Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

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Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
California Poppies1.jpg
Map showing the location of Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Map showing the location of Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
Location Los Angeles County, California, USA
Nearest city Lancaster, California
Coordinates 34°43′39″N 118°23′41″W / 34.72750°N 118.39472°W / 34.72750; -118.39472Coordinates: 34°43′39″N 118°23′41″W / 34.72750°N 118.39472°W / 34.72750; -118.39472
Area 1,781 acres (721 ha)
Established 1976
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is a state-protected reserve of California, USA, harboring the most consistent blooms of California poppies, the state flower. The reserve is located in the rural westside of Antelope Valley in northern Los Angeles County, 15 miles (24 km) west of Lancaster. The reserve is at an elevation ranging from 2,600 to 3,000 feet (790 to 910 m) above sea level in the Mojave Desert climate zone. The reserve is administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Other wildflowers within the reserve include the owl's clover, lupine, goldfields, cream cups and coreopsis.

The reserve[edit]

The intense blooming season for the California poppy falls usually within late winter to early spring, during the months of mid-February through mid-May. Blooming seasons are dependent on the amount of rainfall during the winter to early spring seasons. Within the reserve, there are 7 miles (11 km) of trails, including a paved section for wheelchair access, which traverse through the poppy fields.

In order to keep the fields in a strictly natural state, California State Parks does not water or stimulate the flowers. The park service also excludes sheep and cattle from grazing the hillsides. Until the early 1970s sheep once grazed the buttes in the western Antelope Valley. Pronghorn grazed long before then, until the railroad first arrived in 1876. With the exception of service dogs, pets are prohibited from the reserve. Under California state law, visitors are also prohibited from taking flowers away from the reserve.

Since 1994, controlled fires are used to regulate dead brush, exotic species and litter within the reserve.

The reserve is located 7 miles (11 km) east of Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park.

See also[edit]

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