Super bloom goes BOOM!
by Peter Weinberger | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is one of the most well known and popular Southern California spots to see spring wildflowers in bloom. Located about 15 miles west of Lancaster, these fields are especially plentiful and colorful this year due to our extremely wet and snowy winter.
The California poppies are so abundant even the drive out Highway 138 provides excellent sightseeing along the two-hour trek from Claremont. Instead of taking the normal route up Interstate 5 north toward Castaic Junction, another option is heading east to Interstate 15 north, then catching 138 west to Highway 14 and following the signs through Lancaster. This route will take a few minutes longer but is well worth the trip.
For first time travelers, there is no one area with all the wildflowers like the closed Walker Canyon in Lake Elinore. The poppies are spread out everywhere, far and wide. The poppy reserve is an obvious hot spot where many flower seekers park their cars on the road for photos and sightseeing. Other options include a visitor’s center with more information on poppy watching and hiking.
The good news is once you’re in the area the wildflowers are impossible to miss. Travelers are asked to be respectful of the natural beauty since crowds have been known to damage the fields by not staying on the trails, which is one of the main reasons Walker Canyon is closed to the public this year.
Keep in mind the weekends will be very busy (these photos were taken on Sunday), especially now that everything is in full bloom. My advice would be to arrive early. There is basically one two-lane road in and out, so be prepared by taking water, snacks, and good walking shoes. Also, Antelope Valley is in the high desert, so it can get warm and windy.
There’s no doubt this trip will be an adventure for the entire family. Just keep in mind walking will be involved to get the most out of your trip. And there’s no doubt this year’s unusually wet winter has provided a great reason to get outside and enjoy nature’s bounty.