Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

Poppies Add Orange Oomph to Antelope Valley

The beloved blooms are starting to make a showing around the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

Charles O'Rear

What to Know

  • The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; parking is available but "limited"
  • $10 day-use fee
  • Some of the reserve's hills are growing more orange, but there are still vast spaces that remain poppy-lite (as of mid-March)

The start of Daylight Saving Time can put us in a spring-sweet, sun-centric sort of mood.

Evenings are brighter, the approach of springtime moves into ethereal overdrive, and the world outside seems more fragrant, more floral, and a bit more summer-like, even if there are still chill days to come.

Switching over to PDT, from PST, can jumpstart a longing in the human heart, in short, an urge to be outdoors, in serene spaces, where tiny suns flutter in the breeze.

Of course, tiny suns can't and shouldn't flutter in the breeze, for all the obvious reasons, but here on this planet, we have specimens that do their very best to replicate tiny suns, thanks to their inherent orange-ness and bright-a-tude.

It's the poppy we're popping off about, a flower that can often be seen, in pretty profusion, at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve near Lancaster.

That is, if you time your visit right.

But "right" is getting righter, as we reach the second half of March 2022, for the hills of the reserve are starting to get pretty darn poppy-fied.

Don't say "superbloom," at least not at this particular moment in time. While poppies are definitely making a nice showing as Daylight Saving Time 2022 begins, the large and lush poppy carpets of years gone by remain largely absent.

If you'd like to see exactly what is happening, before venturing to the destination, there's Poppy Cam, a live feed that provides up-to-the-minute images of what's happening, poppy-wise.

And there are loads of other wildflowers to gush over, from goldfields to fiddlenecks. True, the poppy is the headliner here, but there are many other local flowers that deserve a devoted fandom.

Check out a March 12 update from the reserve to see how the 2022 bloom is proceeding.

And if you do visit in the days or weeks to come? Stopping by the Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretative Center, to learn more about the flora of the area, is a sweet and soul-satisfying side trip.

Photo: Poppies pictured during a bygone bloom cycle.

Contact Us