In the early spring, wildflowers peak at the California Poppy Reserve. If we get a rainy winter, rush out to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in March and April. Fields of bright orange are visible for miles away as the poppies paint the hills. Swatches of blue from millions of blooming purple-blue Lupins intersect the orange and contrast with huge spreads of glowing yellow from masses of tiny yellow Goldfields. If the day-glow colors aren’t enough to amaze you, you can go picking through miles of trails at the reserve discovering the glittering seed heads of Silver Puffs, the red-purple of Owl Clover or find yourself scurrying after a patterned lizard to check out its designs.
Check with the reserve website before hopping in your car. If the winter has been stingy with rain, there may be few flowers. Sometimes the display is unexpectedly light or heavy despite the weather, so it’s always worth checking first. Be warned, it is almost always very windy in this area at this time of year. So bring walking shoes and a camera and expect to hold on to your hat!
The Poppy Reserve is located in Lancaster (northern Los Angeles County), just southeast of the Grapevine, 15 miles west of Lancaster center, and about 40 miles north of the Santa Clarita/Valencia area. You can find more information at http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=627.
Plan on brilliant color and blustering winds. The winds are typical of the high desert at this time of year. Wearing a hat is a good idea. Keeping it on your head may be a challenge. But it’s worth the effort to check out the wildflowers peaking at the California Poppy Reserve right now!