Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster

 California Poppy Reserve in mid-April 2017 (Photo Credit: Joe Longo)

California Poppy Reserve in mid-April 2017 (Photo Credit: Joe Longo)

April 20, 2018 Bloom Status Update: As of April 20th, we don't have a lot of flowers blooming due to the late winter rains and the flowers we do have are fading after last week’s heat. There are only a few small poppies blooming along the trails, but most of them are going to seed. The goldfields and lacy phacelia are in bloom but have started fading. A few belly flowers such as forget me nots and rattlesnake weed can be found along many of the trails.

Just 75 miles from the Conejo Valley is the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve in Lancaster.

The Reserve comes alive each spring with seasonal wildflowers, lasting from as early as mid-February through May.

There are eight miles of trails, including a paved section for wheelchair access.

The public is asked not to walk in the wildflowers as this causes lasting damage. No dogs, bikes on trails, drones, or picking flowers.

The Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center is open March 1st through Mother's Day, with wildflower and wildlife exhibits, an orientation video, a gallery of Jane's botanical watercolor paintings, and a gift shop benefiting the non-profit association. The Interpretive Center is only open during the spring wildflower bloom and for special events.

The reserve is located 15 miles west of Highway 14 near the city of Lancaster. The visitor center is located 1/2 mile north of the intersection of 150th St W & Lancaster Road.

Visitors may park on Lancaster Road and walk in for free, but must stay along the entrance road and enter at the kiosk; visitors entering the park through the fenceline or by walking across the open fields from the road will be fined.

Parking is $10 ($9 for 62+). Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=627.

 Photo Credit: Joe Longo

Photo Credit: Joe Longo

 Photo Credit - Joe Longo

Photo Credit - Joe Longo

For a more local display of poppies and wildflowers, try the Ray Miller Trail / La Jolla Canyon in Point Mugu State Park. (NOTE: This areas is also a bit dry in 2018; no wildflowers of significance as of April 2018).