Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve Image
The Antelope Valley SP Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California

I was just in Antelope Valley SP Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California where the poppies are in full bloom. If you are in the Los Angeles area you are less than two hours away from a great photo subject, but it will only last for another month or so.

Because of the rains this past year the poppies are doing great this season, and they cover the entire landscape. The peak of the poppy season is right now and should taper off toward mid-May. If there are more rains in Lancaster the season could run longer.

Poppies and the Wind
Before going there you should consider the wind conditions, since poppies do not like the wind. When I had gone this past weekend the wind was blowing at 20-30 mph and the poppies were all closed up. For your convenience the California State Parks website has a link to the reserve’s weather station.

The Reserve
The California State Parks website has a page for the Antelope Valley Reserve. On the website they have some photos, useful information, and updates on the poppies. The reserve also has a hotline, the Poppy Reserve Wildflower Hotline, at (661) 724-1180.

Getting There
The reserve is located at 15101 Lancaster Road in Lancaster, California 93536. From Los Angeles you drive North on I-405 and continue as it merges into I-5. You can continue up I-5 until you reach Highway 138, take that east and turn right on 170th Street West. At the end of the road, make a left onto Lancaster Road where you will find the reserve in a couple of miles. Or instead of continuing on the I-5, you take Highway 14 until you reach the Avenue I exit. Take Avenue I west for 15 miles, at some point it will turn into Lancaster Road and you will come upon the reserve on your right.

If you opt to take Highway 14 you could be in for an odd treat, just several miles east of the reserve their is a sheep herding field on the South of the road. There were sheep as far as the eye could see, and there were plenty of people who stopped to take a picture or just a look.

Black Sheep Eating Alone in Lancaster, California

Hours and Fee
The Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center is open on Weekends from 9am to 5pm and on the Weekdays from 10am to 4pm, whereas the reserve itself is open from sunrise to sunset, which is about 7:30pm these days.

To get into the reserve it costs 5 USD per passenger vehicle, if you have a senior (62 and up) with you it’s 4 USD. For the disabled it is 2.50 USD and they have separate prices for small and large buses.

Preparation
It seems like it gets really windy at the reserve at times. If you can’t avoid going when it is windy, make sure to dress warm and just know that the poppies will be closed. Of course bring your camera, and you should consider bringing your tripod along with you. The trails are not that long and the extra steadiness of the tripod is helpful in the wind.

Last Thing
Oh yeah, there are no antelopes there.

Poppies at Antelope Valley SP Poppy Reserve

Field of Poppies in the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve