Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Wildflower status: 03-19-08
After much anticipation, field of poppies have finally started coloring the hillsides orange, with goldfields adding swaths of yellow. At this time poppies are only blooming on the south sides of the hills, but individuals of other species are showing up on the back sides. Young poppy plants cover the ground on most of the Reserve so we expect it will be a great year! The peak is usually mid-April, but Mother Nature seems to be making up for lost time and in a week it should be amazing. Detailed species information can be found on the Research Field Notes link, the the left.
Remember, stay on the trail! Getting a picture of that one really nice poppy will crush all the plants along the way, and compact the ground leaving lifeless bare dirt for the next year or longer. If someone else has started a trail, do not add to the damage. Please be a responsible park visitor and leave the park as nice as you found it.
The wildlife is returning- gliding hawks, singing meadow larks, and lizards zipping across the trail. Lizards coming out also means rattlesnakes are coming out, so stay on the trail! The natural spring on the North Poppy Trail is running again with rabbit brush coming back around it, which makes it a good place to sit quietly and watch for wildlife.
Although the wildflower season generally lasts from as early as mid-February through mid-May, the park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. Fall is also a pleasant time to visit, as the days are normally warm with milder winds. Eight miles of trails through the gentle rolling hills 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. Shaded picnic tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with an interpretive display and a serene view over the valley to the San Gabriel Mountains.