a place you will not want to miss. The vast, brilliant expanses of California Poppies are truly spectacular, and are frequently described as “mind-blowing.” There are 8 miles of trails, which wind through the poppies and other wildflowers, including goldfields, cream cups, lupine, owl’s clover, and coreopsis. The immersive, Technicolor views are spectacular.
The blooms can happen any time between March and May, so check the Reserve’s Facebook page or call the Hotline: 661-724-1180. Try to go on a warm, sunny day when the poppies are fully open, and ideally on a weekday. There is a shaded picnic table area and lots of benches. Also, the Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center is a great place to visit.
½ mile north of the intersection of 150th St W and Lancaster Road, Lancaster
California State Parks
Birdwatching, Hiking, Picnicking, Relaxing, Viewing (flowers!, scenic), Walking
This extraordinary Poppy Preserve exists because of Jane Pinheiro and other dedicated citizens. Purchasing the land even involved enthusiastic fundraising from school children (“Pennies for Poppies”). On the information-filled website for the Poppy Reserve Mojave Desert Interpretive Association, there are many wonderful links describing the Reserve’s inspirational history, including "Story of a Dream" and "The Great Poppy Lady."
In 1903, the California Poppy was officially designated the State flower.
After visiting the Poppy Reserve, consider going 7 miles west to the Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park, which features a protected, special natural area of California juniper trees and Joshua trees. Before ranching, farming, and other activities, this woodland habitat once thrived throughout the Antelope Valley.