Sunrise to Sunset Park along Lancaster Road, and enter through the pedestrian walk-through by the park gate. Free admission.
Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park
Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland, seven miles west of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, protects and preserves an impressive stand of native Joshuas and junipers which once grew in great abundance throughout the valley. Donated to the State by farmer Arthur "Archie" Ripley in 1988, few stands of this majestic woodland community remain in the valley, the rest having been cleared for farming, housing, and green energy.
The Joshua tree played an important part in cultural history of Antelope Valley, providing a vital source of food and fiber materials for the Native Americans that inhabited the region. The naming of Joshua as a "tree" is credited to early Mormon settlers who saw the tree with its upraised arms as Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. Its actual classification, however, is as a member of the agave family (and formerly in the lily family). In early spring months, creamy white blossoms begin to grow on the ends of the branches of the Joshua. The blooms last for several months, growing larger and larger as the weeks go by. Set in a bed of wildflowers, the Joshua becomes a site of stately beauty. We invite you to walk through this majestic Joshua/juniper woodland, to enjoy its beauty and to share with others the importance of preserving this valuable resource.
Please note, this park is not the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve in Lancaster.
Picnicking: The park features a picnic table under a shade ramada, which offers sun and wind protection.
Hiking: There are two flat, easy nature trails with self-guided brochures.
- The Ripley Nature Trail is 1/4 of a mile, starting at the end of the picnic area. Follow the self-guided tour page or click here to download the Ripley Nature Trail brochure (formatted for legal-size paper).
- The Rare Juniper Trail is just under one mile, and starts 100 yards up the Ripley Nature Trail. The brochure highlights unique specimens of California Juniper found in the park, click here to download brochure (formatted for legal size paper).
Enjoy the interpretive displays illustrating the natural and cultural history of the park. There is an outhouse available, but no running water.
Location - Directions
The park is on Lancaster Road (an extension of West Avenue I), seven miles west of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, or four miles from Highway 138 (Avenue D) and 245th Street West.
The main walk-through entrance can be found near 205th Street West, on the north side of Lancaster Road.