Poppies Everywhere at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
This is poppy flowers heaven! Orange and other shades of poppies everywhere and quite peaceful. There is a flowers reserve but costs a small fee but otherwise around the area within a few miles there are beautiful patches of poppies.
It was not easy finding this place from Los Angeles following the directions Google gave us. We passed through dry, empty lands for quite some time. We almost ran out of gas too. Thankfully, we came upon a small gas station in such a rural area.
We also got lost because our GPS connection got terminated due to lack of signal. But I asked a gentleman for directions and he pointed us to the right way. I’m glad we persisted even after having to turn around twice because the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve easily falls into one of the most spectacular places I have seen in my life!
First let me tell you the route that Google suggested. I traveled north on I-5, exited on 170 then got on McBean Parkway, which eventually becomes San Francisquito Canyon Road. Next turn left on Elizabeth Lake Road then finally right into Munz Ranch Road. If you come from this direction, the hills covered in orange will immediately catch your eye because it is such a strange thing to see. Because they were moving with the breeze, from a distance it looked as if the hills were covered by orange colored marching ants so many that it almost made me squirm. However, as you get closer, my feelings were replaced with awe because I have never seen so many flowers in my life, concentrated together in the same space.
On the state park website, it warns visitors to not trample on the flowers but there so many people that day that were sitting, walking and running through the flowers to take pictures. The park has actually became strict about this rule as it now says it will issue tickets to violators. The other reason that this was discouraged was because of the risk of stepping on snakes in the area.
We stayed here for a good two hours observing, taking tons of photos and just being mesmerized. So the easier way to get here, in my opinion, is to keep going on I-5 north and exit on CA-138 East, continue until you reach 170th St West then make a right and it will lead you right into the Reserve. This drive from I-5 to the Reserve is so much quicker.
Along the way, you will also pass by an abundance of Joshua Trees, which are prevalent in this area.