Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve SNR

State Natural Reserve

The Park

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. 

NEW! Check out our YouTube video.

Facilities
The Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center, offering wildflower and wildlife exhibits, an orientation video, a gallery of Jane's botanical watercolor paintings, and a gift shop benefiting our non-profit association, is only open during the spring wildflower season and for special events. 

Shaded picnic tables are available on a first-come/first-served basis year-round, with an interpretive display and a serene view over the valley to the San Gabriel Mountains. 

Hours
The park is open from sunrise to sunset daily year-round.

Parking Fees
Cash or check only:
$10 per vehicle
$9 per vehicle with a senior on board (62 and over)
$5 per vehicle with DPR Disabled Discount Card (see below)
 
Small busses (9-24 passengers): $50
Large busses (25 or more passengers): $100

Vehicle entrance for K-12 School Groups is free with advance registration.
Day-Use tickets are valid for entrance on the same day to any other California State Park charging the same or lower rates.
Click here for information on applying for our Golden Poppy, Annual Day-Use, Disabled Discount, Distinguished Veterans, and Golden Bear Passes. 

More about the Reserve

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.

Location - Directions

The Reserve is located 15 miles west of Lancaster at 15101 Lancaster Road. 
From Highway 14:  Take the Avenue I exit and head west 15 miles.  Avenue I becomes Lancaster Road. 
From I-5:  Take Hwy 138 east and turn right on 170th Street West.  Make a left at the end, onto Lancaster Road.  Follow the road two miles. 
Latitude/Longitude: 34.72482 N, 118.41271 W

Make A Day Of It!

Your Day-Use entry ticket is valid for entry on the same day to any other California State Park charging the same or lower rates.  Camping fees are also valid for any other California State Park the next day.

While visiting the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, we also suggest you visit the Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park, located seven miles west of the Poppy Reserve just past 210th Street West.  Here you will see a native Joshua Tree and Juniper woodland, one of the few left of this habitat which once spread across the Antelope Valley. In favorable conditions, Joshua Trees bloom with soft white artichoke-shaped flowers. There is a short self-guided nature trail located at the park and information panels about the woodland, and it's a haven for local wildlife so keep your camera ready.  Admission is free and dogs are allowed on-leash.  Watch for the sign on Lancaster Road and park along the fenceline; the pedestrian walk-through is adjacent to the locked vehicle gate on the north side of the road.

Saddleback Butte State Park is 32 miles east, with a Joshua Tree/creosote habitat that offers different wildflowers than the Poppy Reserve.  The park features camping, hiking, picnic tables, and a visitor center.

Red Rock Canyon State Park, 60 miles north, is the location of dramatic colorful cliffs that have been featured in hundreds of movies, TV shows, and commercials.  Take the Abbot Road exit of Hwy 14 for the campground, main picnic area, and visitor center.

For more information about all the California State Parks in the Tehachapi District, click on the link to the right.

·Park Information

  • Hours of Operation:

    Park Hours:
      Sunrise to Sunset.

  • Park Office Telephone:

    (661) 946-6092

  • Region

    Los Angeles County

    County

    Los Angeles

  • Purchase Annual Passes

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Current Wildflower Bloom Information

This website posts park wildflower bloom status updates from February through mid-May.

Poppy Reserve Wildflower Hotline
(661) 724-1180

Theodore Payne Foundation
Wildlflower Hotline
(818) 768-3533

Peak Poppy Bloom:

Wildflower blooms occur generally from mid-March through mid-May. The peak viewing period is usually mid-April.

Contact

Mojave Sector Office
(661) 946-6092
Email us

Sector Office staff is not on-site and does not have any additional poppy status information or predictions


Pertinent Rules:
 DO NOT BRING DOGS.  Dogs are not allowed on trails (with the exception of service dogs), and there are no parking areas that are protected from the sun.  Service dogs are requested to wear distinguishing markers to avoid misleading other visitors.

 No horses or mountain bikes on the trails.

 Visitors must stay on trails.

 Picking or destroying wildflowers in the park is a violation of State law. 
All features of the park are protected, including wildlife, rocks and historic objects and may not be collected without a permit.

You are responsible for knowing park rules and regulations.  For detailed information: California Code of Regulations



Accessibility
A manually-operated wheelchair is available for check-out at the visitor center during the wildflower season.  An ADA-compliant pathway leads from the disabled parking area to the visitor center, and extends a short way into the reserve.  The picnic area has wheelchair-accessible tables and can be reached by a paved pathway.  ADA-compliant restrooms are available in the parking area all day, and at the visitor center during their open hours.

Join our Announcement List!

Are you interested in being informed of upcoming events and activities in Antelope Valley's California State Parks?  Email our Event Coordinator with "Email List" in the subject line, and you will receive announcements for programs such as Dark Sky Parties, Junior Ranger Programs, Full Moon Hikes, Volunteer Trainings, Video Series, and more!