Monday, April 21, 2014

The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

I didn't think it was going to happen this year.  I had been monitoring the wildflower reports since February and the forecasts were dire--because of California's severe drought, it looked like it was going to be a dud.  But then(!) it rained in March.  And it rained again.  And lo and behold, that's all it took.  The poppy fields erupted with orange and yellow blooms.  Thousands upon thousands of them.  Whole rivers of them.  So off my travel buddy and I went last weekend to bathe in the miracle of Spring.
The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is located outside Lancaster, California.  From Santa Barbara, it's a two-hour drive.  There are seven miles of easy trails throughout the 1800 acre reserve.  Besides poppies, of course, there are yellow daisies and purple lupine.  A brochure is given to you upon entrance, which outlines the flowers, mammals, birds and reptiles you might see during your visit.  There is also an interpretive center and gift shop on site, but no food is available so bring your own.  Picnic tables are scattered around the parking lot.  On the day we visited, the wind was fierce and the sun was hot.  Bring lots of water and wear sunscreen.  I can't stress this enough.  Also, to beat the Los Angeles crowds, come early on a weekday.  Otherwise, you may find yourself waiting in line to get in (like we did).

But OH so worth it!

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